Trade

NAMM supports free and fair trade. Review the recent informational webinar, including exemption-filing procedures and ongoing updates about the impact of the 2020 Chinese trade agreement.

NAMM Supports Free Trade

On behalf of 10,400 global members, NAMM believes that a strong and vibrant music and pro audio products and entertainment technology industry is important to the educational and cultural vitality, as well as the economic prosperity of all countries. As a trade association, NAMM will continue in our efforts to proactively engage elected officials to keep the lines of dialogue and trade open and urge U.S. and world leaders to reaffirm a commitment to such.

Ongoing updates and resources will continue to be posted to this page. Resources below include policy updates from the U.S. Trade Representative, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and The National Retail Federation.

To contact NAMM's Public Affairs and Government Relations team, email publicaffairs@namm.org  

Latest Updates

June 2022: Ocean Shipping Reform Act Addresses Supply Chain Challenges and Carrier Shipping Practices 

On June 16, 2022, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) was signed into law, updating ocean shipping ‘rules of the road’ for the first time since 1998, ensuring foreign ocean carriers are not unfairly rejecting American exports. The bipartisan package of U.S. shipping law reforms addresses supply chain disruptions, rising ocean shipping costs, and insufficient vessel service. U.S. agricultural exporters and importers of retail goods and raw materials that depend on competitive and efficient international ocean transportation services have faced ongoing challenges in securing timely and adequate vessel space, skyrocketing shipping costs, and inefficiencies in the pickup and delivery of cargo. 

The 2022 Ocean Shipping Reform Act authorizes appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) for fiscal years 2022 through 2025; establishes additional requirements and prohibited conduct for ocean carriers; requires the FMC to issue rules related to certain fee assessments, prohibited practices, and establishment of a shipping registry; and authorizes the FMC under certain circumstances to issue an emergency order requiring common carriers to share information directly with shippers and rail and motor carriers.  As mentioned previously, we’ve heard stories of violations of FMC rules occurring at some ports.  NAMM Members in this difficult position are urged to file a complaint with the FMC here   

NAMM, which was part of a coalition supporting passage of the new law, will continue to monitor this topic and will provide updates here as they are available.  

May 2022: USTR Seeks Public Comment Regarding the Continuation of Expiring 301 Tariffs  

The Biden administration is soliciting feedback from U.S. industries about whether to extend soon-expiring tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative sent notices to 600 companies and entities that have previously commented on the Section 301 tariffs seeking their input. 

Background: On May 13, 2019, the USTR posted the draft Federal Register notice announcing the HTS lines and the process for the List 4 China 301 tariffs. This included just about everything that wasn’t already subject to the additional 301 tariffs such as apparel, footwear, toys, consumer electronics, and musical instruments.  

  • Products on HTC list 4A (stringed instruments, pianos, wind instruments, percussion, keyboards, accessories, and more) are currently subject to a 7.5% tariff 
  • Products on HTC lists 1, 2, and 3, are currently tariffed at 25% 
  • Products on HTC list 4B (some stringed instruments, stands, and some accessories) are not currently subject to additional tariffs 
  • A full view of HTC List 4 is here.  Note: Music instruments and related accessories can be found under HTS 9201.10.00 “Upright Pianos,” through 9209.99.80 “Parts and Accessories for Musical Instruments”  

Public Comments: To make public comments in favor of continuing tariffs for the July 6, 2018 trade action (list 1), link here from May 7, 2022, through July 5, 2022. To make public comments in favor of continuing tariffs for the August 23, 2018 trade action (list 2), link here from June 24, 2022, through August 22, 2022.  NAMM Members who wish for the continuation of tariffs under List 3 or List 4A may submit requests through either portal. NAMM will continue to monitor this important issue and will provide updates as they are available. Please visit this page regularly

 

 

    Tax

    NAMM monitors tax reform issues and provides periodic updates on advocacy efforts and pending legislation. For up-to-date information on this issue, please visit this page regularly.

    Latest Updates

    3/29/22: NAMM Endorses the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act: Provides tax relief for musicians, other performing artists

    NAMM is pleased to support the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act (H.R. 4750 and S. 2872); federal legislation which would restore and update a tax deduction to help performing artists deduct business expenses. The legislation is sponsored in the House by Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and in the Senate by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).

