Music Manufacturing

Ren Wall proudly followed his father's footsteps and worked in the Gibson Guitar Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He began working for the company in 1960 and continued until 1982.  A few years later he returned to the very same factory to work for Heritage Guitar Company, which was formed by...
Charles Walter was a pillar in the piano business for nearly 60 years. He was hired by the C.G. Conn Company to work in the piano design department back in 1964. While there he worked under the legendary Dr. Earle Kent, the Director of Research and Engineering. When the company decided to...
Bill Walzak grew up in Chicago and found his way to the drums whenever he could.  Trash cans and pots were often turned upside down and were Bill’s set!  While playing in a band later he invented a cup holder to attach to music stands.  In 1982, Bill made his first trip to the NAMM Show with his...
Jay Wanamaker found his passion for music as a member of a drum and bugle corps and eventually honed his skills while attending the Crane school of music at SUNY Potsdam University in Potsdam, New York. After completing a graduate degree program at the University of Kansas, Jay took a job at Alfred...
June Wang is very proud of her company, Pearl River.  She is an outstanding spokesperson for the China-based piano manufacturer.  In fact, it was Ms. Wang who assisted the NAMM Oral History team to conduct an interview with the then-chairman, Zhi Cheng Tong back in 2006.  Ten years later, at the...
Guy Ward was the president of the Ward Piano Company, located in Canton, North Carolina, from the 1940s until his retirement.  After his daughter and son took over the company, he continued to go into the shop every day even at the time of his 2013 NAMM Oral History interview when he was 89!  As...
Dennis Ward takes great pride in the work he does making musical instruments!  He began working in the music industry with Vincent Bach in the 1970s and remained with the company in the early 2000s when it merged to become Conn-Selmer.  In recent years Dennis manages the machines which make parts...
Dennis Waring has created his own line of musical products made out of cardboard.  The harp and guitars are a fun way to get people playing a musical instrument, which is his main goal.  He is also a historian and ethnomusicologist for the industry with the publication of his book on the history of...
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...
Charles Watkins invented the Watkins Copicat, an echo unit introduced in 1958. Mr. Watkins was inspired by the Morino Marini Quartet who made famous the Comi Prima, which contained a special use of repeated phrasings. The Copicat revolutionized the world of music beginning in the United Kingdom,...

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