Trombones

Mike Olsen has worked in the very shop his grandfather established right after World War II to make parts for band instrument makers in and around his hometown of Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  At one point, after Mike joined the company full time after high school, three generations were working together. ...
Phil Ranelin stood in line at school to pick an instrument for band. He really wanted the saxophone but when he got to the head of the line all the saxophones were gone and he was given a trombone. It was not his first choice, but he grew to love the instrument and in fact made it his own over the...
Ed Rizzuto was surrounded by music his entire life. As a young boy he started playing trombone, which he continued throughout high school and into his military service in the early 1950s. After teaching orchestra as a school band director for several years, Ed joined the music industry as a...
George Roberts is known in the jazz world for his recording of “Stella By Starlight” with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, which featured George on bass trombone. He is known among music instrument makers as Mr. Bass Trombone, who helped make a market for the instrument beginning in the late 1940s....
Richard Schiemer grew up in Brighton, Pennsylvania and often went down to Brighton Music Center for supplies and lessons.  Little did he know at the time that one day, after college, he would work for the store and years later he would own the store along with a friend and fellow employee. ...
Larry Seaver spent decades designing, engineering and producing parts, instruments and tools for band and orchestras. The key to his success was simple, Larry was an engineer’s engineer! He was always thinking about ways to better a process or improve an instrument.  Over his career in the music...
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...
John P. Smith was one of thousands of young musicians who toured the country on the buses, cars, and trains that carried the territory bands of the swing era from high school sock hops to hotel ballrooms. John’s trombone skills made him a sought-after musician who worked with several of the name...
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...
Paul Tanner joined Glenn Miller's newly formed band in 1938 and recorded all of the band's hits including "In the Mood" and "String of Pearls."  He often said "Everything the Glenn Miller Orchestra did from 1938-1942, I did."  When Glenn signed on to lead the military band during the war, the...

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