    A provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 largely eliminated the option to claim miscellaneous itemized deductions that allowed many performers and other artists to deduct work expenses not covered by their employers. As a result, many artists ended up paying more in taxes since the costs of instruments, equipment, travel, and other business-related costs were no longer deductible.

    To address this problem, the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act would revise and expand the Qualified Performing Artist (QPA) tax deduction. QPA allows eligible performing artists, such as musicians, actors, and others employed in the performing arts, the option to take an “above the line” deduction for unreimbursed expenses. But the current adjusted gross income maximum threshold for the QPA deduction is just $16,000 - a level unchanged since QPA’s inception in 1986. The current threshold, as established more than 50 years ago, severely limits the number of individuals eligible for the QPA deduction. The legislation would make business expense deductions more widely available by modernizing the QPA’s income thresholds.

    The bill increases the income level to $100,000/single taxpayer and $200,000/joint filers, adds a built-in phase-out of the deduction and provides threshold income increases based on the Consumer Price Index. With these revisions, more lower and middle-income performers would be eligible for the QPA deduction.

    Congressional sponsors are seeking to advance the bill this year, possibly through inclusion in an end-of-the-year tax measure. In addition to NAMM, supporters of the legislation include the American Composers Forum, Americans for the Arts, Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Musicians, League of American Orchestras, SAG-AFTA and the Motion Picture Association. NAMM will continue to monitor this issue and will post updates here as they are available.

     

    • 5/7/21: U.S. Dept. of Labor Withdraws Independent Contractor Rule

    The U.S. Department of Labor officially withdrew the “Independent Contractor Rule” effective May 6, 2001. The rule, adopted by the prior administration, would have made it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA), covered employers are required to pay employees at least the federal minimum wage and overtime compensation. These FLSA requirements do not apply to independent contractors. Independent contractors, however, typically have more flexibility to set their own schedules and can work for more than one company.

    According to the Department’s press statement, it is withdrawing the rule for several reasons, including:

    • The independent contractor rule was in tension with the FLSA’s text and purpose, as well as relevant judicial precedent.
    • The rule’s prioritization of two “core factors” for determining employee status under the FLSA would have undermined the longstanding balancing approach of the economic realities test and court decisions requiring a review of the totality of the circumstances related to the employment relationship.
    • The rule would have narrowed the facts and considerations comprising the analysis of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, resulting in workers losing FLSA protections.

    For the near term, it appears unlikely that the Department of Labor will re-examine or issue rules that could ease criteria for classifying workers as independent contractors.

    The official notice of the rule’s withdrawal is published in the Federal Register.

    CA Prop 65

    Update on Proposition 65 Short-form Safe Harbor Warning Amendments: OEHHA Delay to Require Restart of Proposed Rulemaking 

    On May 20, 2022, NAMM received a notification from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) stating that OEHHA is unable to complete the pending rulemaking within the allotted time to amend sections of the California Code of Regulations related to the short-form safe harbor warnings under Proposition 65 (Register No. Z2020-1229-01) (Title 27, sections 25601, 25602, 25603, and 25607.2).  

    As a result, OEHHA must restart the rulemaking process on the short-form amendments with a re-issued regulatory proposal.  OEHHA plans to issue the new rulemaking for public input in the next several weeks. The agency noted that the new rulemaking will likely incorporate some recommendations it received from stakeholders about the previous proposal.  

    These are welcome developments as the delay signals that OEHHA recognizes the need to revisit the proposal in response to significant issues raised by the California business community.  NAMM, as a member of a coalition that submitted comments during the rulemaking process, urged OEHHA to withdraw the proposal or, absent a withdrawal, to substantially revise the amendments. NAMM and dozens of stakeholders expressed concerns about the imposition of new and burdensome labeling requirements – especially when businesses continue to struggle with supply chain issues and recovery from the pandemic.  

    For more information, please visit the short-form rulemaking webpage.

     

    Formaldehyde Emissions and CA Prop 65 Information and Resources

    CA Prop 65

    In 1986, California voters approved Proposition 65, an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. The law requires California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity, and for businesses with ten or more employees to provide warnings when they knowingly and intentionally cause significant exposures to listed chemicals. Penalties for violating Proposition 65 by failing to provide warnings can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day. Prop 65 also provides for enforcement "in the public interest" by private attorneys, who typically send a required 60-day notice to prospective violators and then seek to reach settlement agreements which usually include a monetary payment (shared by the lawyers and the state) and a correction of alleged labeling violations.

