Join Us For The 2017 16th Annual Warehouse Sale

Willis Music KMEA Preview

This week Willis Music will be in the Exhibit Hall at the 2017 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Conference in Louisville, KY. Stop by our booth between 9am-5pm on Thurs. & Fri. to say hello and Experience Yamaha! Be sure to ask us about our KMEA PRICING on all items we will have on display.

The Willis Music staff planning to be present include, Chris Teesdale (manager of our Lexington location), Matthew Powell (Keyboard Specialist for our Lexington location), Chase Clark (School Service Representative for Central KY), and Michelle VanSickle (School Service Representative for Northern KY). In addition to other members of our Willis Music team, we welcome representatives from the Yamaha Corporation Keyboard & Pro Music divisions who will join us in our exhibit.

Below is a brief preview of what we will have on display for demonstration:

As the ONLY Yamaha Acoustic Piano dealer in Kentucky we are excited to feature
the Yamaha B2 Acoustic Upright Piano with Silent technology.
This piano is perfect for practice rooms, small performance venues, and even at home.

 

The CLP-585 Yamaha Clavinova is one instrument in the KMEA Exhibit Hall you will want to hear!
Experience the unparalleled sound quality of a CFX Grand & Bosendorfer.
“Quite simply, the finest CLP Clavinova ever made.”

 

Woodwind, Brass, and String musicians will find numerous Professional and Intermediate instruments on display at our KMEA booth and available for demonstration!
This includes Yamaha flutes, clarinets, oboe, saxophones,
trumpets, french horns, and trombones!
Plus, we will have Eastman violins, and Yamaha Silent Electric Violins!

Too many instruments to include photographs – so come check this out for yourself at our booth!
Looking for a specific item or want to know more?  TEXT US AT 859-474-2664.

 

 

The Yamaha TF Rack Digital Mixer is one of the newest and coolest products in the music industry for 2017
and we will have it for you to play with and learn about at KMEA!

This is perfect for any marching band program looking to amplify instruments and voices.
Plus, it works great in a theater or any portable environment!

 

Be sure to check out the affordable and dynamic Yamaha DBR Loudspeaker Series we will have in our booth at KMEA –
as well as Chauvet Lighting.
We offer free installation for any school environment needing pro audio or lighting!

 

Guitar has quickly become a large part of music classrooms in Kentucky!
In 2016 we helped fill up a classroom of guitars at Coventry Oak Elementary (Lexington),
George Rogers Clark High (Winchester), and East Jessamine High (Nicholasville).
Come strum a few chords with us this week at our KMEA booth
featuring some popular classroom guitars by Yamaha.
We also have their Transacoustic Guitar on hand for those of you who want to experience something really special on a guitar!

We plan to bring a few Kala Ukuleles with us too! Another great tool for music educators!

   

In 2016 Yamaha released the Montage synthesizer! It will blow your socks off!
Imagine the MOTIF and DX models combined – and it’s user friendly!
For KMEA we will have the Montage and a CP4 Stage Piano on display.

 

Percussionists, we’ve made sure to bring some fun items for you at KMEA as well.
A sweet sounding custom made Holloman snare drum, along with two BRAND NEW
concert snare drum sticks by Promark! We love these!

Featuring the Concert One and Concert Two drumsticks. Come give them a try!

 

And finally…. the Yamaha DTX Multi 12 pad! Used extensively in the Hamilton musical, as well as through out the marching band and indoor percussion activities.

Join Us For The 2016 15th Annual Warehouse Sale

Our long anticipated warehouse sale is coming up this month! This is the 15th annual sale and it will be bigger and better than ever! We have new surprises in store and more awesome deals that you don’t want to miss!

New this year are pianos.  Check out our used pianos and pre-shop the warehouse sale.
warehouse sale

Check out some videos to get you hyped for the Warehouse sale!
A look at how we make the magic come together
 

Here is a look at the 2015 warehouse sale! It is always buzzing with excitement!
 

September Calendar of Events – Lexington

School is back in session and we are in full throttle at Willis Music in Lexington, KY! Be sure to come experience the thrills of September. It will be a fun month!

  • Our weekday hours are extended through September 16 to better serve you. We open at 10am Monday through Friday during the first half of the month.
  • Earn Double Music Money during Labor Day Weekend! Click here to learn more about how this works! Music Money is free money just for you! It’s also our 4 year anniversary of being at West Tiverton Way!
  • During the middle of the month we are honoring all military and first responders with special deals throughout an entire week! Please bring your ID, and browse through our entire store wide inventory to save money this month! Be sure to check out the new Fender Paramount Acoustic Guitars coming in this month.
  • Lexington Live, our open mic experience, continues on the 3rd Saturday or each month this fall!
  • Our monthly Yamaha Disklavier In-Concert Performance takes place on the 4th Friday of each month. This month we will feature the Tierney Sutton Band.  Click here to learn more!

 

September 2016

Lexington August Events

August Events in Lexington

This is going to be an exciting month at the Willis Music Lexington location! It’s BACK TO SCHOOL time which means we will be busy renting orchestra & band instruments, selling recorders for local music classrooms, and much more. In fact, its going to be such an awesome month that we have decided to open an hour earlier Monday through Friday, to better serve you!

Click on the calendar below to see all the performances & sale events planned for August.

Here are two events we are highly anticipating:

Friday, August 12 – We host our 3rd annual Live Streaming Event of the Drum Corps International World Championship Semi-Finals. From 2-10pm we will have video on a large projection screen, plus pro-quality surround sound to give you the ultimate DCI experience. It will be as if you were in the stadium!!  The event starts at 2:00pm and ends by 10:30pm. We will have free drinks & popcorn, plus door prizes! Come and go as you please, or get comfortable and join us for the entire day!

Friday, August 26 – Our first ever Yamaha Disklavier In-Concert Performance! Starting at 6pm that evening you can bring a friend and enjoy a piano performance unlike any other!  This month we will enjoy world-renowned classical pianist Claire Huangci. We promise you’ll love this!

August 2016

The Yamaha Experience comes to Willis Music

We are excited for our biggest one-day event of the year!! It’s a great day for Music Educators and Music Enthusiasts alike! Come to Willis Music in Lexington, KY on July 15 for a day of musical fireworks!
A team of experts from the Yamaha Corporation will join our knowledgeable Willis Music sales team and school service representatives to share with you a variety of Yamaha musical instruments made to enrich your lives!
 There will also be door prizes from Yamaha & Willis Music given out during the event, in addition to catered food and beverages to keep you energized on this fantastic day!


