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 A mysterious metal clarinet
Author: Erin.mcgrew 
Date:   2018-01-27 05:10

My grandmother recently sent me an old metal clarinet that has been sitting on her shelf for years. I don't know where it came from, how old it is, or how much it's worth. I need answers! The instrument itself only comes apart at the barrel and the mouth piece (the bell and upper and lower joints do not come apart at all). It appears to be made of brass, but it's very tarnished so it's hard to tell. The only identifiable markings on it are: the word "Illini" which is stamped on the bell, and a number on the back of the barrel (the serial?) "d1995". I've looked everywhere and I can't find any information about it. I need help!

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 Re: A mysterious metal clarinet
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-01-27 12:26

Erin, did your grandmother graduate from the University of Illinois?

From my research, the U. of I. has a marching band called "The Marching Illini" However, when the U. of I. marching band was first formed in 1867, it did not go by that name because it wasn't yet a university. It was originally called "the Illinois Industrial Technology" and a marching band was formed. (The historical data gives different versions of the school's name origin as well as when the "marching band" actually was called "The Marching Illini".)

I'm guessing that you have a metal clarinet that was used in "The Marching Illini" when metal clarinets were popular.

It just seams to make sense to me. I would suggest contacting the U. of I. music department for further information.

Here's quite a bit of historical information concerning "The Marching Illini": https://illinoisalumni.org/2017/10/20/band-lessons-the-marching-illini-story/

More historical info on "The Marching Illini": http://marchingillini.com/tradition/

And, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marching_Illini

Here's what they look like today: https://www.facebook.com/Marching-Illini-Clarinets-109081609152253/

It appears that you just might have a piece of history in your hands.

Good luck in your search!

Post Edited (2018-01-27 12:49)

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