In the late 1800s, clarinetists Henri and Alexandre Selmer graduated from the Paris Conservatory. In those days, there were no mass produced reeds or other musical instrument accessories. Henri Selmer, however, quickly gained a reputation for quality reeds and mouthpieces he was making by hand, which led him to open a shop in Paris.
Before long, he also was making clarinets.
In the meantime, Alexandre Selmer moved to the United States, where he played principal clarinet in the Boston and Cincinnati symphony orchestras, as well as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Eventually, Alexandre opened a shop in New York to sell his brother’s clarinets. In 1918, he returned to Paris to assist with the family’s burgeoning musical instrument business, Selmer Paris.
The U.S. business was left in the care of employee, George Bundy. Bundy expanded retail and distribution aspects of the business, eventually buying it in 1927. Thus, Selmer (USA) was born. In 2002, Selmer merged with a company called United Musical Instruments which included other instrument brands, such as C G Conn, to form Conn-Selmer. Today, Selmer (USA) concentrates on the student and intermediate level market for clarinets and flutes. Every Conn-Selmer instrument is play tested before it leaves the factory.
The Conn-Selmer Company and its retail partner, Chesbro Music Company, are dedicated to making every person’s musical experience the best it can absolutely be.