Oral History -

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Yuris Zeltins is the master luthier known worldwide for his artistic and engineering craftsmanship that is evident in each of his musical instruments. Yuris inspired a new way of thinking when he applied his creative skills and techniques to repair, elevating the task of repair to an art form and allowing flare and personal signature style to be present yet not overstated in the once mundane duties that included neck and body reconstructions.

Gordy Wilcher believes that with the right mixture of passion and knowledge, the independent music retailer has the strength to bring music to young students, build new brands within their stores and pass along a joy of music to those who walk in their doors. And every day Gordy and his staff try to do just that.

Shenae Wilson loves providing a musical instrument in the lives of the young children who come into her store. She feels blessed that she and her husband work so closely with local churches and that they play a role in the worship music created in their customer churches.

Johnnie Wilson has been involved with music in his church his entire life. He has performed at weddings and church services for many years. So, it seemed like a natural progression to open a music store to provide music to others.

Stephen Yu pioneered conga making in Thailand before it was common and popular. He also created a long list of items, beginning with guitars, for a number of other companies. When it was time for him to branch out and create his own name product line, he found his operations were already up and running, but the name was not known. That was 1984.

Christopher Willcox was once a classical actor on the British stage. He was a teacher and writer, but feels his favorite job is that of piano salesman. For well over 35 years, he has done just that. Mr.

Himie Voxman was a band director nearly all his life. He studied chemistry in college but fell into music because jobs were hard for chemists to find in the days of the Great Depression. Since he had studied clarinet beginning when he was eight, he felt he could teach.

Jay Valle began working in the organ industry in the 1950s and has witnessed some rather amazing changes. He was part of the organ boom of the 1960s and 70s that brought the instrument into shopping malls as an impulse item. Jay has watched the change in technology, which has greatly benefited the sound and price of the instruments.

Lester Wagner began in the woodworking and sanding department of the C.F. Martin & Company before World War II. He moved from the North Street Plant in 1964 to the bigger manufacturing plant in the current location on Sycamore Street in Nazareth, PA. Lester was assigned to the ukulele department at the height of the instrument’s boom in the 1950s.

Lyndell Thompson was delighted when her two sons, Phil and James, came to her and her husband with a new idea for their Nashville-based leather company. The year was 1978. Until that point the company had made horse accessories, a market that was slowly decreasing.

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