Visit our Lexington location at 130 West Tiverton Way from Noon-5pm on Friday, July 15 to experience demonstrations on the following Yamaha instruments which are also available for purchase at a special one day discount:
– Brass, Woodwind, & Orchestra instruments
– Marching Percussion  (Snares, Tenors, and Basses are in-store that day! Come try them out!)
– Concert Percussion   (Snares, Keyboard instruments, and more will be on hand!)clav2
– Disklavier & Silent Pianos
– Clavinovas
– Acoustic & Hybrid Pianos
– Montage Synthesizer (new!) and other workstations
– Portable Keyboards and Digital Pianos
– Acoustic Guitars
– DTX and Acoustic Drumsets
– Pro Audio Speakers & Mixing Consoles

 

Some of the Yamaha Corporation team present will be:

– Michael Brumit: Keyboard Division
– Phil Clendeninn: Senior Product Specialist
– Steve Hauer: Pro Music Division
– Scott Slocum: Band & Orchestra Division
– Troy Wallwage: Percussion Marketing Manager
Yamaha Music Experience Flyer

Clarinet & Saxophone Workshop June 4 2016

Willis Music is excited to collaborate with D’Addario to present a Clarinet & Saxophone Workshop on Saturday, June 4, 2017 from 11am-3pm. This workshop will feature Reserve Method Clinician, Krista Weiss, and will take place at our Lexington, KY location (130 West Tiverton Way). This is a great opportunity for educators and students alike.

krista

Krista’s clinics focus on tone production, air support, and reed care. She also enjoys showing the value of focused, efficient practice techniques and encourages an open discussion of all things clarinet between herself and the students she encounters.

Krista Weiss is a freelance clarinetist and teacher in Indiana and Ohio. Through her work with D’Addario, Ms. Weiss has traveled to dozens of schools across the Midwest to give clinics on clarinet fundamentals and equipment. She also currently serves as principal clarinet of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and second clarinet of the Richmond Indiana Symphony. An active freelancers, Ms. Weiss has recently performed with the Cincinnati SYmphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, indianapolis Opera, South Bend Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. Ms. Weiss also enjoys a career as a studio musician and has performed in dozens of recordings for Hal Leonard Corporation.

This is a great way to gain motivation for the summer. We hope all woodwind players will make plans to attend.

 

Summer of Music Education in Lexington

Our Lexington location has a summer full of
Music Education 
opportunities on its’ schedule.

Save these dates!

 

Saturday, June 4 – D’Addario Woodwind Workshop

Clinician, Krista Weiss, will present a workshop from 11am-3pm on clarinet & saxophone
fundamentals & equipment. Plus you can come test out  D’Addario products for yourself!

Tuesday, June 28 – Carolyn Miller Piano Workshop

Composer, performer, and piano teacher, Carolyn Miller, offers a morning full of
piano pedagogy tips and best practices from 9am-Noon. You won’t want to miss this!.

Friday, July 15 – Yamaha Music Educator Experience

Music Educators: Join us from Noon-5pm for a day of musical fireworks, as a team of
Experts from the Yamaha Corporation share their products made to enrich your life!

Friday, August 12 – DCI Semi-Finals Live Streaming Event

For the third straight year we invite you to pull up a chair, bring a friend,  and enjoy Drum
Corps International live on a big screen and in a thrilling surround sound from 2-10:30pm.

Saturday, September 10 – Young Percussionists Workshop

Created for 5-8 graders percussionists, this workshop featuring local percussion educators
will focus on fundamentals & musicianship for concert percussion & drumset from 1-5pm.


All of these events are free of charge and will take place in the John Thompson Recital Hall at Willis Music.
RSVP to lexington@willismusic.com

headshot of kevin cranley

What’s kept us going for 117 years?

March Cincinnati Band of the Month

 

Misnomer was born in basements. Originally from the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, Misnomer is a band full of interesting individuals that set out to break down the conventional boundaries of popular music. By implementing various influences and styles, Misnomer offers a familiar sound that exists within the paradox of “contemporary” versus “classic”.  They refuse to recycle, yet retain a sense of familiarity and freshness. The music that is produced by their individualistic, non-generic format has the effect of making an audience want to shake their booties, bang their heads, and groove with euphoric melancholy, through a sound that has never reached ears before.

In the early years of the band, Randy Clark (drummer) and Kyler Davis (guitar/vocals) formed a strong relationship based solely around a mutual love for the art, craft, and expression of music. After developing their abilities further, they decided to recruit Dominic Franco (bassist) to the line-up. As a 3-piece, they established themselves and developed an identity through their interesting and unique sound and approach. Misnomer added the fourth member, Logan Brown (multi-instrumentalist), after collaborating with him to independently record and release their first full length album.

Misnomer has played in the Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky circuit for roughly 4 years. After finally picking up momentum, they decided to release their first full-length album in early 2016, which will be followed by an extensive tour in the summer.

Now that you have met the band, go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you can find them online! Come in to Willis at Moeller Music West Chester and show an associate that you “Liked” their music page on Facebook and receive discounts!

Misnomer keeps their fans updated with the latest news, music, merchandise, promotions and whatever through various social media accounts.

 

http://misnomermusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MisnomerOfficial/

https://twitter.com/misnomermusic

https://www.instagram.com/misnomer_official/

Want to be the next Band Of The Month in Cincinnati? Click Here!

Flute Player Sidelined with Concussion!

OK, so I did a google search for this seemingly ridiculous headline and found nothing so I made it up. Concussions have become a serious concern in sports and I’m pleased the subject is getting it’s due attention.  But what I want to talk to you about is what always seems to be the topic when it comes to budget problems in our schools.  When cuts are made do we cut band or sports.  Unfortunately many times band seems to get the short end of the funding stick.  This article points out what most of us have known for years.  Involvement in music is vital to the total education of our children.  I know you will enjoy the article as I did and I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

 

Education Week
Published Online: June 23, 2015
COMMENTARY
Football or Music? What’s the Best K-12 Investment?
By John R. Gerdy

 

In a perfect world, all high school activities would be fully funded. But to educators struggling to find the financial means to establish and pay for educational priorities, it is clear that we do not live in a perfect world.