    Formaldehyde Emissions

    In 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that would regulate the amount of formaldehyde emissions from composite wood, such as hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and particleboard. Additionally, the proposed rule would regulate laminated wood products, impose more precise labeling on covered products and require compliance information to be passed down from manufacturer/importer through the distribution chain. 

    On December 12, 2016, EPA published a final rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde emissions from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. The rule regulates laminated wood products, imposes more precise labeling on covered products and requires compliance information to be passed down from manufacturer/importer through the distribution chain. Any musical instrument made of composite or laminate wood is impacted by the new regulations. In July of 2018, the EPA suppressed a draft health assessment on formaldehyde, suggesting that current regulations protecting the public from overexposure to formaldehyde might not be stringent enough to prevent increased risks of developing leukemia, nose and throat cancer, and other illnesses. NAMM will continue to monitor developments. 

    CARB2 - California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Phase 2. CARB2 stands for the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Phase 2, a stringent standard for formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, including hardwood plywood (HWPW), particleboard (PB), and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Composite wood products are panels made from pieces, chips, particles, or fibers of wood bonded together with a resin. In the production of laminate flooring, the core board is made up of medium to high-density fiberboard. This is where the emissions concerns come from.

    Note: The formaldehyde emission standards for composite wood products under the EPA final rule, and set by Congress, are identical to the California “Phase 2” formaldehyde emission standards (CARB2). EPA worked to align the other requirements of the federal rule with the California requirements. However, there are a few differences. Unlike the California requirements, among other things, the EPA rule:

    • Requires records be kept for three years versus two years;
    • Requires importers to provide import certification under TSCA beginning March 22, 2019;
    • Requires manufacturers to disclose upon request formaldehyde testing results to their direct purchasers; and
    • Requires laminated products not exempted from the definition of hardwood plywood to meet the hardwood plywood formaldehyde emissions standard beginning March 22, 2024.

    Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulations. Manufacturers exporting musical instruments to the European Union (EU), or operating within the EU, should be aware of the REACH regulation. Effective June 1, 2007, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) reg (EC1907/2006) is regarded as the strictest in the world pertaining to chemicals (e.g., glues, resins, etc.) used in the manufacture of a wide variety of products. Learn more. 

    Resources:

    Understanding REACH Regulations

    Compliance Guide for Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood for Fabricators and Laminated Product Producers

    Formaldehyde Updates from the EPA

    Manufacturer Frequently Asked Questions

    Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products

    Rule resources and guidance materials

    EPA Fact Sheet

    EPA FAQ and Regulations re Curved Plywood

    Webinars for small entity compliance

    Find an EPA-recognized Accreditation Body

    Find an EPA-recognized Third-Party Certifier

    Endangered Species

    NAMM and global coalition achieved revisions to CITES wood listing (2019 Conference of the Parties) and has established a forum concerning sustainability in the music industry.

    CITES, Traveling with Musical Instruments, LAWGS/LACEY Act and Ivory Ban Information and Resources

    Latest Updates: 

    March 22, 2022: Music Products Industry Represented at CITES Standing Committee Meeting

    Following two years of online meetings throughout the pandemic, representatives from more than 60 countries met in-person in Lyon, France March 7 through 11, as the CITES Standing Committee considered a full agenda of policy recommendations.

    NAMM continues to represent global music interests in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as international governments arrive at a consensus on new policies that may impact travel and trade involving musical instruments containing species protected under the treaty. NAMM supported the participation of Heather Noonan of the League of American Orchestras who is leading a collaboration of instrument manufacturers and music organizations.  Music stakeholders advanced policy requests including the Musical Instrument Certificate, and ongoing special considerations for tonewood in musical instruments. These talks are a precursor to the 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19), which will take place in Panama City, Panama November 14 through 25, 2022. CITES member parties are currently drafting proposals for resolutions and new species listing requests for consideration at CoP19, which will be announced by mid-June, after which each of the 183 parties to the Convention will develop their position on the new proposals. NAMM and its international collaborators in the musical instrument industry will continue to collaborate to advance policy solutions that support both conservation efforts and travel and trade with musical instruments. NAMM will continue to monitor this issue closely and will post updates here as they are available.

