Flutes

Rob Palmer served as president of UMI (United Musical Instruments) in the final years of the company before the brands it manufactured were sold to other companies. UMI played an important role in the transition of several products in Elkhart, Indiana, during the 1990s and early into 2000. At the...
Liane Rockley gained a degree in flute performance in New York before moving to Denver, where she taught music at a local music store. The storeowner, Bob Rockley, who would become her father-in-law, suggested that she work in the band department of the store to better understand the music business...
Tony Spano began repairing instruments in high school and was perfect for the job as a retail store repairmen, which he started doing in Ohio after the army in 1957.  He later worked with CG Conn and then with Gemeinhart, both in Elkhart, Indiana.  His focus in much of his work has centered around...
David Straubinger started a small business in 1969 to repair and rebuild woodwind instruments. He determined early on that one area of consistent concern was they way flute pads were replaced and the design of the pads. Over time he designed his own products, including the Straubinger Flute Pad and...
Kent Stutzman was hired by Gemeinhart in the 1970s and has remained with the flute builder for over 35 years!  During his career, Kent has worked in several positions on the line as well as in buffing and final assembly.  Among the things he is most proud of is the craftsmanship of his job and the...
Mark Thomas is the noted flute player who has toured the world and has recorded several albums during his long career.  As a product endorser, Mark has appeared in several printed ads over the years and has been hired by several flute makers as a product engineer to help improve and in some cases,...
Steven Wasser grew up in a very musical family and played reed instruments as a child but really dreamed of owning his own business. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Steven worked in several industries before having the chance to combine his interests of business and his passion for...
Ryan West shared many of his memories of traveling abroad with his father, Steve, to help manage the production of the Miyazawa Flute line.  West Music has always been innovative as a music retailer, and their flute line is just one example.  The store was established by Ryan’s grandparents in 1941...
Tony Whitt began his career in the industry with the Linton oboe company in Elkhart, Indianan.  He later began working for Gemeinhart, which has been where he has been for most of his 52 plus years in the industry.  At the time of his mini interview, Tony was working in finishing and final assembly...

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