Elkhart IN

Carol Holtz was hired by the Martin Band Instrument Company in Elkhart during World War II.  She has many fond memories of working for the company and the family feeling it had.  Speaking of family, Carol married the son of the president, Frederick Holtz (1885-1965) and enjoyed being a part of the...
Ken Ingram served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Selmer Company in Elkhart, Indiana. He enjoyed working with the dealers around the country and the staff at Selmer, which he felt were the best in the business. Ken worked for Selmer from l952 until 1974 when he became Vice...
Merle Johnson was a past president of the famous EK Blessing Company in Elkhart, Indiana. Emil Karl Blessing opened a small brasswind valve company in 1906 and soon expanded his products to include cornets and trumpets. Over the years the company grew to include Mr. Blessing’s sons, who played a...
Robert Johnson served as a sales manager for Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) when the company first acquired the noted violinmakers William Lewis & Son. As a salesman, he worked closely with Harry Benson, who was also interviewed for the NAMM Oral History program thanks to Robert. William...
Leif Juhl had quite a life in music! As a boy, he picked up a trumpet – the instrument he played past his 100th birthday.  Leif was the ad man for Selmer before forming the Juhl Ad Agency in Elkhart, Indiana. Over the years, he worked for many instrument companies and even helped design some...
Bob Kane was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana, known as the band instrument capitol of the world. He played cornet in school and in fact it was his high school band director who told Bob of an opening at Buescher Band Instrument Company. Bob began working in the customer service department but...
Ernie Kenaga was hired by Charlie Bickel at the Selmer Company following the end of his military service during World War II. At the time, 1946, Selmer had 80 employees including factory and office workers. Ernie began his career in the purchasing department and filled several positions before...
Lorna Kirchner has worked for Selmer, now Conn-Selmer, in Elkhart for over 40 years.  She recalls the days before the CNC machines came into the factory, when all of the work was done by hand.  Her attention to details and skills at soldering continue to be used in making musical instruments and...
Tom Lacy began working for Armstrong flutes right out of high school in 1971 in the very plant he is working some 40 years later for the Conn-Selmer Company in Elkhart, Indiana.  Along the way, Tom built his own flutes for several years before joining UMI and later Conn-Selmer.  During his long...
Jack Linton followed in the footsteps of his father who formed the famed Linton oboes brand of musical instruments. The instruments have been handcrafted in Elkhart, Indiana, since the 1930s. The company gained a well-respected reputation for their professional series, which have been played by the...

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