GEOFF LESAR | THE GOSHEN NEWS
Elkhart’s Jim Catalano walks through Conn-Selmer’s doors for a final time as an employee of the company earlier today. Catalano, 65, has been a figure in the drum industry for 41 years — at Selmer for three, Conn for two and Conn-Selmer for 36 years, primarily in the Ludwig Drums division. He spent 30 years as Ludwig’s marketing manager and five and a half years as trade show manager.
“This is a family, and I was lucky in that I got to be the bridge between the Ludwig-owned family business,” Catalano said. “It was basically a hand-off to me to carry it forward into the next generation.
“And so, I got to work for 20 years of the 36 years I was here with (Bill Ludwig II), who remained a consultant for the company. He taught me and trained me on so much about the business. … From when I started in 1983, until 2003, for 20 years, we traveled the world together. We went to all the shows. It was a great education. I got to learn the stories behind the stories, why certain things were the way they were, ya know? That’s what was really so impactful for me. And it set me up to have a long career.”
An adjunct music instructor at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, Catalano will continue teaching and gigging while sharing his knowledge of percussion “for health and well-being,” including music therapy and work with local schools.
He plans to hit the Pumpkinvine Trail tomorrow.