University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Johnson, Mike (ed.) / Leblanc Bell : A newsletter for music retailers, educators, employees and friends of G. Leblanc Corporation
(May 6, 1996)

50 years,   pp. 4-11


Page 10

continued from page 9
he knows that the youngster brought
up with music is on the right road. As
a healthy outlet for self-expression, and
with its emphasis on teamwork and
self-discipline, musical study can steer
a child into a richer and happier life.
Industry-wide influence. Pascucci
has had a strong influence on the
present-day concert band. When G.
Leblanc Corporation was founded,
most school bands had given up using
the alto clarinet because of the poor
playing qualities of the old instruments
and the lack of suitable mouthpieces,
reeds and repair parts. Fluegelhorns
were also nearly extinct.
Twenty-five years ago, Lion Leblanc
brought to Kenosha and demonstrated
his newly developed octo-contra-alto
clarinet, among the largest, lowest mem-
bers of the clarinet family he pioneered
MI1   THE LEBLANC BELL SPRING/SUMHER 1996
Convinced of the value and impor-
tance of these beautiful instruments,
G. Leblanc Corporation conducted a
campaign to popularize its new im-
proved models of the alto clarinet and
fluegelhorn and to promote the use of
these instruments in the band. The
present popularity of both instruments
may be traced in large part to Vito's
efforts, which are considered by many
as having saved these instruments from
extinction in this country.
The idea of the "balanced clarinet
choir," both as a separate group and
as the basic tonal center of the concert
band, was also championed by Vito.
Largely because of his efforts through
the sponsorship of clinics, commissions
of new music, and publishing of ar-
ticles and books on the subject, a great
movement took place among band di-
rectors, composers and arrangers to
base the band's instrumentation and
repertoire on the concept of the bal-
anced clarinet choir.
Without G. Leblanc Corporation's
manufacture of the harmony members
of an affordable clarinet family that
could be easily played by students,
there could have been no balanced
clarinet choir movement. There is no
question that Vito's efforts to improve
their playability helped standardize the
use of the Bb contrabass clarinet, the
Eb contra-alto clarinet, the bass and
the alto clarinets, the basset horn and
the Eb soprano clarinets in the con-
cert band of today.
Vito was the first head of a major in-
strument manufacturing company to
employ full-time educators in a depart-
ment for education within the firm. It
was first headed in 1950 by E.C.
Moore, then in 1957by Lucien Cailliet,
former bass clarinetist of the Phila-
delphia Orchestra under Leopold
Stokowski and a pioneer composer for
the complete clarinet choir. In 1962,
the esteemed educator James Neilson
took over this post, which he held un-
til his death in 1985.
Under Vito's leadership, Leblanc was
among the first to develop a marketing
campaign based on the importance of
music education to the child as opposed
to campaigns simply intended to sell
instruments. His program reflected a
belief that parents do not only invest
in an instrument, but also invest in a
child's development when purchasing
the instrument.
Vito's innovative ideas regarding the
packaging of musical instruments and
accessories have literally given a new
Positively evolutionary!
Revolutionary change is rare in the
development of traditional instru-
ments, which have evolved over
centuries. G. Leblanc Corporation
has followed a course set by its
cofounder and chairman, Vito
Pascucci, pursuing constant refine-
ment and improvement. Consid-
ered individually, these advances
may seem small, but collectively-
over time-they have resulted in
much higher standards of instru-
ment design and manufacture,
benefiting students and profes-
sionals alike.
This principle is demonstrated
by one of Vito's more recent inno-
vations, which is stunningly simple
while totally effective. Dubbed
PRAG (for Positive Radial-Align-
ment Guide), it is a post-in-notch
device that teaches young clarinet-
ists to perfectly align the upper and
lower joints of their instruments.
PRAG is protected by U.S. Patent
No. 5,000,072.
look to the music industry. He deter-
mined not only that the player should
have an instrument perfect in every
respect, but that he should have a case
for it that would be as attractive and
durable as fine luggage.
He therefore contracted the
country's foremost luggage manufac-
turers to design and construct beauti-
ful cases in a wide variety of colors,
shapes and materials, eventually estab-
lishing Leblanc's own Case Company.
He has also pioneered the packaging
of music accessories in unique and prac-
tical point-of-purchase displays.
Vito is personally responsible for a
number of inventions designed to im-
prove musical instruments. He is con-
stantly seeking to improve the quality
of all musical instruments and, in par-
ticular, those intended for the begin-
ning player. He has always believed that
musical instruments for beginners
should be made so that they are easy


Go up to Top of Page