Simone Mantia (1873-1951) was one of the most important euphonium virtuosi in the history of the instrument. Mantia was truly an inspiring artist and a major contributor to the advancement of the instrument, and through his teaching and writing of instructional materials, such as this publication, Mantia was able to pass on his knowledge to future generations. Born on February 6, 1873 in Palermo, Italy, Mantia began playing the alto horn at age 9. Three years later, he received instruction on the euphonium and also began playing valve trombone. His talent was obvious from an early age and soon led to an illustrious career. In 1890, the Mantia family immigrated to New York City where he soon began playing professionally in orchestras on trombone and in bands on both trombone and euphonium. His euphonium took him to the Jules Levy and Schneider Bands, and his trombone earned him a position in the Grand Opera House in Brooklyn. According to his biography found in Arban’s Famous Method for Slide and Valve Trombone and Baritone, edited by Charles L. Randall and Mantia, when the necessity arose in [the Opera House] orchestra to replace the valve with the slide trombone, [Mantia] was given one week’s time to learn this instrument or relinquish his position. Not having the financial means to get lessons on the slide trombone, Mantia learned this new instrument on his own in just five days and was able to keep his position! Mantia finally burst onto the international music scene in 1896, when he joined John Philip Sousa's Band as the euphonium soloist, and by 1900 had become known as the best euphonium player in the world when he toured Europe with the Band.