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Saxophone/Conn Alto Saxophone "Chu Berry" 1925

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Question
I have been cleaning out my deceased grandfathers basement and have ran onto a saxophone he had when he was a young man and played in a band. It is a beautiful saxophone silver with engraving. I consider it a treasure and was wondering what if any value it has. Here are the numbers and date i have found on it.

C.C. Conn LTD
Dec 3 1914
1119954
A
m164773
L

Answer
Hello Wes, the letter "A" stands for alto...the "L" stands for low pitch (good), the date and numbers are patent info and date. The 'M' was Conn's code letter for saxophone...
Your grandads sax was a 1925 Conn NEW WONDER series II "CHU BERRY". They were made in the  serial number range  of 150***-240*** models. Conn's name was the New Wonder, but today people call these the old Conn's the "Chu Berry" model. By the way, "Chu" played a tenor, but the name is used for tenor and alto's from that era. They had Improved keywork, fingernail file G# keys, microtuner necks,like Charlies Parkers and really spectacular engraving on the Artist models (usually seen in gold plate, often with mother of pearl key touches. There is strong demand for these fine instruments. Your sax could be worth around $ 2000-$2200 depending on condition.  Note that that Conn also produced "HIGH PITCH" horns until about 1940. Modern instruments, except for some instruments used in concert orchestras in Europe, are LOW PITCH, with A=440HZ. (the tuning note used in orchestras). Some high pitch horns from other manufacturers can be used, if you've got a good ear, because they're tuned to, say, A=442. Conns are pitched around A=457. In other words, you can't play a Conn high pitch horn with other instrumentalists because you'll be seriously out of tune with them! Luckily, Conn did include the stamp "HP" or "High Pitch" above the serial number for these horns that had the odd tuning. You are lucky, this sax is a low pitch which is today's tuning standard! I bet it plays great!!!! This sax need to be played by a pro. It is a professional saxophone. Never let a 5th grader play this sax, they could drop it! Look at the values on ebay...
good luck,
Grant Koeller  

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Grant R. Koeller

Expertise

I'm a Professional Jazz Saxophone soloist recently retired from 23 years with the USAF Band Of Flight, WPAFB, OHIO, experienced in performance, technique and equipment. I'm not a buyer/seller or dealer. I have 40 years Alto, Tenor, Soprano and Bari Saxophone performance experience with additional years on the Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Bass Guitar, Piano, Drum-set, Guitar and Voice. I'm a third generation professional military musician, my father, Bill Koeller(1939-1997) was in the USAF 1958-1962, and played Jazz Hammond B-3 organ from 1957-1997, and my fathers Uncle, Alfred Koeller (1912-1993), was a professional Acoustic Bassist in the Army Air Corps in WWII, and also performed on Jazz Guitar, Hammond organ, Piano and tenor saxophone.

Experience

Professional Saxophone Soloist, 23 total years with the USAF Bands, 6 years with the USAF Band of Flight, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, performing on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, Clarinet, and Flute. 4 years in Japan, at Yokota AFB with the USAF Band of the Pacific. An Avid Composer and Arranger for the Night Hawk Protocol Combo. Former Lead Alto Saxophonist with the USAF Night Flight Big Band performing the music of Glenn Miller as well as other hits of the Big Band Era. I collect LP records of Jazz, blue's, classical and rock, and have over 12,000 records.

Organizations
USAF,Phi MU Alpha Sinfonia, Men's National Music Fraternity, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Eddie Love Big Band, Gem City Big Band, Jazz Central Big Band, Shin Sings Orchestra, Kim Kelly Orchestra,USAF Night Flight Jazz Ensemble, Different Hats Big Band, Jimmy Baker Blues Band, This Side Up, Freelance, KING KOELLER Quartet, Jazz Central Big Band, GB Work, Sax On The Web,

Publications
Saxophone On the Web; Anchorage Daily News; All Experts; Augustana College Public Radio, WVIK;

Education/Credentials
North Texas State University School of Music, Jazz Studies 1982-1986 Lead Alto, Lab bands 1982-83 and small group leader 1983-1984, Jazz Radio Host WVIK 90.1 FM NPR affiliate Rock Island, IL United States Collegiate Wind Band European tour 1980 Augustana College, Rock Island IL, Liberal Arts Music Mentors/Teachers:My father Bill Koeller, a Jazz Hammond B-3 Organist (1939-1997) Great Uncle Alfred Koeller, Acoustic Bass 1912-1993

Awards and Honors
Paul Shartle Musician of the Quarter Spring 2008; Glenn Miller Festival, Clarinda, Iowa featured soloist; McDonald's All-American Band and Jazz Ensemble 1979; US Collegiate Wind Bands,Paul Lavalle Conductor, tour of Europe,1980; John Phillip Sousa Award, 1980 Dimond HS Anchorage, Alaska; USAF National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star; USAF Achievement Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters; USAF Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters

Past/Present Clients
Performed with, Bob Hope, The Platters, Four Tops, Jimmy Dorsey, Crystal Gail, Helen Ready, James Williams, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Jack Jones, The Mills Brothers, the G-Clef's, Lionel Hampton at Carnegie Hall, Performed for the King Of Thailand 2005, Tom "Bone's" Malone, Roy Hargrove, Tommy Turrentine, Performed for President Gerald Ford, President George W. Bush, The Maguire Sisters, The USO Girls-Andrew Sisters Tribute, The Four Lads, Lincoln Berry, The Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Louis Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, Walter Bishop Jr, Sadao Watanabe, Bobby Shew, Pete Jolly, Quad City Jazz Ensemble, Augustana College Symphonic Band, Jack Scott, Catfish Jazz Society, Intrigue-Boston Wedding Band, The Mark Herbert Little Big Band, The Pacesetters Big Band, The Ambassadors Jazz Ensemble, Pacific Showcase Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Big Band under the direction of Lee Castle, Ronny Scott Orchestra, Big Al's Hot Dance Orchestra, The Dayton Sidewinders, Tom Daugherty Orchestra, Johnny Mack Super Big Band, Ken Peplowski, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Guy, Roy Hargrove, Warren Parrish, John OMeara Jr., Dave Holcomb, Albia Silva,Vinnie Demartino, Clon VonFitz, The G Clef's

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