The roots of Leblanc clarinets date back to 1750 and the Court of Louis XV. Until 1904, the France-based company was operated by the Noblet family. With no heir, however, the last member of the family sold the company to Georges Leblanc. The Leblanc family was known for using acoustic research in the design of their clarinets. In 1921, Leblanc began selling its clarinets in the United States.
Enter trumpet player, Vito Pascucci.
Born in Kenosha, Wis., Vito became fascinated with instrument repair. As a boy, Vito would finish his trumpet lesson and then travel to a music store to watch repairmen work on musical instruments. Soon, Vito was repairing instruments at the music store owned by his brother. In 1943, during the height of World War II, Vito was drafted into the U.S. Army and sought a spot in the military band. Competition from symphony trumpet players kept Vito from becoming an Army musician, but he secured a spot as the instrument repairman for the group. Later, he also worked as the repairman for Glenn Miller’s Army band. Vito and Miller became friends and made plans to open a string of music stores after the war. Those plans were dashed when Miller’s plane disappeared over the English Channel in December, 1944. Vito was crushed at the loss of his friend, but decided to continue with their music store idea. Later, he traveled throughout France, visiting musical instrument manufacturers, including the Leblanc family. Members of the Leblanc family took an immediate liking to Vito and asked him to take over U.S. distribution of their professional level clarinets once the war ended.
In 1946, Leblanc USA opened in Kenosha, Vito’s hometown. Eventually, Leblanc added a student line of instruments. As demand for the instruments grew, Leblanc USA began manufacturing a line of plastic clarinets aimed at the growing student market.
Chesbro stocks several of Leblanc’s Vito student model clarinets, as well as the company’s Bliss model intermediate clarinet. For those who wish to try Leblanc’s professional level instruments, you only need ask. We would be happy to get one or more for you on approval.