C.G. Conn Elkhart Alto Trombone Modeste Alloo

Modeste Alloo (1884-1975) Graduated with top honors from The Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels and The Verviers Conservatory in 1906. Studied counterpoint and fugue in Paris with Andre Gedalge of the Paris Conservatory. In 1908, joined The New York Symphony Orchestra as timpanist under Walter Damrosch. From 1910-1918 he was principal trombonist with The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Max Fiedler and Dr. Karl Muck. Collaborated with Conn Company on trombone models and was later inducted into the Conn Hall of Fame. It was during this period, 1916 to be exact, that this alto trombone was made for him… very likely by lead trombone designer Jake Burkle.

In all of my years collecting, I’ve never seen another alto trombone like this one. It is in Eb and has an Ab valve on it, yes Ab! It is a tuning in slide design with the tuning slide being in the slide crook. The trombone is finished in original gold-plate and has a unique makers engraving near the rim of the bell, a non traditional spot for Conn. The valve appears to be German made and is a much larger diameter case than most valves of this period. I’ve seen similar valves on other rotary valved instruments from the period from Conn. I speculate that this could be one of the first, if not the first, valved alto trombones built.

It belonged to Mr Alloo from 1916 until his death in 1975 when it was sold to one of his students who owned and played it for his career. Upon his retirement it became a part of my museum, making me the 3rd caretaker of this special trombone.