Today’s schools are subjected to growing pressures from increased academic standards and the expectation that they will provide all of their students with an education worthy of the 21st century. These demands must be met, moreover, in a climate of sharply declining resources. The world is changing at breathtaking speed, and the challenges inherent in responding to that change are daunting. So, too, are the economic stresses on schools.

All that being the case, communities and school boards have to be more open, honest, thoughtful, and strategic in considering how to allocate scarce educational resources. When program cuts are necessary, priorities must be set and difficult choices made. Traditionally, one choice has been between fielding elite athletics programs and maintaining enriching programs in the arts—with the arts usually being the first to suffer. Because the challenges and funding gaps for schools will only increase, such decision making will become more and more difficult.

In such an environment, the fundamental question we should ask about program funding is this:
Which activities produce the best educational return on investment? And the first principle in making such decisions should be clear: We can no longer afford to sponsor activities based only on anecdotal evidence of benefit, or simply because we have always done so, or because a particular activity’s “lobby” screams the loudest.

The decisions also must be made with the recognition that the American economy has changed from one based on industrial might to one driven by technology, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Simply put, every issue the nation faces, whether relating to health care, the environment, or geopolitics, bears the stamp—and holds the complexity—of an increasingly fast-paced and interconnected world. There is no way to effectively meet the challenges wrought by change and complexity without developing in our people greater creativity, social adaptability, and the ability to think more broadly and with greater depth.

What does this mean for decision making on priorities and funding? First, we must rethink the criteria we use. For too long, educators have relied primarily on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence in making decisions about extracurricular programs. That is no longer enough. Decisions must also be driven by fact, data, and research. Fortunately, there is a growing research base on the impact of both football and music on student learning and engagement, brain function, academic environment, and health (both individual and public) to draw on.

Because a more thorough understanding of the wide range of issues surrounding these activities is imperative, I recently conducted a return-on-investment analysis of the effectiveness as educational tools of football
(because it consumes by far the most resources of school athletic departments) and music
(because it is the arts-program component with which I am most familiar).

The purpose was clear and simple: to present a thoughtful, thorough, and clear-eyed assessment of the relative value of football versus music programs in providing students with learning experiences most suited to the 21st century.

As a life-long athlete and musician who believes in the power of both sports and music to change people’s lives, this investigation has been a long and, at times, disconcerting journey. But here’s where my experience and the data have led.

There are several areas—student engagement; development of positive character traits such as self-discipline, teamwork, and personal responsibility; and capacity to bring people together to build community—in which both football and music have similar positive impacts. There is little, if any, difference, for example, between the sacrifices made, lessons learned, and effort required as a sports-team member whose goal is winning games and a band member who is working to achieve a particular “sound.”

But from there, the similarities mostly end. When considering the broadest impact on education over the longest period of time, music programs are far superior to football programs in return on dollars invested.

Consider music’s pluses: the capacity to be a lifelong participatory-learning activity (football, for all but a select few, ends after high school); the fact that music is a universal language (football is uniquely American); its gender inclusiveness; a far lower cost-per-student ratio; the potential it offers as an essential platform for international and interdisciplinary studies; and its effectiveness in strengthening the brain’s neural activity and development (versus the possibility, if not the likelihood, of sustaining brain trauma). Finally, the effectiveness of sports as an educational tool has been steadily diminishing as athletic programs have become more about the end result—winning—and less about the process (learning).

Given contemporary social and economic realities, many have questioned the wisdom of continuing to teach with curricular offerings and methods more suited to the industrial needs of the 20th century. Would it not also be wise to question the activities we sponsor at schools in light of current needs? Are we sacrificing in budget battles and narrowed thinking the most effective tools in our educational arsenal for teaching creativity? I believe we are. Music produces results much more in sync with a creative, information-based global economy and world community.

This is not to say that football does not have a place in our society. It does. Rather, the question is whether that place should continue to be within our education system.

In the end, the dialogue about these funding decisions must be more thorough, reasoned, honest, and data-driven. With increased expectations and decreased resources comes a smaller margin for error. We have to make every dollar count.

When dealing with the programs and activities that add so much to the human dimension of learning, we need the courage and commitment to go where logic, truth, Visit Opinion. and data take us. Despite the fact that some of the answers to our sports-versus-arts conundrum may be uncomfortable or inconvenient, educators should welcome the discussion. If we approach it honestly, the end result will be better schools, serving our children and communities more effectively. Isn’t that what we all want and what our nation needs?

John R. Gerdy is the founder of the nonprofit educational organization Music For Everyone, in Lancaster, Pa., and the author of Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment. He can be reached at JohnGerdy.com.

Unmatched Value In A Steinway-designed Piano

25th Anniversary Savings

Up to $2,500 Instant Rebate

Make an appointment or just stop in to view and play a Boston Piano:

    • Willis Music Kenwood
      8118 Montgomery Rd.
      Cincinnati, OH 45236
      513.252.0445
    • Willis Music Florence
      7567 Mall Rd.
      Florence, KY 41042
      859.525.6050

The Steinway-designed Boston piano is long unrivaled in its class and unmatched in value. Employing the unique patents and expertise that have made the Steinway name synonymous with musical excellence, Boston pianos offer the pedigree of Steinway engineering with the accessibility of a mid-priced piano.

Now, for a limited time, you can save up to $2,500 with an instant rebate on any new Steinway-designed Boston upright or grand piano in stock.* It’s all part of the celebration as we kick off Boston’s 25th Anniversary Year.

*Not applicable with any other offer. Piano must be in stock and purchased by 11/30/2015.

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Features of the Boston Piano – Designed by Steinway & Sons

Kentucky State Marching Finals 2015

Willis Music would like to congratulate all the marching bands that participated in the State Marching Band competition and those whom placed.

High school marching bands from throughout the state competed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Marching Band Championships on Saturday in Bowling Green.

The five divisions and their final standings are:

    • 1A:
      • 1st: Beechwood
      • 2nd: Murray
      • 3rd: Williamstown
      • 4th: Hazard
    • 2A:
      • 1st: Estill County
      • 2nd: Garrard County
      • 3rd: Glasgow
      • 4th: Washington County
    • 3A:
      • 1st: Adair County
      • 2nd: Bourbon County
      • 3rd: Russell County
      • 4th: Boyle County
    • 4A:
      • 1st: Grant County
      • 2nd: Madisonville North Hopkins
      • 3rd: Anderson County
      • 4th: Hopkinsville
    • 5A:
      • 1st: Madison Central
      • 2nd: North Hardin
      • 3rd: Paul Laurence Dunbar
      • 4th: Lafayette

“Why Take Lessons?”

