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Saxophone/Elkhart built by Buescher


read a previous post about these alto sax's and thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have an 80A alto, elk head and heart engraved, s/n 50512 and I'm having trouble tracking down it's age through the s/n. you certainly got me in the range, but I was wondering if you could get me closer to a single year through your resources.
BTW, I'm not selling, I'm actually starting to play again with a local band of "Dads" and just wondered if the horn I bought with my paper route money, had refinished and played through junior/high school was worth investing more into, or should I start shopping for an upgrade now that my career has progressed beyond the paper route...


Gary M.

In 1926, the Buescher Band Instrument Company was joined with the Elkhart Band Instrument Company (some claim that Buescher was bought by Elkhart Band Instrument), a company founded two years previously by Beardsley with Conn's Carl Greenleaf as secretary-treasurer. In 1963 Buescher was sold to H. & A. Selmer Company, (now Conn-Selmer). After the sale Selmer restricted the use of the Buescher trademark to selected products, and rebranded some instruments with other names. The quality level of the Buescher horns gradually decreased after the buyout as Selmer USA began to concentrate on the student horn market.
Though Buescher manufactured many kinds of brass instruments, the company was known primarily for its saxophones which competed successfully with Conn and Martin. It is believed that Buescher was the first company to produce them in America.
Your sax is a student sax. It's a fine student sax, and has served you well all these years.
But you only live once, so you should really be playing on a pro sax, and taking private sax lessons. You could get a used Yamaha YAS 62 alto and a pro Meyer 6MM mouthpiece and be all set for the rest of your life. I play a Selmer Mark 6 and a Meyer 7MM and It's unreal how great this set up is. (I've been playing every day for 43 years.) You could keep old ELKIE and give it to your son daughter, nephew or niece for their beginning saxophone lessons.
Charlie Parker could play the hell out of the old Buescher Elkhart, if he were still alive. There are pros and cons. First the pros, Great brass, and built solid as a rock, made to last 1000 years!!! Now the Elkhart cons; old antiquated key work and awkward ergonomics. The Selmer Mark 6 wrote the book on total playability, that's why all modern horns are based on this timeless design. Your sax is based off of a much older design, that of the Buescher True Tone alto. Please go to Sam Ash and try a Yamaha YAS62 or Selmer Mark 6, Mark 7 or Super action 80...(Stay away from Chinese saxophones!!!!)They don't quite have their act together yet, but some are finally getting better with designs based on Modern Selmer super action 80''s up to you to try out 20 alto saxophones... and make up your mind, if they are better for you than your old reliable Elkhart...Good Luck! Grant Koeller  


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Grant R. Koeller


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.


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.

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,

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

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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