The team behind the world’s first plastic trombone – which has been followed by a new generation of instruments encouraging more people to play music – has been recognised as one of the most innovative companies in the Midlands.
MIA member Warwick Music Group, the company behind pBone, pTrumpet and most recently, the totally new pBuzz, has been selected as one of the 50 most innovative businesses in the Midlands ranking alongside Jaguar Land Rover and the Football Association.
One of the judges, Anita Bhalla OBE, who is also chair of Performances Birmingham Limited and recent past chair of Midlands Art Centre, said: “I am particularly impressed with the way they (Warwick Music Group) have used accessible, fun instruments as a way to open up educational opportunities for children and people generally.”
Another judge, Professor Tim Softley, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, University of Birmingham, commented: “Innovative material design leading to potentially huge cultural impacts – affordable musical instruments for learners with a great sound!”
The Award citation said that pBone was recognised for its disruptive response to declining sales of traditional trombones, quickly rising to become the best-selling model.
“The expert panel praised the impact that the instruments are having on children’s music experiences worldwide,” said the citation.
Steven Greenall, chief executive of Warwick Music Group, said he and his team were delighted to be recognised for their innovation.
“We are a group of close-knit musicians who have come together to create, design and manufacture affordable, durable stylish instruments that deliver the same high quality of sound with none of the pitfalls of working with a traditional brass instrument,” said Steven.
“The most challenging aspect has been in the innovation. No one else has been down this route before and there are no guidelines to follow so it is challenging for a small business to be constantly forging ahead.
We are delighted that our instruments appeal to adults and children alike. We get a huge kick from seeing children as young as three pick up a pBuzz for the first time and realise that they can start to create music. It is fast becoming the start of a musical journey.
“It’s also gratifying and somewhat humbling to realise that every 20 minutes, someone in the world is picking up a pBone for the very first time.”
Innovation 50, which is sponsored by Mills & Reeve in conjunction with Business Desk Midlands, reviewed businesses of all sizes ranging from Jaguar Land Rover to a social enterprise making macaroons.
Commenting on the breadth of submissions, Graham Nichol of Enterprise Advisory, KPMG, said: “When people think of innovation they generally think of technology companies, but what the Innovation 50 proves is that innovation is about rethinking business models and technology is merely an enabler.”
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Warwick Music have also recently put together a very uplifting video about the power of music. It’s a great watch: https://www.facebook.com/pBoneOfficial/videos/1645306665540546/