Last night, I found myself sitting in a crowd of young people, ready to play the piece they had prepared for the Halloween recital. Seeing young people get up there and play is a great experience. There was even a young girl who composed her own Halloween song! And even more, I noticed the pride of the parents and grandparents who were there to see their children play. So I got to thinking, how do we get more parents to see the benefit of music education? So of course, I went straight to Google. I found myself reading all sorts of articles about the benefits of music making in young people. I’d like to share with you the article that I found on The Metropolitan School of The Arts Website. They list “14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons”. I hope you find this list as interesting as I did.

Colleen Cranley
Education Coordinator

1. INCREASE YOUR IQ
According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.” There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music. Some studies show that playing an instrument can increase your IQ up to 7 points.
2. INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF YOUR MEMORY
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory. A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons. A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities. The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children. Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.
3. INCREASE MATHEMATICAL ABILITY
Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills. Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects. Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t.
4. IMPROVE READING COMPREHENSION
According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.” It’s not surprising to hear results like that because music involves constant reading and comprehension. When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognize what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position. At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern
5. BUILD SELF CONFIDENCE
Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride. When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment. Many small successes will eventually breed long term, innate self-confidence.
6. REDUCE STRESS & BE HAPPY!
Listening to and playing music can promote stimulation to areas of the brain that promote increased joy and decreased stress. During the past decade, the investigation correlation between music and the brain has proven that music can modulate activity in parts of the brain that are known to be crucially involved in emotion. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment chronic stress.
7. ENHANCE HAND EYE COORDINATION
The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.
8. LEARN PERSEVERANCE & SELF DISCIPLINE
Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which teaches patience and perseverance. Musicians have to work through difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly. Practicing often and working on the hard parts requires perseverance. The best musicians in the world are masters of discipline.
9. INCREASE COOPERATION
Cooperation is an important aspect of being successful in life. Playing an instrument requires you to work with others to make music. In band and orchestra settings you must learn how to cooperate with the people around you. Also, in order for a group to make beautiful music, each player and section must learn how to listen to each other and play together.
10. LEARN RESPONSIBILITY
Maintenance and care are very important in keeping an instrument in working condition. Each instrument has different procedures to keep it functioning properly, but most instruments need cleaning and some form of oiling/greasing. In addition to maintenance responsibilities, there are other aspects such as remembering music events (like rehearsals and performances) and making time to practice.
11. LEARN CULTURAL HISTORY
Music reflects history and gives us insight on what it was like to live in the era and geography of its creation. Each piece of music has a unique history that is explored upon learning it. The more diverse your musical knowledge is, the more informed you are about a variety of cultures, eras and geographic influences that shape the art form as we know it today.
12. BOOST LISTENING SKILLS
Playing an instrument requires you to listen very carefully. You have to learn to hear when you’re playing a wrong note in order to correct yourself. Tuning your instrument means hearing if the pitch you’re playing is high (sharp) or low (flat). When playing in an ensemble, you have to listen for the melody and play softer if you’re the supporting part (accompaniment). Training listening skills teaches us how to be reflective and thoughtful.
13. ENHANCE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Air is one of the key components in making music. In order to play music correctly when playing an instrument (or sing music with your voice), you’ll need to take huge breaths and learn how to expel the air properly to make the desired sound. Breathing exercises are highly recommended for musicians, and they can strengthen your respiratory system.
14. MAKE LIFELONG FRIENDS
When you become a musician or a vocalist, you become a part of a bigger community. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to join together with others to create a unified sound. Friendships and relationships are strengthened through common interests and artists typically find that their most meaningful (and longest lasting) relationships are found through those they meet through the sharing their art form.

“The Sound of Learning: 14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons – Metropolitan School of the Arts.” Metropolitan School of the Arts. N.p., 27 July 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

UC Blue Ash College Songwriting Contest Sponsored By Willis Music

Contest Requirements and Other Information

  • Open to college and high school students in the Greater
    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
  • Any theme, subject, or style is acceptable*
    Participants may submit up to three songs, performed by the songwriter or another group.
  • Songs must be submitted in both recorded form (.mp3, etc.) and typewritten form (lyrics only). On a separate page, type your song(s) title(s), your name, address, phone number, email address, and school or university affiliation. Name the performer(s) if other than you.
  • Deadline: December 7, 2015. Winners will be announced in March and will be invited to perform their work in March as a part of the UC Blue Ash Poetry Cafe. Winning lyrics will be published in the Blue Ash Review, the college literary magazine.
  • Submit entries online at: ucblueash.edu/songwritingcontest
    Questions: rhonda.pettit@uc.edu

*Note Well:
Songs will be judged anonymously by UC Blue Ash faculty for quality of lyrics, music, and the interplay between the two. Judges are not obligated to select winners if none are forthcoming. Judges’ decisions are final. Song submission materials will not be returned. Submissions not following the contestant requirements will not be considered. We cannot accommodate large and excessively loud bands at the Poetry Café. If you submit a non-acoustic song (heavy metal, garage, indie, punk, etc.), plan on performing an acoustic version of your song. Contestant participation grants UC Blue Ash the right to publish work in the Blue Ash Review (print and online editions; all rights revert to authors) and use contestant names and work to promote Poetry Month events.

Gemeinhardt and Willis Music Present PROJECT Trio

PROJECT Trio is a passionate, high energy chamber music ensemble comprised of three composer/performers from Brooklyn, New York. Blending classical training with an original sound and masterful performing skills. PROJECT Trio engages audiences of all ages by combining classical repertoire with elements of hip-hop and popular music, bridging the gap between high art and pop culture. They have been viewed more than 80 million times on YouTube and have been featured on NPR, MTV, and have played along side the St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and schools across the country.

It was our pleasure to host PROJECT Trio last week at CCM, NKU, Winton Woods High School and Walnut Hills High School. They bring with them the importance of music education as well as stories of their many experiences. With the help of Gemeinhardt we gave a flute to both high schools and did a drawing for a piccolo at both CCM and NKU. We want to congratulate all the winners and thank PROJECT Trio for two days of great music, great ideas and a lot of fun!

Thanks for listening and CHECK THESE GUYS OUT!

