Arizona

Rich Neville has spent his life making music and for decades has helped others obtain their musical dreams. Rich was a touring musician who turned to a career in music retail and never let go of the passion he first had as a kid in the school band playing trombone. He gigged in rock bands on bass...
Gregg Proniske began working at Southwest Strings in 1998. The distributor of stringed instruments is located in Tucson, Arizona, and specializes in contracts with school music programs around the country. Gregg started out on the phone taking orders and now wears many hats for the company...
Mark Mason has always been interested in technology. He was only ten years old when he began programming computers. He became a technician for Microsoft in the 1990s and played a role in the launch of Windows 2000. After a time as a teacher, Mark found himself at Southwest Strings in Tucson,...
Rebecca Ensley studied clarinet in college and yet somehow got caught up in the crazy world of stringed instruments as a luthier and repair technician. It all started in 1991 when a friend who was working at Southwest Strings in Tucson suggested she apply for an opening in the mail order department...
Syndenn Sweet was the first woman hired as a luthier at Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Tucson, Arizona. This distinction is one she makes with pride, especially considering her father was a luthier as well. After earning her business degree, serving on the board of the Tucson Folk Festival, and...
Tiffany Johnson gets a real kick from serving her school accounts for Southwest Strings and helping each obtain the instruments and services they need in order to provide for their music students. Talking with teachers and getting to know them and their needs has become a favorite part of her job...
Leslie Stirm is the owner of the Instrumental Music Center in Tucson, Arizona. Joining the store in 2001, Leslie has helped develop the store’s team, which has a strong focus on customer service and a strong knowledge base on the products and instruments they sell. Leslie is also a strong advocate...
Bob Harrison tells many stories of his father and aunt working in music retail when he was a child. His aunt, Mary L. Spence, owned a store with her name on it in Plainview, Texas. She was a pioneer in the music industry as well as in business. Bob's father, Nolan, ran her store when Aunt Mary died...
Tom Miller began his career in the piano business at Jordan Kitts Music in Bethesda, Maryland in 1976. His father had purchased a Hammond organ from the same company in 1960, and at age 6 Tom started music lessons. Tom began working on the manufacturing side of the industry in 1977, first as an...
Matt Milldebrandt feels privileged to play a pivotal role in bringing a child their first musical instrument.  Matt had desires to become a band director in his youth and found his long career at Milano Music to be just as satisfying in terms of his role in encouraging music within the lives of...

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