Oral History -

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Brian Shepard provided a meaningful review on the history of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) during his NAMM Oral History interview. Brian outlined the early years of the organization having been formed by the music publishing icon Theodore Presser in 1876.

Matt Keiser was strongly encouraged to play music as a child, after all his father is composer and music publisher, Lauren Keiser! Matt played bass in high school and began taking a strong interest in his father’s career as a leader in the music publishing industry.

Masato Horibe is proud of the origins of his company, which date back to 1917 when Mr. Niimi opened a small store in Japan. He first began selling phonograph needles and later brought into the harmonica.

Carlos Medina is the owner of Medina and Magma Music in Argentina. His passion for music traces back to his grandfather who played guitar in a local band. In fact, much of the business’ success has involved the family element. For example, he worked with his father for many years and is proud that his own children are involved and that he gets to work with them each day.

Chuck Neitzel joined Deering Banjo in January 1979 having previously been a woodworker with antique furniture. Chuck also brought with him a deep respect and passion for bluegrass music, which he had followed and played since he was a young man.

Ron Blair was the original bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, bringing to the group his understanding of the blues and his skills on the electric bass. The band was formed in 1976 and Ron stayed on until 1982 when he took a twenty-year hiatus. He returned to the band in 2002 and stayed on until Tom Petty’s untimely death in 2017.

Renato Silva has established the Renaer Group in Brazil, which represents a number of South American pro audio companies.

Mark Kiesel is the President of Kiesel Guitars in Escondido, California and the son of Lowell Kiesel, the founder of Carvin Guitars. When his father began making guitars in the 1930s, it was with the Kiesel name. However, he stopped using the family name when he established Carvin Guitars in the 1950s.

Fred Oster was encouraged by his cousin to play the guitar as a youngster, which quickly expanded to include playing the mandolin and the five string banjo. By the time Fred was playing banjo, during the height of the folk music movement of the early 1970s, he was hooked!

Paul Peace holds several patents on the cinema side of professional audio having worked with IMAX on and off for nearly 20 years. One of his many exciting projects was creating the sound for the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios in Hollywood. He continued to focus on cinema audio when he worked for JBL at which time he worked on sculpted surround sound technology.