14th Annual Warehouse Sale

I recall last year talking to a customer who has marked this sale on her calendar for years to come. It’s always the weekend before Thanksgiving. She thanked me for keeping this tradition going and said this is the one sale she looks forward to each year. In a world where sales, discounts or even free items don’t mean that much anymore, it’s good to know that people appreciate this sale for what it is.

It all started 14 years ago when we were trying to find an innovative way to get rid of older scratch and dent items and discontinued products. We thought we would try having a sale at our main warehouse in Florence. My Father built this building in 1969 and it was later expanded. From here we manage all our stores and our publishing business, which is international. Over the years the sale has expanded, but the concept remains the same. We did have some difficulty early on because the industrial park we are in did not allow sales to retail customers. We had to get special permission but now after 13 years I think the other members of the industrial park look forward to the sale.

This year the merchandise for the sale includes not only pieces from our stores, but from manufacturers who recognize this sale as an opportunity to move items they have sitting around. Just last week we received 8 skids from a guitar and accessory manufacturer. We have merchandise from music stores that we bought or stores that went out of business. We have band instruments from our rental program that we have taken out of our rental pool. One particular band director from Indiana comes in each year to replenish his inventory for his students. He buys instruments with small dents or cosmetic problems and fixes them up himself.

Last year we added free hot dogs and drinks on Saturday, we’ll repeat that. Many of you have been here before so you know to park around the back of the building and come on in. I’ll be there and look forward to seeing many of you. Click here for details or call 859-283-2050.

Take a look at some of the pictures and videos from last year.

Say hello to Judy, she loves getting away from her desk for 3 days.
The deals are so good that Willis Employees and Teachers make time to find some deals.
Anna Marie loves this sale so much we have to bring her lunch to her.
Don’t miss out! Be one of these people.
Behind the scene setup.
What to expect.

New Sign on Mall Road says it all “Just Play”!

Willis Music Florence Super Store has a new look! We at Willis Music want to share with you the great benefits of music making. Take the first step and visit us in the store and experience our passion for music and helping you “Just Play”!

 

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New Teacher Alert

Here at Willis Music we are always excited to add new teachers to our education program. Here are a few of our teachers to consider when choosing the teacher that is right for you. To sign up for lessons now, click here.

Jason Easter
West Chester Location

We are very excited to have Jason aboard. His love for the trumpet is evident in everything he does. He has taught at this location before with the Moeller Music Company, and is excited to be back. “I attended Miami University and Wright State university for a double performance major in voice and trumpet. I had moved to New York briefly and played with several salsa, jazz and funk bands in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I have experience teaching beginners as well as junior high school and high school level private lessons.”

To sign up for lessons with Jason, click here.

Deborah Hodge
Lexington Location

Deborah is a great find here in the Lexington location. Here experience really speaks for itself. “Hi, I am Dr. Deborah Hodge, and though I have resided in New York for about 25 years, I am a native of Lexington, Kentucky. I am a certified music teacher and I recently relocated back to Lexington after teaching music in New York for a numbers of years. I also taught music for approximately 10 years in the Fayette County School District. My teaching experience includes vocal, instrumental (band and orchestra), keyboarding (recording), and marching band (Assistant and Director). I have taught on both the elementary and secondary levels.

To sign up for lessons with Deborah, click here.

Turkey Foot’s Mrs. Bromley wins KMEA District Award

Band of the Month…

Turkey Foot Middle School Band Under the Direction of Mrs. Jana Bromley!

The Administration in the Kenton County School District really understands the importance of music in their students lives and take that understanding and put it into action. In this District Band is a co-curricular activity, in that it is a class that meets daily during the regular school day, but also offers many opportunities for students to perform outside of school. This is not the norm in most of our Districts which offer Band either before school or after school and see students once or twice a week! Well at Turkey Foot Middle School students ​begin their instrumental curriculum in the 6th grade, with no prior knowledge necessary, and the musical training builds from one year to the next as students transition from skill-building to a truly aesthetic daily experience.

The success of this Band is due to the students who give it their all and to Mrs. Jana Bromley, Director Of Bands at Turkey Foot. We would like to take this time to congratulate the 7th grade band who last year received an Exemplary Distinction at NKU and to Mrs. Bromley, who was named the Middle School Teacher of the Year at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) District Meeting. She will now be in the running for the state-level award.

Practice and good leadership always makes a difference between something that is just OK and something that stands out in a crowd! You will find no better example of this then in Mrs. Bromley and the Band Members of the Turkey Foot Middle School Band. Find out for yourself by attending one of their many wonderful concerts, (see Turkey Foot’s website for dates and details.

Congratulations for being Willis Music’s Band of the Month!

Cindy Hicks

Sheldon Cooper

More news on Big Bang Theory’s Warm Kitty

As I reported to you in May, Willis Music is connected to the show Big Bang Theory through the song Warm Kitty. Sheldon’s Mother used to sing it to him when he was sick and through 9 episodes Sheldon convinces others to sing the song to him. Willis Music owns the song which is in a book from 1937 called Songs for the Nursery School.

As the song and show have become more popular we decided it would be fun to produce a separate sheet of music based on the original song. The challenge for any arranger is that the original song contains just 8 measures. Several folks tried their hand at it before we turned to Composer Glenda Austin to take on the challenge.

Glenda is world famous for her educational piano music. Glenda continues to create music that helps teachers inspire their students and encourages students of all ages to practice by giving them music they enjoy playing. Glenda has recorded her music and the music of composer William Gillock in Nashville with a visiting Japanese recording team. She later toured Japan playing and teaching to the delight of hundreds of Japanese piano teachers.
You can see Glenda’s music at by clicking here.

I recently spoke to Glenda about her project of recreating the magic of Warm Kitty.

How familiar were you with the song and the show before we asked you to get involved?
First of all, I have NEVER watched Big Bang Theory. Heard of it, yes, but never tuned in. However, since the Warm Kitty, Theme and Variations project, I’ve seen excerpts online, mainly the clips where Warm Kitty is sung. I may have to start watching it!

When you agreed to give it a try what was the process you went through?
When asked to arrange Warm Kitty, of course, my first thought was to learn it (since I was not familiar with the tune)! IMMEDIATELY after seeing and hearing it, I realized I would have to put on my thinking cap to create something from 8 measures! That’s not a lot to work with, especially when you’re trying to turn it into a ‘stand alone’ solo! Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was a THEME and VARIATION. And having just done some of John Thompson’s Theme and Variations at my workshops this summer, I knew that was the way to go.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I’m not a terribly competitive person, but occasionally, I like a challenge. And the challenge here was to see if I could really come up with something substantial! Once I focused on the project, it materialized quickly. Improvisation is how I compose. So that’s how 8 measures grew into 128 measures of a waltz, tango, jazz and more!