    February 14, 2022: Online tool launched to facilitate travel preparations with musical instruments containing CITES-protected species

    On 2/8/2022 Pearle Live Performance Europe and the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) announced the launch of their joint website Traveling with musical instruments in compliance with CITES rules. The site includes questions to help musicians and music ensembles, prepare their touring activities with musical instruments containing CITES-protected species. The objective is to help users determine whether a CITES Musical Instrument Certificate (MIC) is required when crossing international borders with their musical instruments for non-commercial purposes, such as concerts and other live performance events, competitions, teaching, and recording. Musicians, orchestras, and other music groups can also identify steps to be taken before their departure. Read the full release here

    September 1, 2021: Reminder: New October 1st Lacey Act Import Requirement Includes Drums, Clarinets, Flutes, and Piccolos

    As reported this Summer, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that implementation for Phase VI of the enforcement schedule will start on October 1, 2021. Phase VI mandates that companies importing musical instruments containing wood - including drums, clarinets, flutes, and piccolos - will be required to file a new import declaration form.  Learn how to comply with this new import requirement by viewing our short webinar.

    Since 2010, the import declaration requirement has been applicable to pianos (including player pianos, harpsichords, and other stringed keyboard instruments) defined in Harmonized Tariff Schedule 9201 and "other stringed instruments" (including acoustic guitars, violins, and harps) in HTS 9202. Beginning on October 1, 2021, the import declaration requirement expands to imported products falling within the following HTS codes:

    • 9205.90.20.00 -- wind musical instruments, bagpipes
    • 9205.90.40.20 -- clarinets
    • 9205.90.40.60 -- flutes and piccolos
    • 9205.90.40.80 -- other woodwind instruments
    • 9206.00.20.00 -- drums
    • 9207.90.00.40 -- fretted stringed instruments, the sound of which is produced or must be amplified electrically.
    • 9209.92 -- parts and accessories for musical instruments (e.g., instrument stands, tuning pins, bows)
    • 9209.92.80.80 -- parts and accessories for musical instruments, other
    • 9209.99.20.00 -- parts and accessories for bagpipes
    • 9209.99.40.40 -- parts and accessories for other woodwind instruments
    • 9209.99.80.00 -- parts and accessories for musical instruments, other

    The import declaration form must be filed electronically or in paper format by the importer although as a practical matter the information required by the form must be obtained from the product manufacturer or exporter.

    The European musical instrument organization CSFI has prepared a guidance document for European manufacturers and exporters, but it can also be helpful to U.S. importers. 

    July 6, 2021: Lacey Import Declaration Implementation Date Extended to October 1, 2021.

    On Friday, July 2nd the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a change in the date of implementation for Phase VI of the enforcement schedule, from July 1, 2021, to October 1, 2021. Read the Federal Register posting.

    Phase VI mandates that companies importing musical instruments containing wood - including drums, clarinets, flutes, and piccolos - will be required to file a new import declaration form.

    To learn the steps you must follow to comply with this new import requirement, View our short webinar..

    Since early June, NAMM has been in communication with APHIS administrators, urging an extension of the July 1 deadline, allowing the industry more time to comply. NAMM will continue to monitor this issue closely and will post updates here as they are available.

    Traveling with Musical Instruments

    During the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties in 2013, the United States proposed a “passport” program to ease the burden on musicians traveling with musical instruments made from CITES-listed species. The proposal was adopted and as a result musical instruments with CITES-listed species may travel through a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated port with proper documentation. Individuals traveling abroad with musical instruments that contain Brazilian rosewood, tortoiseshell, elephant ivory, or any other parts or products protected under CITES or the Endangered Species Act (ESA) must obtain special documentation before traveling.

    For more information on the permit process, documentation requirements, and how to file, please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Musical Instruments website.

    Lacey Act

    The Lacey Act is a federal statute that regulates the import, export and commerce of protected wildlife, plant species and products. The law covers all fish and wildlife and their parts or products, plants listed on the CITES Appendices as well as those protected by state law. In 2008, Congress amended the law to include new provisions covering plants and plant materials.  Under the revised law and subsequent regulations,  all shipments of imported pianos and other stringed instruments (e.g., guitars and violins) must be accompanied by a declaration listing that includes, among other things, the scientific name (genus and species) of all wood and other plant material used in the imported product, as well as the country of origin of the wood. Specifically, any imported product subject to Harmonized Tariff Schedule Chapters 9201 and 9202. For more information on the Lacey Act and how it relates to injurious wildlife, visit the Office of Law Enforcement.

