This article is about the American firm. For the French firm, see Henri Selmer Paris.
Private (subsidiary of Paulson & Co.)
Industry Musical instruments
Headquarters Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Number of locations
Around 5 facilities (2011)
Area served
Key people
John Stoner, Jr.
President (since 2002)
Products Brasswinds
Parent Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc.
Divisions C.G. Conn
Scherl & Roth
Vincent Bach
Wm. Lewis & Son

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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1] In 1904, Selmer clarinets were presented at the Saint Louis (USA) World's Fair, winning a Gold Medal, and Henri Selmer's 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.

The H&A Selmer (USA) Company

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.

Recent history

Selmer acquired the Ludwig Drum Company in 1981.[2]

Selmer Industries acquired the Steinway Musical Properties company, the parent company of piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons, in 1995 and changed its name to Steinway Musical Instruments. In 2003 Steinway merged The Selmer Company with newly acquired United Musical Instruments (makers of Artley, Armstrong, Benge, C.G. Conn, King), to form Conn-Selmer.[3] In 2004 Conn-Selmer acquired the Leblanc Company, gaining their exclusive distribution rights for Yanagisawa saxophones in the USA and Canada. Conn-Selmer kept Leblanc in production of clarinets but ended their brasswind production in 2007, moving their Holton brand under the umbrella of the Vincent Bach Corporation. Conn-Selmer is the largest manufacturer of band and orchestral instruments in the United States. It manufactures instruments in approximately five facilities since 2002. It has been heavily involved in outsourcing manufacturing of brands formerly associated with American manufacturers, including Ludwig drums, Glaesel, Scherl & Roth, and Wm. Lewis and Sons stringed instruments to China and Selmer (USA) wind instruments to various Asian sources.

The employees at the Vincent Bach facility in Elkhart, Indiana represented by United Auto Workers Local 364, struck on April 1, 2006, and as of July 30, 2009, the union was decertified. Out of 230 workers that went out on strike approximately 70 returned with the remaining workers having been subject to recall until July 30, 2010.[4]

The employees represented by UAW Local 2359 at the Eastlake Ohio Conn-Selmer manufacturing plant called a strike on July 26, 2011, after working without a contract since February 2011,[5] and settled with the company on October 21, 2011.[6]

In 2013 the Paulson & Co.. investment firm acquired Steinway Musical Instruments.[7]


Current products

Discontinued products


  1. 1 2 3 Priestly, Brian, Bacon, tony anmd Trynka, Paul, Selmer (Paris), The Sax and Brass Book, Backbeat Books, 1998, p.100–113
  2. "Ludwig". Our Brands. Conn-Selmer, Inc. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  3. "Steinway & Sons". Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  4. "Elkhart Truth". 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  5. "Steinway & Sons" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  6. "Steinway & Sons" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-04-09.
  7. "Paulson & Co. Announces Completion of Acquisition of Steinway Musical Instruments".
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