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This article is about the American firm. Conn-Selmer_sentence_0

For the French firm, see Henri Selmer Paris. Conn-Selmer_sentence_1


Conn-Selmer, Inc.Conn-Selmer_table_caption_0
TypeConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_0_0 SubsidiaryConn-Selmer_cell_0_0_1
IndustryConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_1_0 Musical instrumentsConn-Selmer_cell_0_1_1
HeadquartersConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_2_0 Elkhart, Indiana, United StatesConn-Selmer_cell_0_2_1
Number of locationsConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_3_0 Around 5 facilities (2011)Conn-Selmer_cell_0_3_1
Area servedConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_4_0 WorldwideConn-Selmer_cell_0_4_1
Key peopleConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_5_0 John Stoner, Jr.

President (since 2002)Conn-Selmer_cell_0_5_1

ProductsConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_6_0 Brasswinds, percussion and string instrumentsConn-Selmer_cell_0_6_1
BrandsConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_7_0 ListConn-Selmer_cell_0_7_1
ParentConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_8_0 Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc.Conn-Selmer_cell_0_8_1
WebsiteConn-Selmer_header_cell_0_9_0 Conn-Selmer_cell_0_9_1

Conn-Selmer, Inc. is an American manufacturer of musical instruments for concert bands, marching bands and orchestras. Conn-Selmer_sentence_2

It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments and was formed in 2003 by combining the Steinway properties The Selmer Company and United Musical Instruments. Conn-Selmer_sentence_3

The company produces a large variety of instruments itself and through its brands. Conn-Selmer_sentence_4

History Conn-Selmer_section_0

Origins Conn-Selmer_section_1

In the late nineteenth century, brothers Alexandre and Henri Selmer graduated from the Paris Conservatory as clarinetists. Conn-Selmer_sentence_5

They were the great-grandchildren of French military drum major Johannes Jacobus Zelmer, grandchildren of Jean-Jacques Selmer, the Army Chief of Music, and two of 16 children in this musical family. Conn-Selmer_sentence_6

At the time, musical instruments and accessories were primarily hand made, and professional musicians found it necessary to acquire skills allowing them to make their own accessories and repair and modify their own instruments. Conn-Selmer_sentence_7

Establishing Henri Selmer & Cie. in 1885, Henri began making clarinet reeds and mouthpieces. Conn-Selmer_sentence_8

In 1898 Selmer opened a store and repair shop in Paris and started producing clarinets. Conn-Selmer_sentence_9

Henri Selmer's brother Alexandre joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra that same year. Conn-Selmer_sentence_10

In 1904, Selmer clarinets were presented at the Saint Louis (USA) World's Fair, winning a Gold Medal, and Alexandre Selmer was First Clarinetist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Conn-Selmer_sentence_11

Alexandre established himself in New York in 1909, opening a shop that sold Selmer clarinets and mouthpieces. Conn-Selmer_sentence_12

The H&A Selmer (USA) Company grew out of that retail operation. Conn-Selmer_sentence_13

The H&A Selmer (USA) Company Conn-Selmer_section_2

In 1910, Alexandre returned to France and the H&A Selmer store was managed by George Bundy. Conn-Selmer_sentence_14

The store expanded its product line, selling "Selmer" branded wind instruments and mouthpieces from manufacturers in the US in addition to Selmer (Paris) products. Conn-Selmer_sentence_15

In 1923, the H&A Selmer Company was incorporated to expand its retail operations. Conn-Selmer_sentence_16

A 49% share was sold to C. Conn-Selmer_sentence_17 G. Conn Ltd while Selmer (Paris) retained a minority interest. Conn-Selmer_sentence_18

In 1927 Bundy gained full ownership, establishing independence of the company. Conn-Selmer_sentence_19

H&A Selmer (USA) remained the sole importer of Selmer (Paris) products, including saxophones and brasswinds once exports of such instruments to the USA commenced. Conn-Selmer_sentence_20

In 1936 Selmer changed its distribution strategy, abandoning most retail and becoming a wholesaler of instruments and supplies. Conn-Selmer_sentence_21

Selmer went on to establish itself as a leading distributor of student-grade instruments under its Artley and Bundy brands. Conn-Selmer_sentence_22

In 1939 Selmer financed the startup Artley Flute Company of Elkhart Indiana, which provided flutes, and later clarinets, exclusively to Selmer until 1953. Conn-Selmer_sentence_23

In response to the unavailability of Selmer (Paris) instruments after the German defeat of France in 1940, Selmer sought alternate sources for wind instruments and distributed them under their new student-line Bundy and intermediate Signet brands. Conn-Selmer_sentence_24

In 1950 George Bundy retired and sold his shares to partners Joseph M. Grolimund, Jack Feddersen, Milt Broadhead, and Charles Bickel. Conn-Selmer_sentence_25

Starting in 1952, the Selmer Artist program offered special deals for musicians who agreed to perform and record exclusively with Selmer (Paris) instruments, boosting the reputation of Selmer (Paris) instruments among aspiring professionals. Conn-Selmer_sentence_26

In 1958 Selmer acquired the Harry Pedler and Sons brasswind plant in Elkhart, starting in-house production of Bundy student-line brasswinds. Conn-Selmer_sentence_27

In 1961 Selmer acquired the brasswind manufacturer Vincent Bach Corporation. Conn-Selmer_sentence_28

Selmer moved production from Bach's Mount Vernon, New York facility to Elkhart in 1965 while retaining the premium line Bach Stradivarius. Conn-Selmer_sentence_29

