Pandemic of 2020

Billy Amendola is the Editor At Large for Modern Drummer magazine whose background as a musician makes him perfect for the job! His passion for music began at an early age and by the time he began working for the magazine in 1997, Billy was already a seasoned studio musician and founding member of...
Chris Arent is the instrument repair technician for Ted Brown Music in Tacoma, Washington, a position that is near and dear to him. Chris has always been closely associated with band and orchestral instruments, especially the saxophone for which he has played and taught throughout his career. Chris...
Nick Averwater is part of the fourth generation of the Averwater family to be working at Amro Music in Memphis, TN. Nick fondly remembers his time as a kid running around the store and working odd-jobs for extra money. After obtaining his MBA with a focus in finance and completing an internship...
Chip Averwater took over the music retail business in Memphis, just as his father did and his son would one day, keeping the tradition in the family. Chip’s passion for the music business expanded beyond the store and out into volunteer positions for several organizations including NAMM. Serving on...
Becki Barabas has a real heart for helping others, so it should come as no surprise that each of her professional job descriptions throughout her career have always been expanded as soon as she detected an area of need. This spirit extends into her personal life as Becki has been a volunteer for...
Jamal Batiste grew up in a very musical family and when he saw his brother’s drum kit at 3 years old, he fell in love. Raised in New Orleans he was surrounded by what he calls the gumbo of music, playing all styles and in many different settings. Throughout his career he has played alongside groups...
Beeb Birtles developed a passion for music at a young age when his parents bought him a piano-accordion while growing up in Amsterdam. After emigrating to Australia with his family, Beeb started singing and playing bass in bands with friends from high school. This passion for music eventually...
Marvin Blickenstaff has had an indelible mark on countless music students of all ages over his long career. As an educator he taught at the college level and has provided thousands of workshops, clinics and masterclasses on many aspects of music, especially in the field of pedagogy. As a method...
Jonathon Breen’s grandparents opened The Music Shoppe in 1961 in Bloomington, Illinois. Back then the name was spelled without the second P and the E, which were added later by his Uncle Randy when he expanded the business by opening other locations. Jonathon’s interesting intro into the business...
Pastor Dave Brown developed a rich and meaningful appreciation for music when he began playing trombone in his high school band. He attended many concerts as a teen (namely at the Fillmore), developing a deep appreciation for the blues music he encountered. As he grew up he also felt the calling to...

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