    Ivory Ban

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has been tasked with developing specific rules and regulations for oversight and enforcement. Along with other music and musician organizations, NAMM is actively  advocating for the development of compliance rules that assure fair and legal trade of instruments that contain ivory and that regulations are congruent with exiting requirements (CITES, etc.). The release of proposed rules and a public comment period is expected in the coming months. NAMM continues to be active in advocacy and oversight of rule development process and will advise NAMM Members of the public comment period.  NAMM Members seeking further clarification on the ivory ban can visit the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife’s FAQs.

    Updates and Resources:

    Elizabeth Dale

    The NAMM Show is recognized globally as the crossroads of the music, pro audio and sound, and entertainment technology industry. NAMM Member and new exhibitor MatchMySound used its inaugural NAMM Show to showcase its product while simultaneously uniting the industry to effect positive changes throughout the communities surrounding Anaheim.

    MatchMySound 2022 NAMM Show

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    MatchMySound attended its first NAMM Show in June. They are a new company that features guided practice technology solutions for all instruments, including guitar, piano, and voice. The team was excited to exhibit and introduce their music edtech to educators, retailers with lesson programs, and organizations. While at The NAMM Show, MatchMySound shared a booth with its sister company, RealTime Audio, another new-on-the-scene startup that offers a solution for latency problems facing musicians who want to jam remotely, in real-time.

    During The 2022 NAMM Show, MatchMySound Marketing Director Jen Biasi saw an opportunity to positively impact the community by donating furniture used during the show to Habitat for Humanity. With a team and equipment spread out around the globe, Biasi recognized that instead of shipping furniture, the fiscally responsible move would be to buy furniture for their booth in California. Realizing that it would only be used for a few days, Biasi sought a way to give the items a second life with Habitat for Humanity.

    Biasi reflected, “Habitat for Humanity is a deserving organization and the first non-profit that came to mind. With a safe place to call home, music can happen. MatchMySound adheres to this idea of building an accessible and joyful musical community, and I’m proud to work for them because of it.”

    Habitat for Humanity PSA

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    Habitat for Humanity is best known for providing housing solutions for the unhoused. However, the organization has numerous other programs that assist those in need, including disaster response, financial education protocols to aid homeowners, improving existing homes for the aging, revitalizing neighborhoods, and the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter. The Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter develops functioning including housing markets across the world. Founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, the non-profit now operates in over 70 countries. Habitat for Humanity has served roughly 35 million people by constructing, rehabilitating, or preserving homes since its inception and is the world’s largest not-for-profit builder.

    As a result of Biasi’s and other NAMM Members’ efforts, after The 2022 NAMM Show, 105 pieces of furniture were loaded onto a truck and donated to Habitat for Humanity.


    For more information on MatchMySound and Habitat for Humanity, please visit https://matchmysound.com/ and https://www.habitat.org/.

     

    Elizabeth Dale

    In April, Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd was one of over 200 organizations to be nationally recognized with the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for excellence in international trade.

    Focusrite “believes in enriching peoples’ lives through music,” and they achieve their goal by manufacturing audio interfaces. For those unfamiliar, audio interfaces serve to pass audio from the musician to the computer and back out again, bringing recorded sound to the world. The manufacturer says, “The best interface should help you record your sound exactly as it is. It should be ready to go when you are, never skipping a beat. It should be easy to use, removing pointless technical barriers that get in the way of you enriching yours and others’ lives through music.”

    The English music and audio products group began in 1985 and was founded by legendary audio pioneer Rupert Neve. Before the easy and affordable access to computers, Focusrite built consoles. One of the manufacturer's first contracts was a commission from Sir George Martin to build an extension to AIR Studios’ custom Neve console. In April 1989, audio industry entrepreneur and co-founder of Soundcraft Electronics Ltd, Phil Dudderidge, purchased the company and established Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. With its continued expansion over the past four decades, Focusrite now houses eight brands, including ADAM Audio, Amplify Music, Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Martin Audio, Novation, Optimal Audio, and Sequential and manufacturers analog EQs and channel strips, audio interfaces, consoles, digital audio processing hardware, and software, and microphone preamps.

