Hall of Fame – 2022
Josh Sellner began to play the chemnitzer concertina as a young teen. Primarily self-taught, Josh was influenced by many of the great musicians in the Upper Midwest. It only took a couple of years before Josh’s skills were proficient enough to be invited to perform at various public venues, including KDUZ radio for Dr. Lester Schuft’s music program, KEYC television’s Bandwagon program, and on stage at the Gibbon Polka Days (Gibbon, Minnesota).
As an inquisitive young man, Josh took it upon himself to investigate any problems or issues that he experienced with his musical instruments. This led to an interest in discovering more about the repair and manufacture of chemnitzer concertinas. Josh has observed and learned technical details about these musical instruments from many of the modern concertina industry’s best, including World Concertina Congress Hall of Fame members, Christy Hengel, Jerry Minar, and Bob Novak. In 2008, Josh took his technical interest to the next level and began the process to design and build his own long-plate, quadruple reed, modern chemnitzer concertina. This was the start of the Supreme Concertina brand. With several instruments already made and sold, musicians’ interest in the finely crafted and highly acclaimed Supreme Concertina continues to grow.
Josh has great respect for the concertina people that have come before him, and he has become an advanced student of the history of this special musical instrument. He has studied all that he can find about the musicians, instructors, innovators, technicians, manufacturers, and others that have helped to create the modern concertina that we know today. Josh freely shares his extensive knowledge about the chemnitzer concertina and the technical aspects of free-reed, bellows-driven musical instruments with anyone who has a question or concern. His helpful presence can be found at his shop in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, at music events in the Upper Midwest, or online in social media discussions.
Josh’s ongoing contributions to the repair and manufacture of the concertina and his depth of knowledge of the instrument’s history will help to secure the future of the chemnitzer concertina for the next generation of musicians and fans.