Band and Orchestra

Tommy Tompkins began working for CG Conn in Elkhart, Indiana right after high school.  He worked in a variety of positions within the company before his training and certification on waste water management.  Tommy, like so many of the factory workers at Conn-Selmer, enjoys working with his co-...
Helen Tozzi was hired to set up the accounting for a new music store that was opening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Progressive Music opened in 1947 and Helen was there on opening day. She recalled Ed Garbit, the famous band director and founder of Progressive Music, as a warm and understanding man...
John Trakas was hired by Ziggy Coyle to serve in the store's accounting department.  John grew in the company over the years as did the store, which had multiple locations throughout the Ohio area.  During his NAMM Oral History interview, John spoke about Ziggy's background and strengths as a band...
Jerry Trestman grew up in a musical home, in fact his older brother played saxophone for several of the big bands during the swing era.  Jerry served in the Korean War and was stationed in Japan where he conducted several Japanese bands and played in small groups.  Jerry continued to play...
Agness Tsao earned her college degree in banking and always had a love of music, singing in choirs from a young age. After college she began working for KHS Musical Instruments, which had a retail store in Taiwan and its manufacturing in the country as well. Agness was only the fourth employee to...
Lloyd Turner happily landed his first teaching job right out of college as band director for Madison Central High School in Jackson, Mississippi in 1966. The job cemented in Lloyd’s mind the thought that this was the career for him. He taught for over 20 years with stints working in local music...
Charles Urban knows horns! As the former president of American Plating, he has worked with all of the top brass instrument makers in perfecting the art of plating instruments. Chuck is also very proud to have been in the music products industry, having made many friends along the way. He is also...
Pete Valentino noticed that band instrument repairmen often had a difficult task in replacing worn pads on flutes and saxophones. He had burned his hands on many occasions and thought that there must be a better way. He soon made and marketed the Valentino Pad, a replacement product that later...
Bernard Van Doren is the grandson of the founder of Vandoren Paris, the world famous reed maker. His grandfather, Eugene, formed the company in 1905 based on his technique of making high quality reeds. His father, Robert, expanded the company to include other products and introduced the renowned...
Dennis Vaughn began working in the Selmer factory in Elkhart, Indiana in the early 1970s and stayed on when the company merged with Conn.  His first bench job was for Armstrong Flutes before it was bought out by Selmer.  He is well known for his special skills in the buffing room for Conn-Selmer, a...

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