    Focusrite Story

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    Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the country’s “most prestigious business awards.” The 2022 program marked the fifth award received by Focusrite and the third acknowledgment the company received for “outstanding and sustained growth of their international sales.” The NAMM Member successfully “increased order volumes while dealing with disruption to deliveries and for growing their overseas orders by 145% in the six years, with top markets to include Austria, Australia, Benelux, France, Germany, North America, and South Korea. Of the recognition, Dudderidge said, “Thanks go to our amazing team in the UK and overseas for developing and selling the world’s leading audio interface brand, Focusrite, and sister brand Novation.”

    With the award, Focusrite can use the Queen’s Emblem for the next five years. For more information on Focusrite, please visit https://focusrite.com/.

    NAMM Show Award Winners

    Attend The NAMM Show's Grand Rally for Music Education

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    Grand Rally for Music Education

    Representation, Technology, and Inclusion Leads to Groundbreaking Music Event Celebrating Music Educators

    Eric Whitacre conducts “Sing Gently” live from The Grand Rally for Music Education at The 2022 NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA on June 4 from 10-11 am.

    In-person badges and online-only passes are available

    Register Now

    When the world shut down in March 2020, we immediately reached out to Composer and Conductor Eric Whitacre and his team. Our shared belief in the healing properties of music-making led us to wholeheartedly support Virtual Choir 6 and its subsequent gift to the world, “Sing Gently.” In many ways, “Sing Gently” leveled the playing field by providing free access to the music and lyrics as well as to Eric Whitacre himself, who provided free interactive video workshops based on vocal type and range.

    With 41,820 sign ups and 17,572 singers representing 129 countries, this “pandemic project” turned into a lifesaving place for connection for thousands of people who had a built-in community in Virtual Choir 6. In an active and lively Facebook group, their voices combined to form a symphony of inclusion for all ages and abilities that transcended race and geography.  It became a supportive community that extended beyond the “Sing Gently” project. Complete strangers bonded over personal stories of loss and accomplishments—of fear and anxiety—and above all—of a shared love for music. Whitacre said, “technology has played a massive part in music-making and music-sharing. Through the pandemic the ability to connect personally and through music stopped many of us from losing our minds.” Whitacre built something beautiful founded upon his deep understanding between the connection of music and empathy, which resulted in one of the most meaningful musical compositions and performances of our collective lifetimes. And it all happened online.

    In a recent interview with The NAMM Foundation, Whitacre shared his perspective why music is so powerful. He said, “whether it’s the lyrics, chords, melody, underlying structure and journey of a song or symphony, the emotional architecture, as I like to call it, is baked into the music.” He continued, “it’s visceral and plays a role in the development of our wisdom, compassion, and understanding of humanity.” Whitacre is much too humble to see it, but this description could be applied to his compositions and unique ability to make meaningful connections with both performers and audience members alike.

    In the spirit of connecting with as many people as possible through the emotional architecture underlying his composition, “Sing Gently,” Eric Whitacre has partnered with JackTrip to produce a groundbreaking technology-powered music making experience that will be featured as part of The Grand Rally for Music Education at NAMM’s first-ever hybrid Show. Whitacre will conduct an in-person string quartet and pianist, with a live virtual choir rendition of “Sing Gently.” This historic in-person event, a feat never before attempted at The NAMM Show, will be livestreamed on the NAMM Show+ digital platform to music lovers and fans from around the world.

    Music educators, college music students, music industry professionals and artists will reconvene this June, brought back together (safely) to celebrate music making in all its forms. Whitacre, a pioneer of virtual music making, still prefers to be in-person with his musicians and audiences. He shared his excitement about his return to The Grand Rally for Music Education, acknowledging that, “the collective, shared experience is crucial here – live music making—and being in the crowd or concert hall.” We couldn’t agree more.

    The Grand Rally for Music Education features Eric Whitacre, The Gateways Brass Collective, with pre-show entertainment from Mariachi Joya

    June 4, 2022
    10-11 am PST
    Anaheim, CA Convention Center, Level 3, Ballroom B
    Presented by The NAMM Foundation in Collaboration with Conn-Selmer, Hal Leonard, JackTrip, and Yamaha

    In-person badges and online-only passes are available

    Register to attend The 2022 NAMM Show now!

