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Slingerland Timpani Parts & Pieces Request for Proposals

Fred Gretsch Enterprises
P.O. Box 2468
Savannah, GA 31402-2468 

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Lot of Vintage Slingerland Timpani Parts & Pieces  
for Purchase or Educational/Charitable Program

OPPORTUNITY:  Fred Gretsch Enterprises (FGE) is making available a significant and rare lot of vintage Slingerland timpani parts and pieces that include 9 copper bowls and 2 white fiberglass bowls with frames plus a large assortment of parts including 223 heads, bases, pedal parts, pull rods and more. The timpani lot will be conveyed in its entirety and FGE is seeking (1) financial offers from individuals or for-profit businesses to purchase the timpani lot, or (2) proposals from non-profit organizations interesting in acquiring the timpani lot in exchange for $1 and an achievable plan utilizing the timpani parts and pieces to benefit an educational or charitable program or project.



Fred Gretsch Enterprises (FGE) seeks to identify a purchaser or a non-profit organization benefitting an educational/charitable enterprise to take possession of a significant and rare lot of vintage Slingerland timpani parts and pieces. Given the size and historical nature of the timpani lot, FGE will consider either of the following:

  • An offer to purchase the lot of timpani parts and pieces in its entirety. The purchaser accepts full responsibility for the pick up, loading and transport of the full timpani inventory from the Gretsch warehouse in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
  • A proposal to facilitate use of the timpani lot in an instrument-making and/or repair enterprise to benefit an educational or charitable organization. The proposer accepts full responsibility for the pick up, loading and transport of the lot in its entirety from the Gretsch warehouse in Ridgeland, South Carolina.


Timpani, also referred to as kettledrums, can be traced back to military drums of 13th century Europe, and have been staples of the symphony orchestra since the 17th century. Timpani are considered pitched percussion instruments because by means of a tuning mechanism—most commonly a pedal—the tightness of the drumheads, which are stretched over a kettle-shaped base, can be adjusted to produce the pitch required. Today, timpani are primarily used in orchestras, marching bands and concert bands, though bands from the Beatles to The Beach Boys have experimented with the unique instruments in their recordings.

Slingerland History Overview

Founded in 1912 by Henry H. Slingerland and his wife Noni, the Slingerland Drum Company produced ukuleles, banjos and guitars until manufacturing its first drum kit in 1928. Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich played Slingerlands, boosting its early recognition among jazz—and later rock—drummers. Though the brand was well established and respected, the Slingerland family sold the company in 1970.

Gretsch History Overview and Slingerland Purchase

Four decades after it was founded in Brooklyn by German emigrant Friedrich Gretsch in 1883, Gretsch rose to prominence as the “largest musical instruments manufacturer in the United States.” The company continued to grow and flourish through the 50s and 60s with the popularity of folk, jazz, country and the emergence of rock and roll. In 1967, however, Gretsch was sold to The Baldwin Piano Company.

Fred W. Gretsch, a young, fourth generation family member who’d been working in the Gretsch engineering department at the time of the sale, stayed on with the company under Baldwin’s ownership for four years. He then started his own Fred Gretsch Enterprises in Chicago supplying instruments to major retailers including JCPenney, Sears Roebuck and Company, and Montgomery Ward.

In 1979, Fred Gretsch Enterprises moved operations to a factory in Ridgeland, South Carolina and that same year, Dinah Gretsch joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Together Dinah and Fred grew the company at a steady pace until 1984, when Baldwin entered bankruptcy proceedings. The Gretsches were able purchase the Gretsch name and assets back and though Baldwin had ceased making Gretsch guitars by then, the Gretsch drum-making enterprise was moved to the Ridgeland, S.C. factory.

In 1986, the Gretsches also purchased Slingerland, which had changed ownership hands several times since its original sale in 1970.

Slingerland drums were manufactured at the Gretsch factory in Ridgeland for a brief period and then in 1994, the Gretsches sold their interest in Slingerland to Gibson. The Gretsches did, however, retain certain assets including timpani parts and pieces that had been manufactured by Slingerland in the 1970s. Slingerland had introduced its first timpani in 1934 and continued to introduce innovative design improvements over the next 45 years of production.

The lot of Slingerland timpani parts and pieces featured in this RFP include 9 copper bowls and 2 white fiberglass bowls with frames plus a large assortment of parts including 223 heads, bases, pedal parts, pull rods and more. (Photos below).


Bidder Qualifications:

Financial offers will be accepted from individuals or businesses. Organizations submitting a proposal to benefit an educational/charitable enterprise must be a non-profit 501(c)3.

Bidder Submittal:

Bids will be accepted exclusively by surface mail. Bids must be received by 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 1, 2021 to be considered. Bids must be submitted by either USPS, UPS or FedEx. No hand delivered bids will be accepted.

Bids submitted by USPS should be addressed to:
Gretsch Timpani RFP
P. O. Box  2468
Savannah, GA 31402

Bids submitted by UPS or FedEx should be addressed to:
Gretsch Timpani RFP
200 Governor Treutlen Drive, Suite 25
Pooler, GA 31322

Financial Offers:

Bidders should provide best and final offer for the purchase of the lot of Slingerland timpani parts and pieces in its entirety as described herein. Best and final offer must be received according to the Bidder Submittal instructions above.

Non-profit Organization Proposals:

Submissions from non-profit organizations should include the following:

  • Non-profit organization/bidder’s mission statement
  • Brief narrative outlining non-profit history and prior achievements that would indicate the organization’s capacity to implement proposal
  • Brief narrative outlining proposed scope of project, how it anticipates using the lot of Slingerland timpani parts and pieces and how the project will benefit an educational or charitable enterprise.
  • Copy of IRS non-profit status determination letter

Basis for Award:

A Gretsch executive committee led by Fred W. Gretsch will review each submission. Financial offers and educational/charitable enterprise proposals will be considered and evaluated to identify an offer or proposal that best aligns with the priorities of Fred Gretsch Enterprises and the Gretsch Family’s mission to enrich people’s lives through participation in making music. The committee reserves the right to interview bidders and clarify information provided in the formally submitted offer or proposal. The committee further reserves the right to reject any and all bids.

Billing and Payment:

Should a financial offer be selected, the bidder will be notified of the selection and an invoice provided. A certified check will be required as payment within ten days of bidder receipt of invoice from Fred Gretsch Enterprises. Should a proposal benefitting an educational or charitable enterprise be selected, an invoice and memorandum of agreement between Fred Gretsch Enterprises and the non-profit organization stating the terms as outlined in the bidder submission will be provided. An executed copy and $1 fee due will be due back within 30 days.

  • August 27, 2021   Request for Proposal Published
  • October 1, 2021 Offers or Proposals Due
  • October 15, 2021  Selection Notification to Finalists
  • October 29, 2021  Notification of Successful Bid or Proposal


Questions should be received by Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, and all Questions and Answers will be posted by 5 p.m. EDT on Sept. 15, 2021 at Please direct questions to:

RFP Coordinator
Lisa Love Henderson