Interlochen is proud to be the home of the Leland B. Greenleaf Collection of Musical Instruments. Consisting of over 260 historic brass and woodwind instruments and numerous ethnic instruments from around the world, the collection was donated to Interlochen in 1969 by Mr. Greenleaf, the outgoing president of the Conn Instrument Company of Elkhart, Indiana.
Formerly housed in the company headquarters in Elkhart, the collection formed a corporate “musical instrument museum” displaying dozens of classic Conn creations, as well as many fine specimens from other American and European manufacturers, going back to the early 18th century. From Conn’s prototype saxophone, (the first built in America), to the leather-bound wooden ‘serpent’ from the Revolutionary War era, the collection has examples of virtually every type of modern and pre-modern wind instrument.
Since Mr. Greenleaf’s generous gift of over 200 instruments, many others have added to the collection with their donations. As the collection continues to grow, it also plays a role in the musical life of Interlochen, as hundreds of campers and students each year get a chance to look at rare and historic instruments, as well as try some of them out to see how they play. Both historical and educational, the Greenleaf Collection is one of the gems to be found on the Interlochen campus.
Highlights of the collection are on display in the Giddings Concourse and the Music Library. For a peek at the remainder of the collection, please contact the archivist for an appointment to take a tour.