Oral History -

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Fred Armisen is an award-winning comedian and writer who was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 2002-2013. Playing drums since he was a kid, Fred was heavily involved with punk rock bands in the Chicago area beginning in the mid-1980s.

Stefano Trabucchi’s father loved music and encouraged his son to play the violin when he was eight. Stefano was fascinated by the instrument and by thirteen wanted to build his own. The following year his supportive parents allowed him to travel to Cremona to study violin making in the same town as Stradivarius.

Michael Strickland was paid $25.00 for lighting his first rock concert in 1968 at the age of twelve. He knew The Grass Roots were in town to perform so he borrowed the overhead projectors and lights from his school and set them up for their show. The band was impressed, and Michael was hooked!

Donez McNeely sang in choir during her school days, following in the footsteps of her older sister who was a lead singer in a band. In 1980, Donez (whose name is derived by combining her two grandmother’s names) was hired by Samuel Music in Illinois as a filing clerk. The founder, Lowell Samuel, saw her potential in sales and moved her to his wholesale company MIDCO.

Paulo Nogueira is the co-owner of Americo Nogueira LDA along with his brother José. Their store in Portugal originally opened in 1860 and in 1947 their father began working at the store. In 1965 he purchased the store and renamed it, after himself, and began focusing on selling the popular musical instruments of the day, including home organs and guitars.

Drew Schlesinger started playing organ after seeing The Doors on The Ed Sullivan Show. While in college, Drew purchased his first Moog synthesizer and attended the Boston School of Electronic Music to learn synthesis with ARP 2600's and modular synths. Drew knew he wanted to be involved with programming synthesizers.

Charles Wright had a desire to form a solid soul band that would take the drive of R&B and push it to the limits.

Hans Dörner grew up in the music town of Schönbach/Luby surrounded by musical instrument makers - including his grandfather the founder of the music instruments trading company Joseph Mueller and his uncle violin maker Hans Trasny, who was master of the guild until 1945.

Harald Lorenz is the fourth generation of peg turners originating from a traditional farming community named Ursprung/ Počátky in the Czech Republic. The family looks back on 125 years of producing tuning pegs.

Thomas Schreiber, grandson of Wenzel Schreiber, today runs his own repair shop and takes care of the woodwind instruments of several music schools in the region of Frankfurt. After an apprenticeship at Buffet Crampon in France starting in 1977, Thomas joined his father’s company ESM in Austria for a few years and then was employed at the Schreiber Company in Nauheim, Germany as