V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection

V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection, Durham: Hours, Address, V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection Reviews: 5/5

V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection

V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection
5
Tuesday
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
About
We are the largest privately-held tuba museum in the world! The 300+ instruments in the Collection, currently housed in Durham, North Carolina, represent a cross section of the history and development of the various members of the tuba family, from its inception circa 1830 to the present.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Popular mentions

5.0
9 reviews
Excellent
7
Very good
2
Average
0
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0
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0

Robin
New Haven, CT18 contributions
Wholly delightful experience
Aug 2020
As someone with no musical background, I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Vince has some wonderful stories and clearly loves talking tubas. His enthusiasm is infectious and I'm so glad he took the time to show us around his collection. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting Durham!
Written September 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MrEdM
Millersville, MD20 contributions
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit
Jun 2018 • Family
As the other reviews prior to this one all said, this is a unique and interesting little museum. We really enjoyed it.

The owner/curator, Vince Simonette, began by asking us what brought us there. We told him it was mostly curiosity and that none of us knew much about tubas nor were we particularly musically inclined. He happily adapted his talk to fit our interests focusing on fundamentals and basics. We leaned a lot and I especially enjoyed the personal stories for some of the instruments as well the variety in the mechanical designs. The owner's passion and enthusiasm made it very enjoyable.

For us, a 45 minute tour was a good length. If you are an aficionado of brass instruments you probably want to allow more time. I am sure he would be thrilled to show off his collection and shoot the breeze for hours on end -- for as little or as much time you like.
Written June 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jim-or-Julie
Virginia27 contributions
Wonderful Display of Large and Unusual Horns!
Apr 2018 • Couples
If you've ever played a wind instrument, or enjoy symphonic brass, or marching bands, or simply just appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of skillfully shaped metal, you'll love visiting this collection. Beyond just modern tuba shapes, this was the first time I'd ever seen helicons, a double-belled euphonium (I counted at least 12 of them), or a 6-foot tall horn designed for a standing musician. Even if you only want to see how someone has successfully crammed more than 300 baritone and tuba-sized instruments into a fairly small space, this is worth a visit!

When my wife and I visited, I was initially hesitant when that day's curator (Maya) offered her standard tour of about an hour -- I didn't want an hour of dry, dusty facts. AND IT WASN'T -- the histories, information, and background that she gave were so interesting that we happily spoke with her for a full 2 hours. My wife, who has never played any instrument, was interested to see the different types of valves and their many arrangements, and I'd certainly never heard the story of how a mid-1800s bar fight led to the founding of what became America's largest and best-known instrument manufacturer (C.G. Conn). Maya was a terrific host!!

The Simonetti Tuba Collection is one of those surprising little gems that sometimes happen when travelling. If I'm ever again in the Raleigh-Durham area, I'm going back to see it again!
Written May 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barbara Groves
247 contributions
What a hoot (or should I say toot)!
Apr 2018 • Family
Totally unique and not to be missed museum. In this small house there are 314 tubas of assorted shapes, sizes, and ages.
The guide was knowledgeable and friendly and the kids were impressed with the sizes.
Written April 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We're so glad you enjoyed your visit!
Written April 5, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Susan C
6 contributions
You won't find anything like this anywhere else!
Jan 2017 • Friends
The owner/curator/caretaker, Mr. Simonetti is a charming and knowledgeable tour guide with bits of history and anecdotes to share about each of the instruments, and it makes for a pleasant visit, but "museum legs" start to set in after about an hour. The tour is very interesting, but unless you are a wind-instrument aficionado, 45 minutes is probably enough for you to learn everything you wanted to know about tubas, and then some. It's my recommendation you tell Mr. Simonetti that you are on a tight schedule; you can always keep talking and take longer if you want to -- I think Mr. Simonetti can talk tuba for days on end. You'll never have a chance to see such a collection all in one place again, I am certain of that. It's a worthwhile stop.
Written July 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the response, Susan! We will take your suggestion into consideration.
Written July 6, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

shuwei1
PA62 contributions
Not to be missed!
Mar 2017 • Solo
I'm not musically inclined but this was a fascinating education by Vince on the history of tubas, showcasing his collection of over 300 instruments. Who knew there were so many different styles and configurations of the tuba??? Some are over 100 or more years old and the stories Vince tells are so interesting. A most enjoyable stop on my trip! Free, donations accepted. Thanks, Vince!
Written March 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the review! Glad you could make it out and learn more about the tuba.
Written March 7, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tennessean4Life
Kingsport, TN20 contributions
Was The Reason We Can To Durham
Oct 2016 • Family
I'd heard about the museum on NPR, and having a child in band, my wife and I thought it would be a great (and unique) place to take him over fall break that would help broaden his knowledge about the instrument he was playing. Don't be thrown by the small size of the building, there are only two instruments in the whole collection that are alike. The owner/operator has an incredible knowledge about his instruments and does a great job talking about them, even to those who aren't musically inclined. The tour takes about an hour, and there is no charge, but donations are accepted. Just know it is only open two days a week and by appointment. Sadly, they don't have t-shirts for sale, yet.
Written October 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your wonderful review!
Written October 20, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ronco444
Durham, NC42 contributions
World's Largest Private Tuba Collection
Aug 2016 • Couples
Not quite a museum and not really an activity, the Vincent & Ethel Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection is a means to experience the passion of a musician and his love for his chosen instrument. When Mr. Simonetti opens the door to this humble house, the finest pieces in his collection of almost 300 tubas shine just beyond his shoulders. He soon begins to explain the history of the instrument, the innovations that changed it over nearly 200 years, the craftsmen who fashioned it, and the artists who played it. For years, Mr. Simonetti was the principal tuba player for the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. He is a delightful storyteller and an enthusiastic collector.
Written August 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kristin B
Rutherford, NJ22 contributions
Interesting afternoon at the tuba museum!
Jul 2016 • Friends
I'm a music teacher who was in town visiting family, and just had to stop by the tuba museum! There are a wide variety of tuba and tuba-related instruments such as alto horns, baritones, sousaphones, and even an ophicleide! There are so many instruments in this place some are mounted to the ceiling! We had a tour from the museum's owner and he pointed out some of the most exceptional items in the collection.

Great way to spend an afternoon!
Written August 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Frequently Asked Questions about V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection

V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection is open:
  • Tue - Tue 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Thu - Thu 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM


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