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

Leon's too,   p. 3

[Contents] Inside highlights,   p. 3

Page 3

At Leblanc, a dynamic
future is rooted in a
tradition of innovation
by Leon Pascucci
President, G. Leblanc Corporation
Working side by side with one's
father for more than 20 years is no
doubt an increasingly rare occurrence,
and how fortunate it is for me to have
such a great teacher and boss in my
own father.
Sometimes I'm asked if it isn't
difficult. Sure it is, but then I've never
really worked for anyone else-or
wanted to. The satisfactions of work-
ing in a family business, the small
pleasures derived from working closely
with employees well known and the
ability to chart our own course-all
these advantages do indeed make our
company and our industry as a whole
very appealing.
My godfather, too, Lon Leblanc,
has been a strong inspiration, both
directly to me and indirectly through
my father, for many years. Vito has al-
ways spoken of Ion Leblanc in almost
reverential tones, but we have a most
irreverent photograph of Mr. Leblanc
playing a bass clarinet with his very
young godchild sticking his hand in
the bell, searching for the source of his
beautiful music.
What a treat it was to spend time
with Mr. Leblanc in his testing room
in France, surrounded by instrument
models showing innovations from the
past and improvements yet to be real-
ized in production-all springing from
his fertile imagination and unparal-
leled experience.
As we cast our sights to the next cen-
tury, Leblanc will continue to refine
its woodwind and brass instruments.
Computer technology in design, engi-
neering and production allows us a
flexibility and freedom that help us
bring new features and constant im-
provements much more quickly to the
Handcraft will always be an impor-
tant aspect of wind-instrument mak-
"A tradition of excellence, established by
my father over the last 50 years, now serves
as the bedrock of Leblanc's future."
ing, but we continue to follow the phi-
losophy set forth by Georges and Ieon
Leblanc: Invest in mechanization where
that is appropriate, but save for the
hand those artistic skills that machines
cannot duplicate.
Mechanization and research would
mean nothing without our strong fam-
ily of skilled employees, each dedicated
to producing the best possible wind
instruments. Our employees truly en-
joy explaining the complexities of their
tasks to the many visitors who tour
our factories each year. Almost all
visitors are amazed by the extent of
hand workmanship involved in pro-
ducing our instruments; they are de-
lighted, too, to see that such skills are
still being practiced today.
New materials may be on the
horizon for wind instruments, and we
actively experiment with different
forms of plastics, composites and metal
alloys-all in search of instruments that
are easier to play in tune and remain
in tune-all in order to give the player
maximum satisfaction.
As a company, we strive to provide
fast service and personal attention.
Leblanc has long been in the forefront
of computerization of its clerical, ac-
counting, production and marketing
functions, and we continue to update
our equipment (whose computer isn't
"obsolete"?) so that we can offer in-
stant order and stock information to
our network of dealers. But we also
maintain the "ancient" handwritten
warranty registrations for Holton and
Martin (and Leblanc in France), since
so many players write to us asking
about the date of manufacture and
other information regarding their
prized older instruments.
Our active involvement with the
world of music education continues,
as we strive with our retailers and with
Leblanc artists to offer master classes
and clinics for music students across
the country. Both Vito and I, as well
as a number of other Leblanc officers,
have been busily engaged with in-
dustry groups such as the National
Association of Band Instrument Manu-
facturers (NABIM), the Music Achieve-
ment Council and the American Music
Conference, all of which share the com-
mon goal of promoting music educa-
tion and expanding opportunities for
young people to learn music.
On the musical front, our association
with outstanding musicians (many of
whom also teach) is a source of great
inspiration and excitement. Showbiz!
These talented professionals, from
Barry Tuckwell to Pete Fountain, come
to us with ideas for improving their
instruments, then set to work with our
engineers and designers in pursuit of
perfection-an elusive goal, one that
is always limited by the laws of acous-
tics. Aided by the creativity of seasoned
musicians, though, we have been able
to offer instruments to the world that
truly help the player achieve his or her
own brand of perfection.
This tradition of excellence, estab-
lished by my father over the last 50
years, now serves as the bedrock of
Leblanc's future. 0
Inside highlights
Fifty years
Leblanc's milestone in Kenosha  4
Hollywood 'Opus'
Movie magic for music teachers  12
'Grace Notes'
Diverse items of musical interest  14
Fan mail
Greetings from the company we keep  16
NAMM review
An industry salute from Anaheim  21
'Clarinet Comments'
Tom Ridenour on better kids' instruments  22
Ad venture
Our corporate history in advertising  25

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