Brass Instruments

Willie Smith was trained on instrument repairs on the plant floor of the Conn-Selmer factory in Elkhart over 30 years ago.  He began working in the music industry with the Vincent Bach Company in the 1970s and remained with the company when it was sold to Selmer and again in the early 2000s when it...
Jim Stella began playing the trumpet in the fourth grade and continued to play throughout college and went to instrument repair school right after school before landing a job in manufacturing.  He began working for Leblanc in the Martin Band Instrument factory and soon thereafter became plant...
John Stoner came into the music products industry as an outsider when he joined the Conn-Selmer team in the early 2000s. As a father of a band student, he took part in fundraising and supporting his daughter's musical education while, at the same time, understanding the importance of music in a...
Dave Surber’s father was a United States Navy musician who worked for the Leblanc Company after he retired from the navy.  When Dave was looking for a job his father found one for him in the buffing room at Leblanc.  Dave moved into polishing clarinet keys while his father worked with artist...
Ronnie Tennant first began playing cornet when he was nine years old. His father joined a brass band when he was about the same age and, in 1952, his father joined the Army Band. Ronnie was deeply involved with brass bands. He played many of the instruments in the band with a special focus on the...
Michael Thomas grew up in Los Angles where he took to music at an early age.  He formed a swing band and became a professional musician.  Along the way he began making his own valve oil and gave it away to friends for years before he decided he should form a company to sell the product and to...
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...
Dennis Ward takes great pride in the work he does making musical instruments!  He began working in the music industry with Vincent Bach in the 1970s and remained with the company in the early 2000s when it merged to become Conn-Selmer.  In recent years Dennis manages the machines which make parts...
Roberto Weingrill Jr. spoke during his Oral History interview about the early days of his family’s business and the many changes that have occurred over the years. His great-grandfather moved to Brazil in the 1890s to establish his own instrument company. Weril Instruments was established just a...
John Welch is the president of Sofia Violins, which is an American-made instrument company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. John’s incredible life in music began as a child when he was classically trained on the piano. He played jazz trombone during the Bebop era in New York. In fact, he has a...

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