Thank you, Glenda, for taking on this project. Since the music will be released in early October, you can be one of the first to see it. In addition, if you would like to hear Glenda play her new creation click below:

Be one of the first 5 people to post a comment to this blog and receive a free copy of Glenda’s Warm Kitty.

Gillock Association of Japan

We recently received a note with pictures from Mr. Takayuki Nii who is the editor for Zen-On Music in Japan. Zen-On has represented the Willis catalog in Japan for decades. Mr. Nii attended the 25th anniversay of The Gillock Association of Japan. Willis Music sent a special gift for Ms. Hiroko Yasuda as a thank you for her support of our Gillock books in Japan. Ms. Yasuda founded the Association and has done a tremendous amount of research on Bill’s life and music.

She wrote:

Dear Kevin,

I attended the reception for the 25th anniversay of the Gillock Association of Japan (chairperson Ms. Hiroko Yasuda) in Osaka on the 29th of August.
One hundred members were there from many areas of Japan and the party was really successful.
We were able to share Gillock’s music through talking to each other, playing instruments, and dancing.
I gave Ms. Hiroko Yasuda the gift from you on the stage. She was so excited and glad to have it and all the participants were impressed by your thoughtfulness.

The year after next is the 100th anniversary of Gillock’s birth. Zen-On will do its best to get many more Gillock fans, in cooperation with the Gillock Association of Japan.

With my best regards,
Takayuki Nii

Thank you Takayuki for sharing all the great things happening with Willis publications in Japan.

Zen-On

Zen-On is the largest specialist music publishing company in Japan. Their publishing house was founded by Teiji Shimada in 1931 in Tokyo, and the private enterprise was reorganised to a joint-stock company on September 13th, 1947. Since the foundation, they have been distributing, particularly, educational materials not only music, but also intruments which are fitted, right, secure and good quality for the educational purposes.

Randall Faber Concert

Concert Details


Bio

Randall Faber has appeared at the Gilmore Festival, the Wasserman
Festival, the Portland International Piano Festival, the Korean Piano
Adventures Convention in Seoul, and has toured Taiwan, Southeast Asia,
England and Australia. While in Korea, Faber appeared on the popular
television show Heart-to-Heart, which is broadcast in 188 countries, and his
solo recital in Chicago was broadcast live on WFMT public radio.

In recent seasons, Faber toured Southeast Asia, Taiwan, North
America, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. He was
a Convention Artist for the Music Teachers National Association
Conference and master teacher for the World Conference on Piano
Pedagogy, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the National
Piano Teachers Institute. He gave recent recitals in Denver, Kansas City,
Chicago, Austin, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Alberta, Seoul, and Jakarta.
Faber is a Steinway Artist.

Randall Faber holds three degrees from the University of Michigan
and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt
University. In 2005, he presented his scholarly research at the 9th
International Conference on Motivation in Lisbon, Portugal.
Dr. Faber is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Seoul Arts
College in Korea. He has presented as Visiting Artist at universities
throughout North America and Asia.

Randall and his wife Nancy are well known as authors of the bestselling
Piano Adventures® teaching method and their many publications for
the piano. They are co-founders of the Faber Piano Institute.

Need Something To Do This Fall?…

Let’s March!

Fall is the perfect time of year when the heat of summer has past, the leaves are full of color and the crispness in the air wakes you up. The pools are closed so if you are looking for an outside event, why not support your local School Marching Bands by attending a contest. You will hear and see great bands along with some really good hot chocolate, carmel corn and there is always something good to eat. The fee at the gate supports the music programs and we all talk about the importance of music in our schools so lets get up, get out there and attend a contest and support them financially too!
Here are some great contest you might want to attend…

  • Northern Kentucky Marching Band Festival held at Campbell County High School in Alexandria, KY on September 19th, 2015.
  • Tournament Of Bands held at Ryle High School in Union, KY on September 26th, 2015.
  • Mason Marching Band Invitational held at Mason High School in Mason, Ohio on October 17th, 2105.

I will list more as soon as the dates are confirmed. Have a great time and I will be in the stands with my blanket and hot chocolate rooting for my favorite bands!

Cindy

If you know of any marching band competitions please reply with the name and date and I will get it posted.

Throw Another Book on the Barbie

One of the most interesting trips my wife and I have been on was to Australia, although it was too short. If you schedule a trip, plan for at least a 2 week adventure. It was 3 years ago and we learned so much about the country even though we were there for only 6 days. I had the honor of speaking to 3 groups of music retailers and manufacturers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We even had the opportunity to be close enough to pet some kangaroos. One of the highlights of our visit was a hike on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. You can see the hikers on the right side of the bridge dressed in blue from one of the lookouts. And of course, what would a visit to Sydney be without a tour of the famous Sydney Opera House.

As many of you know, Willis Music publications are used and produced all over the world. One of my projects this year was to secure the future of Willis Publications in Australia and New Zealand for years to come. One of the great models I inherited from my father was to find a very capable partner in other countries and let them market for the company. The reason I mention this is that being a smaller company there is no way I can effectively learn the intricacies of each market and sell our product efficiently or effectively without the help of that capable partner. This year I had the difficult decision on deciding which company would represent Willis for the next few years. I’m pleased to say that Hal Leonard Australia will accept that responsibility and I’m very excited. We have always been represented in these important markets very effectively and I believe Hal Leonard is the right choice to carry on. As in other parts of the world, the Willis piano methods are the bestselling methods in their market – names like John Thompson, Edna Mae Burnam and many others. Hal Leonard also represents Willis in North and South America and many other parts of the world and I look forward to using that collaboration to fully serve the Australian/NZ market.

Exciting news for Italy:

Music Sales Corporation has represented Willis for many years in the European Union and recently they have been extremely active in developing new products and translations. The bestselling piano method book in Europe has for years been the Easiest Piano Course by John Thompson. It is printed in many languages and just this summer Italy is getting their own translation.

One of the most interesting aspects between books in America and Europe is the different notation. Music is the universal language yet in Europe they have different names for some common notations.

