Oral History -
Andrew Barta was born in Hungary and came to the United States with a dream of working in the music industry. Having been in rock bands in Europe, Andrew formed a band in America and worked as a technician repairing instruments in New York music stores. Along the way, he began designing a project based on his own ideas as a player.
Bert Neidhardt was one of the leading experts on musical instrument importing and exporting. As president of German American Trading, he established trade policies and relationships on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Bert told the stories of the German market before, during and after the Berlin Wall and how export policies changed over the years.
Josephine Nadolny only had one job, working for Selmer Band Instruments. When she retired in 2000 she had worked there for 58 years! Over that time she developed the first instrument parts catalog, which included drawings and specs for each and every part a repair shop might need.
Don Murphy joined the NAMM Foundation’s Museum of Making Music volunteer team as a retiree in 2003 and soon became one of the museum’s most requested docents. Don pioneered the community outreach programs with a series of speaker presentations, which encouraged a host of visitors, several of which became members of the museum.
Harold Moseley was hired by Charles Hansen in the 1960s at the height of the legendary music publisher’s innovative career. Harold was on hand when Hansen developed several now standard practices in print music and went to work for Capital Music a wholesaler and distributor of Hansen’s music in Seattle, Washington.
James M. E. Mixter may very well have been the only person in the industry to have worked for Baldwin Pianos before, during, and after World War II. As a result, he was able to provide meaningful stories and facts regarding an era for which changes occurred in the industry. These changes had an enormous impact on music making for many years. Mr. Mixter later served as President of the American Music Conference (AMC) and provided wonderful insight on the growth, development, mission, and goals of AMC.
Mudge Miller is a veteran of the Chicago Musical Instrument Company had expressed great satisfaction in working under MH Berlin, the president of CMI for many years. Mr. Berlin was a mentor to so many in the industry and a well-respected leader. Mudge was appreciative for his CMI experiences and to Mr. Berlin, who gave Mudge his start in the industry.
John Massa was the vice president of customer service at the Selmer Company and was known for building a strong dealer base, many of which became his personal friends. John contracted Polio at the age of 12 and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, but never once let his disability define him. He was a pioneer in handicap awareness by just insisting he be able to do his job. As a result ramps were added to airports he used and buildings he worked in. During his 17 years of attending the Frankfurt Fair special chairlifts were installed to accommodate his needs.
Hugh Martin was a great American songwriter who teamed with Ralph Blane at the end of the golden age of Tin Pan Alley to give us such classics as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Trolley Song” and “The Girl Next Door.” As a tunesmith, Hugh worked on Broadway, for the movies, and as musical director for stage shows such as those starring his dear friend, Judy Garla
Chris Martin is the proud descendent of the instrument craftsmen in Germany who founded the C.F. Martin & Company in 1833. As CEO of the company, Chris has overseen the expansion of the company while keeping family traditions in tact.