More than a century ago, Vincent Bach needed to replace a defective mouthpiece on his instrument and started experimenting with new designs and processes.
Many of his hand drawings are now preserved in a factory on Industrial Parkway in Elkhart, where all Vincent Bach trumpets are now manufactured.
Some of the most talented musicians across the world order one-of-a-kind Bach instruments, and they all start with a single piece of stamped brass inside Conn-Selmer’s Bach plant.
Although more than 1,000 Bach mouthpieces are produced on a typical day at the Bach factory, there’s no assembly line.
“The people in our factory, we call them artisans, put their hands on instruments every day to turn metal into magic,” said Mike Kamphuis, managing director for Conn Selmer’s Division of Education. “That’s what creates the Bach sound that is sought by some of the top artists in the world.”
Bach discovered that the best-sounding bells are not a standard thickness, and that’s why automation plays very little role in today’s Bach manufacturing process. The artisans that create the horns create small variations in the thickness and the shape of the flare.
And that’s just one step in a total of 465 required to create a Vincent Bach trumpet. The final instrument is made up of 120 pieces and is assembled and tested two times to ensure it meets the Bach standard.
Although Bach trumpets are trusted by advanced students and professional musicians, Conn-Selmer is dedicated to providing all students access to the high-quality instruments.
Conn-Selmer has developed a Division of Education that seeks to provide resources and support to music educators worldwide. In addition to providing workshops and professional development for music educators, Conn-Selmer works with schools to put instruments in the hands of all students – even as budgets for school music programs dwindle.
“Music enhanced my life,” said Dr. Nola Jones, Director of Educational Programs for Conn Selmer. “It makes the human spirit better. It makes us more tolerant. It makes us more creative. We want to be sure that every child has the same opportunity to experience making music.”
Conn-Selmer, Inc., with a portfolio of brands, is the leading manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments for student, amateur, and professional use. With a tradition of innovation and superior musical performance, brands such as Vincent Bach, C.G. Conn, King, Holton, Selmer, Armstrong, Leblanc, Ludwig, Musser, and Scherl & Roth have earned a legacy of respect unparalleled by any other builders.
Conn-Selmer is also the North American distributor of Henri Selmer Paris woodwinds and the U.S. distributor of Yanagisawa saxophones. With a focus on quality craftsmanship, Conn-Selmer operates U.S. production facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, Eastlake, Ohio and Monroe, North Carolina. Through its educational outreach team, led by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, Conn-Selmer is the industry leader in providing support and advocacy tools specifically tailored to music education.
600 Industrial Parkway
Elkhart, IN 46516
“Music enhanced my life. It makes the human spirit better. It makes us more tolerant. It makes us more creative. We want to be sure that every child has the same opportunity to experience making music.”