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Conn-Selmer, Inc. is an American manufacturer of musical instruments for concert bands, marching bands and orchestras. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments and was formed after Steinway bought musical instrument manufacturers The Selmer Company and C.G. Conn. In the late Nineteenth Century, brothers Alexandre and Henri Selmer graduated from the Paris Conservatory as clarinetists. 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. 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. Establishing Henri Selmer & Cie. in 1885, Henri began making clarinet reeds and expanded into mouthpieces. and clarinets by 1898. By 1900 Henri had gained a reputation for his reeds and mouthpieces and he opened a store and repair shop in Paris. In 1904, Selmer clarinets were presented at the Saint Louis (USA) Worlds Fair, winning a Gold Medal, and Henri Selmers brother Alexandre was First Clarinetist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Alexandre Selmer established himself in New York the following year, opening a shop that sold Selmer clarinets and mouthpieces. The H&A Selmer (USA) Company grew out of that retail operation. In 1910, Alexandre returned to France and the H&A Selmer store was managed by George Bundy. The company expanded its product line, selling "Selmer" branded wind instruments and mouthpieces from manufacturers in the USA in addition to Selmer (Paris) clarinets. In 1923, the H&A Selmer Company was incorporated to expand into a retail chain and a 49% share sold to C. G. Conn Ltd. In 1927 Bundy gained full ownership, establishing independence of Selmer (USA) from Selmer (Paris). It remained the sole importer of Selmer (Paris) products, including saxophones and brass instruments once exports of such instruments to the USA commenced. Selmer (USA) also went on to establish itself as a leading distributor of student-grade instruments under its "Bundy" brand. In 1963 it acquired ownership of its main supplier of student saxophones, the Buescher Band Instrument Company. Selmer continued distributing instruments under both the Bundy and Buescher brands until it discontinued the Buescher brand around 1983.

Snapshot

Founded: 1915
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