Here are a few that you might find interesting:

  • U.S Note Name
  • Whole Note
  • Half Note
  • Quarter Note
  • Eighth Note
  • Sixteenth Note
  • Thirty-Second Note
  • British Note Name
  • Semibreve
  • Minim
  • Crotchet
  • Quaver
  • Semiquaver
  • Demisemiquaver

Kevin

Camels on the Red Carpet, WHAT?

Congratulations to the Campbell County Band of Pride who preformed in the Major League Baseball All Star Game Red Carpet Parade on Tuesday, July 14th. The parade began at 5th and Vine and ended at the Great American Ballpark.

As we all know this was a major event for the city of Cincinnati and the Tri-state area. It was great to see and hear the Fighting Camels presented worldwide. A special thank you to all the students as well as Mr. Nick Little, Director of Bands at Campbell County High School and Mr. Stephen Dietsch, Director of Bands at Campbell County Middle School for representing our great city.

Back To School

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I think we all remember that old Staples commercial showing parents gliding through the store on a shopping cart while the song, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” played and the kids look as though their best friend just moved away. “Well, it’s back!”, or at least it’s on it’s way, “Back To School will be here soon”! ?As you start to look for those back to school cloths, shoes, backpacks, paper and pencils, remember your child’s music supplies.

Willis and Moeller have all your band and general music supplies in their stores and they are ready for the season. Items like reeds at 30% off and recorders at $4.99. You can’t beat these deals anywhere! ? Oh, and don’t forget your marching band student. We have lyres, folios and plenty of drum heads! Just remember, even if you have everything you need we are here to support you and your child. Whether your child is a beginning band student, their first time on the field or going for their Music Ed degree, let us know when we can help along the way.

I hope everyone has a great 2015/2016 school year.

Sincerely,
Cindy

Good Partners and Good Music – Bluegrass

I just completed my third year of running sound at the Appalachian Festival. The Festival is a three-day event held at Cincinnati’s Coney Island. I’ve had the opportunity to mix sound for some great bluegrass and Appalachian concerts in the last three years. Reflecting back after a month or so, I began wondering: why Cincinnati and bluegrass music? I know bluegrass has a strong presence in the area. I also wondered, what is the purpose of the Appalachian Festival? With this in mind I started to do some investigation….

First, let me tell you about this year’s Appalachian Festival. Willis Music is proud to sponsor it for the 4th straight year, and along with Ric Hopkins from The Sound Workshop, I have run sound for the last 3 years. There are two main stages of the festival, where we use state of the art equipment like QSC K Series speakers and Presonus mixers. We can set delays and balance the sound so it is pleasing to listen to, while being able to hear the clarity needed for bluegrass music.

The Appalachian Festival is always on Mother’s Day Weekend and runs for three days. Music goes from 10 in the morning until 9 at night (groups play a 1-hour show with 15-minute breaks for setup). As you can see, there is a ton of music for people to enjoy. Some of the groups that played this year are: Rabbit Hash String Band, Sternwheelers, Pops & Patriots (Big Band Swing), Missy Werner, Appalachian Grass, P’s in a Pod, Good’le Boys, Retread Bluegrass Band, Wayfarers, NightFlyer, Dry Mill Road, Black Water, Steve Bonafel, Haddix Family Gospel, Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express, Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers, and Oberst & Dowel. The last show on Sunday is always a real treat – the Bluegrass All Stars play as the house band, and all the other groups come back in a festival review concert.

Besides music, there is a living history section with Indians and Mountain people that teach on the old ways. There are lots of craft booths to pick up the perfect Mother’s Day present. Story tellers tell great stories with an Appalachian flair. And let’s not forget about some amazing food.

One story teller that is a treat to listen to (and you will walk away scratching your head) is Uncle Mike Carr. He told me a story that went like this:
A man was sitting at a picnic table eating his lunch. Sitting on the ground was a dog. A little boy walked up and ask “Mister is your dog friendly?” and the man replied, “Yes my dog is very friendly!”. The little boy reached his hand out to pet the dog and the dog growled and snapped at the boy almost biting him. As the little boy jerked his hand back he spouted, “Mister, I thought your dog was friendly!”. The man replied, “ He is friendly, but that ain’t my dog!”.

So what is the Appalachian Festival all about? It is about supporting the people from Appalachia. They raise money from the festival that then gets returned in the form of grants to help schools, community centers and artist studios throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. So far, the Festival has raised $150,000 for the Appalachian Community Development Association (ACDA), which administers these grants. Willis Music is grateful to be a part of keeping the Appalachian culture healthy.

Again, this is a great cause to keep history alive. If you are not usually a bluegrass listener, give it a try!  I have found a ton of bluegrass music that I thoroughly enjoy and some that are even inspiring. Here are a couple of local artists with inspiring songs:
One-Iota with Steve Bonafel – “Last Parade from Anthem” from Of A Family Tree
The Moron Brothers – “Story Of A Song” from More On The Morons album

Another great local artist that I have became very fond of is The Missy Werner Band. I have mixed sound for them at least 8 times, own 3 of their albums, and just enjoy the sound of Missy’s voice. If you are at a show that I am mixing, you will hear me use one of her albums during set-up.

Visit the Appalachian Festival website and help keep bluegrass music alive. Without bluegrass, where would music be today? As Henry Winkler says in the movie Here Comes The Boom, “Without music, life would be a mistake!”

Keep Playing,
Bill Phipps

I asked the president of the ACDA to tell us a little more about the Appalachian Festival, and here is what he wrote:

ACDA & Willis Music

The Appalachian Community Development Association formed a partnership with Willis Music to enhance the music at the Appalachian Festival on Mother’s Day weekend each year at Old Coney Island. By providing excellent PA equipment for the music and Storytelling venues, the patrons have come to expect the great value added sound provided by Willis Music.

The ACDA, a 501-3c was formed over 46 years ago by the Junior League of Cincinnati for the purpose of helping Appalachians and their descendants adjust to the urban life, far from the hills of Appalachia. It is hard to believe that after all these years the need for this help is still needed in urban as well as rural communities both near and far from Cincinnati. Recently the board of ACDA, an all volunteer staff, narrowed the focus to accommodate other 501-3c groups who provide food or education directly to those in our Appalachian region who desperately need help.

Our Festival itself works very hard to provide a learning environment through entertaining events, displays, music, storytelling, crafts, demonstrations and living history. The story of Appalachia and its legacy in our region must be told and remembered. The Festival is the sole income provider for the ACDA. Without the participation from our friends such as Willis Music, Kroger, Messer Construction, Midwest Polaris, Burger Farm and Garden, and Edudoc, our funds would be very small indeed.

