What always struck me about Rebecca was her knowledge of musical instruments and her kindness to share that information. And while I thought she knew it all, she was always reading articles and books to gain even more understanding of the instruments she repaired and the company history behind each of them.
Throughout the music industry Rebecca was known as an appraiser of musical instruments as well as a pioneering female band instrument repair technician. Around the NAMM building she was known for her role at our trade shows, which included providing educational sessions beginning in the 1980s. Rebecca took part in our DC Fly-In as well as loaned and gifted instruments to the NAMM Foundation’s Museum of Making Music. Her dedication to our industry also led to her role supporting the NAMM Oral History Program, not only by being interviewed herself, but by providing recommendations and connections that resulted in numerous important interviews over the years. A majority of these interviews were with women as Rebecca felt strongly about ensuring our history properly archived the many roles women have played and continue to play throughout our industry.
Rebecca was the President of A & D Music Incorporated in Southern California. She played music as a child and gravitated to the electric bass. Her father and others such as Doc Kauffman (Leo Fender’s partner) and Bernardo Rico (BC Rich founder) taught her guitar repair. She grew up replacing strings and adjusting necks on guitars. Over the years she received her Certifications and Degrees in Music, Musical Instrument Repair and expanded the services of her business to include appraising musical instruments. She was the first person certified as an “Accredited Senior Appraiser–Musical Instruments” by the American Society of Appraisers in 2011. She wrote several columns for Music & Sound Retailer Magazine about repairing and appraising instruments. Rebecca appraised guitars played by members of Black Sabbath and Rage Against the Machine, as well as a piano owned by composer Irving Berlin. She later worked as an Expert Witness and IRS Qualified Appraiser for tax donations of musical instruments. Throughout her career she sought to pursue all that she did with integrity and professionalism, which will no doubt benefit our industry for decades to come.
Here is a segment from her 2012 NAMM Oral History interview:
Just a year before she passed away, we proudly presented Rebecca with the 2019 Believe In Music Award, which she later told me was “a true highlight” for her.