Vincent Bach: Legend in Brass

Vincent Schrotenbach was born near Vienna in 1890.  He began his musical career as a violinist, but became captivated by the trumpet and its majestic sound. Vincent hoped to become a musician, but his family opposed the idea.  Eventually, he graduated from university with a degree in engineering. After completing compulsory military service, Vincent went to work for an elevator manufacturing company. It was a job with plenty of ups and downs. Later, Vincent was called to serve a second military term, this time as a musician with the Austrian Marine Band. His mind was made up; he would not return to the elevator company. Instead, against his family’s wishes, Vincent decided to pursue a career in music.

Vincent might never have launched his own line of top-quality instruments had it not been for the mistakes of a well-meaning repairman. Beginning in 1914, Bach performed with a number of professional musical groups in the United States, including the Boston Symphony and New York Metropolitan Opera. While on tour in Philadelphia, his cornet mouthpiece was destroyed by a repairman trying to rework it. Vincent never could find a good replacement mouthpiece. Upon returning to New York, Vincent began designing and building his own mouthpieces in the back of Alexandre Selmer’s music store. Vincent’s mouthpieces were of such high quality that other trumpet players soon were seeking them out. In 1924, Vincent began manufacturing trumpets and cornets, in addition to his own line of mouthpieces.  Four years later, after moving to a larger facility, he began making trombones as well.

In 1961, at the age of 71, Vincent Bach sold his company to Selmer. Today, the Selmer factory in Elkhart, Indiana, continues in the tradition of Vincent Bach – turning out the same high-quality brass instruments for which Bach became known. The company still uses Vincent’s original designs and blueprints. Conn-Selmer, the parent company of Vincent Bach, also is committed to providing its dealers and musician customers the best service possible.

Today, Chesbro Music Company is proud to carry a full line of Bach’s high-quality brass instruments. We stock an assortment of student-level Bach instruments, as well as step-up and professional-level models. If you can’t find a particular model in stock, just ask. Chesbro is happy to request it for you on a 30-day approval program.