Conn 15B Director
Date: 1964. Owned by Christine Derksen
The Conn model number list gives both the 15B and 17B as "Director", 1960 through at least 1965. The 15B is listed as "#1 bore Bb&A Director Low Pitch", the 17B as "#1 bore Bb&A Director". This is not quite correct. The 1966 Conn catalog lists the 15B Director as the brass bell model, and the 17B Director as the Coprion bell model. Both are low pitch, as are all instrument since the 1930's.
The one-millionth Conn instrument produced was a 15B Director. This momentous occasion took place in 1962. That particular instrument is now in a museum.
The instrument is a #1 Bore, has a 4 5/8" diameter bell. It also has some nickel trim, but this is limited to a section of the leadpipe. Valves are bottom spring. The 15B Director was produced from 1960 to at least 1969.
The above pictured 15B is very special for me. It is the trumpet I learned to play on many years ago, and I have played that instrument for most of the past 24 years. It has taught at least three people to play the trumpet (including myself). I have used it in a marching band in which it has been rained and snowed upon, frozen at 5F/-15C and cooked at 95F/35C. I have used it for concerts in shopping centers and theaters. It's monetary value is probably low, but to me this old Conn Director trumpet is irreplaceable.
What Conn said in 1962:
Completely New, these Conn Directors offer new and greater heights of performance for the aspiring young musician. Even the untrained embouchure can easily play each note right on the button due to the remarkably centered response. Every minute detail has been specifically designed and created with the student in mind so that he may quickly progress to the best of his ability. The new Conn Directors are acoustically, mechanically, and musically superior... without doubt the finest value in this price range!
Special features of the new Directors: "Anti-Bounce", positive, quiet valves. Bell thickness graduated for finest tone. Newly calibrated bore for easier high register. Brilliant, longer lasting "Lustre-Conn" finish.
What Conn said in 1966:
Acclaimed by music educators throughout the country as the top value in student trumpets. Designed to allow the student to progress to the best of his natural ability. Easy playing, with precise intonation throughout all registers. Remarkably centered response and tonal brightness. Ruggedly built to stand up under the rigors of student use. 17B has Coprion bell for slightly darker, more centered tone. 15B has brass bell. Medium bore feel. Length 21". Bell 4 5/8".