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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.

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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.

NS22 Retail Financial Summit

NAMM Timeline

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Mr. Bonzai

“Weird Al” Yankovic’s lengthy resume lists singer, rapper, songwriter, musician, producer, satirist, and actor but perhaps he is best known for his humorous parody songs by contemporary musical acts, often poking fun of pop culture. Yankovic chats with Mr. Bonzai about his career, life on the road, upcoming tour and biopic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Bonzai Beat w/ "Weird Al" Yankovic

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“Weird Al” Yankovic began marketing his music by sending homemade tapes to the Dr. Demento Radio Show when he was a teenager. Today, Yankovic has become a pop culture icon and the best-selling comedy recording artist of all time. His first recording was released in 1978 on LP, Slo Grown. The song “Take Me Down” was written to benefit the Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County, California, and mocked famous nearby landmarks.

Shortly before his senior year of college in 1979, “My Sharona” by The Knack was topping the charts. Yankovic took his accordion to the restroom across the hall from the radio station he was working in and wrote “My Bologna.” Yankovic later met The Knack and introduced himself as the writer of “My Bologna” and found that Doug Fieger, the band’s lead singer, enjoyed the song and suggested that Capitol Records release it as a single.

Yankovic is a five-time GRAMMY® Award winner and a 16-time nominee. He has four gold and six platinum records and countless movie and television appearances. Yankovic also shares the distinct honor of being only one of four artists to have a Top 40 single in each of the last four decades, a privilege he shares with Michael Jackson, Madonna, and U2. In 2011, Yankovic added New York Times bestselling author to his resume with the release of his children’s book, When I Grow Up. In spring 2022, Yankovic will embark on his latest tour, “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advice Vanity Tour.”

For more information on Yankovic, including upcoming tour dates, please visit https://www.weirdal.com/home/.


Mr. Bonzai is an award-winning photographer, author, and interviewer. He has written more than 1,000 articles for outlets in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has published numerous books, including Studio Life (Mix, 1984), Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew (Mix, 1992), The Sound of Money (Focal, 2000), Faces of Music (Cengage, 2006), Music Smarts (Berklee Press, 2009), and John Lennon’s Tooth (BookBaby, 2012). His photos and articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Mix, EQ, Keyboard, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine, Disney Channel Magazine, Sound & Recording, and Relix, among others. http://www.mrbonzai.co

Elizabeth Dale

The NAMM TEC Committee is honored to present the 37th Annual TEC Awards on June 4, at The 2022 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

The TEC Awards “recognize the individuals, companies, and technical innovations behind sound of recordings, live performances, film, television, video games, and multimedia.” With award categories spanning 28 Technical and Creative Achievement categories, the TEC Awards is considered the highest honor dedicated to the pro audio and sound recording industry.

TEC Awards finalists are identified through a three-step process starting with a “Call for Entries.” After the entry period, a panel comprised of industry leaders and professionals nominated eligible products and project submissions that “represent superior accomplishment in their respective fields.” Professionals in the pro audio, live event, and music industry are invited to vote for the finalists in each category, with one taking home the title of “Product of the Year.” Voting is currently open and will close on March 31, 2022.


The Microphones - Sound Reinforcement category includes products and accessories used in live sound applications.

audio-technica – ES947C/XLR: The water-resistant cardioid condenser boundary microphone with an XLR output features a ”low-profile design that mounts unobtrusively in tabletops, ceilings, or panels for minimum visibility.” It also provides “clear, highly-intelligible audio that is perfect for conferencing, recording, monitoring and other demanding sound pickup applications.” The microphone is protected by an all-metal case with a two-layer perforated grille, and thanks to its cardioid polar pattern, the ES947C/XLR has a 120-degree pickup angle. All of this is combined with a UniGuard® RFI-shielding technology that helps reject radio frequency interference.

DPA Microphones – 4488 CORE Headset: DPA Microphones presents a one-size-fits-all solution to a variety of microphone needs with its 4488 CORE Headset. The headset comes equipped with a three-point grip to ensure comfort for its users, and its frame, boom length, and placement can all be easily adjusted. The 90-degree adjustable cable guide allows for your cables to remain out of sight while the headset frame, boom, and capsule all feature a non-reflective PVD surface.

