PHOENIX (February 26, 2018) – The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) recently acquired fourteen woodwind and brass instruments from the estate of Daniel and Mary (Hisako) Henkin of Elkhart, Indiana.
In 1980, Daniel J. Henkin was credited with leading a new era of instrument manufacturing in Elkhart when he purchased C. G. Conn, Ltd. At the time, this was reportedly the biggest sale to an individual in the music industry. The Conn company was founded there in 1876 and later became famous as the world’s largest band instrument manufacturer. In addition to Conn, Henkin owned established brands such as Slingerland, King, Gemeinhardt, Artley, Deagan, Armstrong, and many others.
Several instruments and related objects from this donation are featured in a new “Elkhart” exhibit in MIM’s United States / Canada Gallery that reflects the city’s legacy as the “band instrument capital of the world.” It illustrates the scope of instrument production by notable Elkhart brands including C. G. Conn, Beuscher, Martin, and Artley. Other instruments donated by the Henkin Estate complement MIM’s permanent collection and will be available to enhance band-related exhibits in the future.
Throughout his career, Henkin was committed to supplying high-quality yet affordable instruments to aspiring young musicians. His background as a musician, acoustician, and advertising executive brought a unique perspective to the music industry; he promoted school music programs in a successful strategy to boost musicianship and instrument sales.
MIM guests can see examples of this commitment to students at the “Elkhart” exhibit. One highlight is a 1985 “Henkin” model clarinet with a synthetic “resonite” body, which produced good tone while also being durable and affordable for beginners. There is also a 1984 Armstrong flute with two alternative head joints; one is straight and the other is curved to help smaller students reach the keys comfortably while still playing a full-size flute.
“The Henkin name still resonates among band instrument manufacturers today, and it is exciting to receive this gift to MIM, where musical instruments are celebrated in many ways. Dan and Mary have passed away, but their families recognize MIM as an especially fitting place to honor their lives and contributions,” says Richard Walter, PhD, MIM’s curator for United States / Canada and Europe.
The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo Boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit MIM.org or call 480.478.6000.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches our world by collecting, preserving, and making accessible an astonishing variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. MIM offers guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming, and exceptional musical performances. MIM fosters appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music—the language of the soul. To learn more about MIM, visit MIM.org.
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Heidi Richmond, Marketing Manager, MIM