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    Elizabeth Dale

    Since 1901, NAMM has been serving companies operating throughout the musical instrument industry. Today NAMM serves over 7,000 active member companies and is continuously seeking to expand its reach to better serve the music products industry and promote music-making.

    Originally comprised of 52 members, the National Association of Piano Dealers of America was renamed in 1919 to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) to represent the growing markets within the music products industry. Today NAMM is a nonprofit association that promotes the benefits and pleasure of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry.

    Like the first decade of its existence, NAMM continuously strives to serve a growing and diverse marketplace. With the additions of the pro audio and live entertainment professionals within NAMM’s membership base, and innovations that have allowed for music-making to become more widespread, the organization is again broadening the scope of music makers it serves.

    In 2021, NAMM opened its membership communities to include pro audio and live sound professionals, music educators, and other professional groups. This includes new and exciting membership opportunities and benefits and direct access for industry professionals to attend The NAMM Show, June 3-5 in Anaheim, California.

    NAMM: Many Stories, One Vision

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    General Benefits of Membership: Besides attending The NAMM Show, individuals who become NAMM Members have year-round access to NAMM events, career-building professional development, networking, and resources. In addition, NAMM also represents the industry's most pressing issues in Washington D.C. and beyond, “advocating for free trade, informed regulations, funding for the arts and music education, and more.”

    Educators: While The NAMM Show typically occurs in late January, The 2022 NAMM Show offers a unique opportunity for music educators to attend. NAMM is excited to offer educators their own path to membership via individual memberships. Not only will teachers kick off summer by heading to Anaheim June 3-5 and become inspired for the school year ahead alongside leading professionals but they will also have yearlong access to the invaluable resources that NAMM provides. Sessions of particular interest include the Music Education Days and its “Improv Comedy & Music Education,” “Rethinking Music Education in the Post COVID-19 World,” “The Grand Rally for Music Education,” and more. Please visit https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2022/education/music-education-days for the complete Music Education Days schedule.

    The 2021 Grand Rally for Music Education: Celebrating the Joys and Benefits of Music Education

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    Pro Audio and Live Sound Professionals: Those who work in pro audio, from the emerging professional to the seasoned veteran, are invited to join NAMM as individual members. Whether you are a hobbyist, work within a house of worship, or are a full-time engineer, all are welcome to join NAMM and attend The NAMM Show. The 2022 NAMM Show is offering a wealth of events for the pro audio community, including training certification from Dante (additional registration required at https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2022/education/dante), the Loud Speaker System Showcase (https://www.namm.org/exhibit/wn22/loudspeaker-system-showcase), NAMM TEC Awards (https://www.tecawards.org/), Pensado’s Place Residency at NAMM, the Pro Audio Pool Party, and dynamic sessions like “Get a Room: Recoding in a Commercial Facility Versus at Home,” “How AI is Changing EDM Production, Mixing, and Mastering,” and more.

    2019 NAMM Loud Speaker System Showcase

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    Live Event Professionals: Those working within the realm of live events at any level or affiliation are welcome to join NAMM and attend The NAMM Show. The 2022 NAMM Show will offer a host of events geared toward your community, including educational sessions like “Loud: A Conversation with Tana Douglas, the First Woman Roadie,” “Show Stop: The One Agreement Everyone Must Agree On,” and “Working at Height Safely,” among others. Also included are education sessions with NAMM’s partners, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) (https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2022/education/esta), and Event Safety Alliance (ESA) (https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2022/education/esa), the LSA/ESTA Welcome Reception, and the Parnelli Awards (https://parnelliawards.com/).

    Entertainment Technology at The NAMM Show

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    The best part of all of this is that your membership is included alongside your NAMM Show badge, ensuring that you have access to everything NAMM provides beyond The NAMM Show. NAMM Show badge fees help fund the work of The NAMM Foundation, which, through research, advocacy, and grants, helps to create a world with more music makers. For more information on individual memberships, please visit https://www.namm.org/attendee/articles/introducing-individual-membership, and to register for The 2022 NAMM Show, please visit https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2022/badges.