DPA Microphones - 4488 CORE Headset

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Heil – PR 37 Microphone: This microphone from Heil is “designed for live sound reinforcement and recording applications with the vocalist in mind.” As the next evolution of the PR 35 and PR 22, the PR 37 “delivers an ultra-clear and transparent sound that brilliantly cuts through any mix.” The rear noise rejection makes it a great fit for live applications, especially in situations with high stage volume. The microphone is housed in a stable mounting system to reduce handling noise and is encased in a rugged metal body to provide durability while not compromising sound quality.

Heil - PR 37 Microphone

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sE Electronics – V7: sE Electronics describes its V7 handheld microphone as “reliable, rugged and roadworthy meets lush, vibrant and musical.” The all-metal design and durable zinc alloy chassis endures under stage stress and the beveled edge prevents the mic from rolling around when set down. The V7 features a gold-plated XLR connector to ensure a “loss-free and reliable signal connection for years to come.”

sE Electronics - V7

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Sennheiser – MD 445: Sennheiser presents the MD 445, a microphone they describes as “tailored to modern stage set-ups with B stages and runways in front of the PA. The MD 445’s fast transient response ensures a very detailed, nuanced, and transparent sound that is complemented by rich mid-range and bass.” The mic features a metal casing and a shock-mounted capsule to protect it from structure-borne noise, while a hum compensating coil also protects the microphone from electromagnetic interference.

Shure – DuraPlex DL4: The DuraPlex subminiature DL4 lavalier microphone. The DL4 is “consistent, long-lasting, and resistant to dust, dirt, water, and sweat” and offers professional-quality audio perfect for film, broadcast, speech, theater, and performance applications. Shure reports that this microphone is “perfect for everyday situations but excels in the harshest environments such as broadcast audio or sound for film.”

Shure - DuraPlex DL4

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For more information about the TEC Awards, including the entire list of finalists, please visit https://www.tecawards.org/. Voting is now open at http://tecawards.org/vote.

Elizabeth Dale

Throughout his life, Rick Wilkinson was always encouraged to build things. One could say it was in his DNA as he comes from a family of engineers, which has led to a fascination with how things work.

Once he earned his degree in electronics, Wilkinson entered the professional world as a bench-technician, repairing audio amplifiers and wiring audio systems for hotels and writing installation procedures and repair guides for electronic products. After gaining some experience, he advanced to a Customer Support Manager for a semiconductor equipment manufacturer. In this position, Wilkinson continued to develop troubleshooting procedures and maintenance literature while also running the international service department.

With a wealth of knowledge in hand, in 2007, he began Austin Ribbon Microphones. Wilkinson was searching for an entry-level ribbon microphone to help record a client. Ever the engineer, he was heavy into his research on the best product to buy when he stumbled upon a website and discussion groups that outlined how to modify a low-priced ribbon microphone to improve the sound. Inspired by the idea, Wilkinson took it one step further and became determined to build his own ribbon mic - if he could only find a complete tutorial. After an extensive search, he realized that such a manual wasn’t readily available. Wilkinson did the only thing he knew how to do - write one himself. Three weeks later, a new DIY ribbon mic was born and had a step-by-step guide, with photos, readily available for a new generation of aspiring engineers and musicians.

As word spread about Wilkinson’s new ribbon mic, he started to receive some repetitive feedback, “Do you have DIY Kits?” By 2009, he had officially combined his unique building plans with a box full of specially curated parts to build his microphone and put the kits on the market.

Never one to rest, Wilkinson became determined to fix another annoying problem facing fellow engineers and novice builders alike, the unstable “3rd-hand” alligator clip. This clip safely holds parts in place when soldering. We sat down with Wilkinson to talk about his latest product, the Hot Holder and Hot Holder Pro.

Playback Blog Interview w/ Rick Wilkinson

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Wilkinson continues to update and improve his products by incorporating unique tips and tricks directly from his customers and students.

  • Hot Holder Pro Demo

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  • Hot Holder NAMM

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  • Hot Holder Pro Demo (w/subtitles)

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For more information on all of Wilkinson’s products and projects, please visit https://www.austinmics.com/, www.musikding.de, www.diy.re, www.jenode.co.kr, www.truesound.com.twwww.radioshack.com, and www.LoveMySwitches.com.

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