Research Story: The Grand Reprise - Notre Dame helps instrument manufacturer bridge legacy and future

Author: Barbara Villarosa

Conn Selmer Mcf 1600
Conn Selmer Mcf 1600

Starting with a fresh idea and limited time, musical instrument giant ConnSelmer (Elkhart, Indiana) began its journey to create one of the most well-known, innovative and forward-thinking sound manufacturers in the country. Recounting its roots from the 1870s to its current-day partnerships with Notre Dame's iNDustry Labs and ND Energy's Materials Characterization Facility (MCF), the following story demonstrates the important link between industry and Notre Dame and how these relationships strengthen research and economic development. 

The Grand Reprise
Notre Dame helps instrument manufacturer bridge legacy and future
Originally published in ND Stories on June 1, 2022

Conn Selmer Mcf Computer 800
MCF Role

The MCF team played a significant role in conducting the forensic analysis as described in the above story. They first performed an audit and then classified the properties of vintage trumpets to compare them with the trumpets made by ConnSelmer today. Using spectrography and other processes, they identified slight deviations in everything from thickness to grain structure to help ConnSelmer impart some of the desired characteristics of the vintage instrument into its modern counterparts. This work will also be used to find future ways for manufacturing to become more resilient.


The MCF team members are Subhash L. Shinde, Associate Director, who provided the fundamental materials science insights and developed the overall analytical approach with the team; Ian V. Lightcap, Research and Facilities Program Director, who leveraged the complementary set of analytical instruments in the MCF to carry out the analytical investigations; Anna Matzner, Laboratory Specialist, who conducted the XRD measurements; and Karl Cronberger, Electron Microprobe Technician, who did the chemical analyses on the microprobe and imaging on the SEM. 

Visit the team for questions and more information about the MCF.

Originally published by Barbara Villarosa at on June 06, 2022.