    Elizabeth Dale

    Huber Breese Music will celebrate its golden anniversary at The 2022 NAMM Show. Founder Paul Huber will attend The NAMM Milestone Awards, which takes place only at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, June 3-5.

    The annual NAMM Milestone Awards recognize Members who have made lasting contributions to the music products industry as they celebrate landmark anniversaries. The celebration culminates with NAMM CEO and President Joe Lamond and Music Historian Dan Del Fiorentino presenting the award at The NAMM Show. Each year, honorees are recognized at the NAMM U Breakfast session and commended for their generations of impact on the industry. “Showcasing more than just staying power, the companies that receive the NAMM Milestone Award often attribute their longevity to their active interest in their local communities and supporting music education. We are proud to honor them as we recognize their contributions to bringing music to the world,” says Del Fiorentino.

    2022 marks the 50th anniversary for Huber Breese Music, and the retailer is ready to celebrate at The NAMM Show. In 1972, the brick-and-mortar store opened its doors to the community of Fraser, Michigan. The retail store specializes in electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers and cabinets, drums and percussion, keyboards, folk instruments, and pro audio gear.

    Huber and Breese first met in 1968 when Huber took a position at Mt. Clemens Music teaching guitar alongside Breese, who was teaching percussion. To test the resolve of their students, the store would provide aspiring guitarists with an instrument, and at the end of eight weeks, if they stuck with it, the store would then encourage students to purchase their own guitar.

    After graduating from a year-long course on the art of guitar instruction from his mentor, Joyce Lucido, Huber took a position, and he and Breese became fast friends and bandmates. The duo would teach all day and gig at night, and in 1972, the store faced a daunting rent increase and was forced to close. Finding himself out of a job, Huber mentioned to Breese that he was thinking of finding his own space to continue teaching. Enthused by the prospect of continuing teaching, Breese joined Huber as the pair secured a small, 800-square-foot building. After some savvy negotiation with the current owner, the former laundromat became home to the pair’s new studio.

    In just 24 hours, Breese and Huber enlisted the help of their band’s bass player and his brother and quickly erected four teaching rooms. On May 15, 1972, approximately 95% of the students from Mt. Clemens Music followed the teachers, and Huber Breese Music was officially open. After a year of operations, there was an opportunity to expand, and the pair decided to knock out an adjoining wall to make a band room and retail space.

    Huber spearheaded the retail efforts starting with a small stock of strings, picks, and a few guitars, purchased from another local store. Within three months of beginning their retail efforts, Huber was grossing well over $3,000, an impressive feat for 90 days of receiving their first stock. By 1977, the team’s landlord offered to sell the building to the musical operation and expanded to add a second story, nearly doubling its square footage to approximately 3,200 square feet. Lesson participation continued to grow, and eventually, Huber Breese counted about 600 students enrolled in their programs.

    The owners pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to achieve their dream, opening a music studio and retail space that now hosts over 1,000 guitars, over 50 drum sets, amplifiers, a full line of audio products, and keyboards, an instrument rental department, and 600 students. While Breese passed away just shy of the store’s 38th anniversary, Huber reflected on his keen business skills, saying, “We weathered many recessions and downturns because Terry kept a conservative approach to finances. I believe I drove him off the cliff a few times with the cost of my guitar orders.”

    While Huber is still involved in the business, he has taken a step back, employing his son Hans, who has worked at the store for the past 23 years, to take the reins. Hans said, “I did feel the pressure to uphold the store's reputation as I started to work full-time. Today, I am more aware of my strong suits, and I invest in people that possess the passions and talents that I lack and therefore make the store more balanced than ever before. We are just getting started after 50 years, and I am looking forward to continuing to uplift our community and society through our services.”

    The father and son team is excited to travel to Anaheim to receive their Milestone Award. “I remember going to Chicago for our first show and Gibson bringing Les Paul and Howard Roberts. We have met so many wonderful artists through the years, and we are ready to get back to the show and experience that once again,” says Huber.

    For more information from Huber and Breese, please visit https://huberbreese.com/. Register for The NAMM Show at https://registration.namm.org/wn22/register?ms=nammorg_attend and attend the Breakfast of Champions, where the Milestone Awards will be presented on Saturday, June 4 at 8:00 a.m. inside the Hilton, Level 2, Pacific Ballroom.

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