The services of Mr. Vincent Bach were retained for design of student-line brasswinds. Conn-Selmer_sentence_30

In 1963 Selmer acquired ownership of its main supplier of student saxophones, the Buescher Band Instrument Company. Conn-Selmer_sentence_31

Selmer continued distributing identical Bundy and Buescher instruments until it discontinued the Buescher name in 1983. Conn-Selmer_sentence_32

In 1965 Selmer acquired the rights to the Brilhart line of woodwind mouthpieces, with production contracted to the Runyon Company, and in 1966 it acquired the Lesher Woodwind Company, a manufacturer of oboes and bassoons. Conn-Selmer_sentence_33

In 1970 Selmer acquired additional production facilities from C.G. Conn-Selmer_sentence_34

Conn, who were divesting their Elkhart, Indiana operations. Conn-Selmer_sentence_35

In 1977 Selmer acquired the stringed instrument maker Glaesel. Conn-Selmer_sentence_36

Selmer acquired the Ludwig Drum Company in 1981. Conn-Selmer_sentence_37

The era of H&A Selmer as an independent company ended in 1970, with its purchase by the British electronics firm Magnavox. Conn-Selmer_sentence_38

It was sold to Philips Electronics in 1975, then to the investment firm Integrated Resources in 1989. Conn-Selmer_sentence_39

With the 1993 bankruptcy of Integrated Resources, Selmer was sold to the investment firm and reorganized as Selmer Industries, Inc., with The Selmer Company name used for its instrument manufacturing operations. Conn-Selmer_sentence_40

Recent history Conn-Selmer_section_3

With the backing of Kirkland Messina, Selmer Industries acquired the Steinway Musical Properties company, the parent company of piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons, in 1995 and changed their own name to Steinway Musical Instruments. Conn-Selmer_sentence_41

The domestically-produced Bundy brand was discontinued shortly afterward, replaced with student wind instruments sourced from Asia and sold as Selmer (USA) woodwinds and Bach brasswinds. Conn-Selmer_sentence_42

In 2000 Steinway acquired United Musical Instruments (owners of Artley, Armstrong, Benge, C.G. Conn-Selmer_sentence_43 Conn, King, Scherl & Roth) then merged it with The Selmer Company to form Conn-Selmer in 2003. Conn-Selmer_sentence_44

Some products were dropped to minimize overlap between Selmer and former UMI products. Conn-Selmer_sentence_45

In 2004 Conn-Selmer acquired the Leblanc Company, gaining their exclusive distribution rights for Yanagisawa saxophones in the US and Canada. Conn-Selmer_sentence_46

Conn-Selmer kept Leblanc in production of clarinets but ended their brasswind production in 2007, discontinuing their Martin brand and moving production of their Holton brand to Elkhart, Indiana. Conn-Selmer_sentence_47

Conn-Selmer retains the North American importation and distribution rights for Selmer (Paris) and Yanagisawa wind instruments formerly held by H&A Selmer and Leblanc, respectively. Conn-Selmer_sentence_48

Conn-Selmer is the largest manufacturer of band and orchestral instruments in the United States. Conn-Selmer_sentence_49

Now having extensive manufacturing in China, it manufactures instruments in approximately five facilities since 2002. Conn-Selmer_sentence_50

It has been heavily involved in outsourcing manufacturing of brands formerly associated with American manufacturers, including Ludwig drums, Glaesel, Scherl & Roth, and Wm. Conn-Selmer_sentence_51

Lewis and Sons stringed instruments to China and Selmer (USA) wind instruments to various Asian sources. Conn-Selmer_sentence_52

The employees at the Vincent Bach facility in Elkhart, Indiana represented by United Auto Workers Local 364, struck on April 1, 2006, and as of July 30, 2009, the union was decertified. Conn-Selmer_sentence_53

Out of 230 workers that went out on strike approximately 70 returned with the remaining workers having been subject to recall until July 30, 2010. Conn-Selmer_sentence_54

In 2006 calls were made for the American Federation of Musicians to boycott the entire Steinway-Conn-Selmer instrument company due to its permanently replacing union workers at its manufacturing facilities. Conn-Selmer_sentence_55

The employees represented by UAW Local 2359 at the Eastlake Ohio Conn-Selmer manufacturing plant called a strike on July 26, 2011, after working without a contract since February 2011, and settled with the company on October 21, 2011. Conn-Selmer_sentence_56

In 2013 the Paulson & Co.. Conn-Selmer_sentence_57

investment firm acquired Steinway Musical Instruments. Conn-Selmer_sentence_58


Products Conn-Selmer_section_4

Current products Conn-Selmer_section_5


Discontinued products Conn-Selmer_section_6


  • Avanti (flutes)Conn-Selmer_item_2_17
  • Artley (clarinets, flutes)Conn-Selmer_item_2_18
  • Benge (trumpets, piccolo trumpets, trombones)Conn-Selmer_item_2_19
  • Buescher (saxophones, trumpets...)Conn-Selmer_item_2_20
  • Cleveland (brass instruments)Conn-Selmer_item_2_21
  • Emerson (flutes, piccolos)Conn-Selmer_item_2_22
  • Galway Spirit Flutes (flutes)Conn-Selmer_item_2_23
    • Hermann BeyerConn-Selmer_item_2_24
    • Otto BrucknerConn-Selmer_item_2_25
  • King (saxophones)Conn-Selmer_item_2_26
  • Martin (trumpets and trombones)Conn-Selmer_item_2_27
  • Noblet (clarinets)Conn-Selmer_item_2_28
  • Vito (student brasswinds and woodwinds)Conn-Selmer_item_2_29

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