Please know that patronizing Willis Music assures this valuable participation will go on for years to come. We thank the management and staff at Willis Music for their time and effort at helping others in our Appalachian Community.

Thank you again,
Ron Simmons
President, ACDA

Visit the Appalachian Festival website to sign up for a grant, and learn more about the festival itself.

Willis Goes to Washington

From the second my plane touched down at Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, DC, it was a whirlwind of activity. The National Retail Federation sponsored the trip and I was honored to be one of 51 Retailers from around the country to receive the distinction of America’s Retail Champions 2015. My focus was with a group from Kentucky who I worked with on the Retail Across America Project.

I arrived on Monday evening, July 27th, and Tuesday morning we began a day of education. We began with a talk presented by Ohio Representative Steve Chabot. I have met with the Congressman in the past and have always found him to be receptive to small business concerns. Throughout the day we learned some interesting facts such as:

  • Retailers directly provide 29 million American jobs.
  • Retail generates 2.59 Trillion in total GDP. 1/6 of the US total.
  • 98.6% of Retailers in the US employ fewer than 50 people.
  • 95% of all Retailers operate 1 location.
  • Retail includes at least 20% of the jobs in each state.
    1. Kentucky is 23%
    2. Ohio is 24%

After all the education, we headed to dinner at the Newseum which is a museum dedicated to news and headlines over the years. When you visit Washington, DC, I would recommend a trip to the Newseum.  Just be aware that it’s one of the few attractions that require payment for admission.

Wednesday was the reason we were all there and we anxiously approached the Hill with visits to a variety of offices. We spoke about concerns we have as retailers and spoke directly to our representatives. Since I was there with a group of Kentucky retailers we focused on the southern side of the river. I appreciated the active participation each member of Congress and their openness in sharing. I will follow up with each of them and continue the dialogue about our industry.

Although I have done similar trips with NAMM over the past 10 years, this was my first time with the National Retail Federation. The NRF had a tremendous program and I want to thank them for their outstanding hospitality.

Now for the fun part – when your state holds the office of majority leader and you have a meeting with him you are escorted into the Capitol and into some pretty famous offices. While we were waiting, the receptionist told me that we were in the very room where Thomas Jefferson was sworn in. She also added that the floor was new because of the fire set by the British in 1814. I have to admit just sitting there looking around and realizing someone like Thomas Jefferson stood there and was sworn in as our 3rd President was pretty amazing.

Regardless of your political feelings or party affiliations, I encourage you to visit our nation’s capital if you have a chance and take a walk back in time.

Kevin Cranley

Ryman Auditorium – Feel the Power

Earlier this month, I traveled to Nashville for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Summer Conference. While there, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman Auditorium is the original Grand Ole Opry. What an experience of great music and history.

History

The Ryman Auditorium is located right in the middle of Nashville, where you can get great barbeque and great music in every 20 steps or so. If you have never been to the Ryman, it is an experience. You might never guess that this building is an amazing concert hall, because it is a repurposed church built in 1892 as The Union Gospel Tabernacle. It seats 6000 after the Confederate Gallery balcony was completed in 1897 for the Confederate Veterans Association. Every seat in the Ryman is still an original pew installed by The Indiana Church Finishing Company. So if you are going to a concert, you may want to take something soft to sit on or purchase a Ryman seat cushion on your way in.

The Ryman has had many speakers, such as Teddy Rossevelt, Helen Keller, and Charlie Chapman. Harry Houdini and Will Rogers have also performed at the Ryman. The Grand Ole Opry officially moved to the Ryman in 1943.

My Experience

The concert I attended was Hot Rize and the Gibson Brothers. I have to say after walking in I was like a child in a daze on Christmas morning, because I knew I was going to see and feel something special. It was almost like sensory overload. The Gibson Brothers performed first and when the sound came on it was like, WOW. The sound was so smooth and clear. I could here every note of every instrument as clear as sitting in my living room. I know The Gibson Brothers are a great traditional Bluegrass band but there is something magical about the sound in the Ryman. It’s almost like it has a soul of its own.

During intermission I got up and walked around and found my way up to the stage and looked around at the sound equipment (Kind of geeky that way) and when I turned around and looked back at the pews I couldn’t imagine what the artist emotions were like because of how I felt as an audience member.

The other great thing about the Ryman is everyone in the audience is happy and just as overwhelmed as you are. I met an awesome man from Canada that wore an American Flag bandanna on his belt loop. This was his second time to the Ryman this year. He had to come back and bring his son because of the first experience he had with his wife. If that doesn’t explain the magic, what does?

Hot Rize was the second band that played. They also had a great sound and are great musicians. They are not a traditional Bluegrass Band, but nonetheless unbelievable and a joy to listen to and watch.

What I noticed from both bands was they were so honored to play in the same place their role models had played. They were just as taken in by the nostalgia as I was, which drew me in to be part of the show rather than just an audience member watching a show. I think the music could have been less than amazing and I still would have had an unbelievable time.

If you have a chance to go to Nashville, make The Ryman Auditorium a must stop. Take in a little music history and feel the power. Words of telling someone can not explain the feeling.

Keep Playing,
Bill

Mariemont selects a New Band Director

Willis Music would like to welcome Angela Pontious to Mariemont and our band director family! Angela has over 10 years of teaching experience as Director of Instrumental Music & Performing Arts Department Chair at Highland High School in the Salt Lake City School District in Utah. There she instructed concert band, marching band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, string orchestra, chamber orchestra, beginning piano and music theory. Her performing groups have participated in region and state events and have consistently earned excellent and superior ratings.

Man, where does she find the time?

Angela earned her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Ball State University and her Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University. She brings a lot to the table and Willis rep Michele VanSickle is excited to help her make her first year a big success!

We would also like to congratulate Rick Canter, Mariemont’s current band director, on his new position at Walnut Hills High School.

Congratulations to all!

Cindy Hicks

Baseball time in Cincinnati

This is an exciting time for baseball in Cincinnati and Willis Music is proud to be associated with the Reds. Our connection with the Reds lives on in several fronts and I want to tell you about a few.

John Schutte, organist extraordinaire for the Reds used to work at Willis Music and in fact directly with me. John used his varied musical talents to organize and develop our in-house music typesetting department. John later left to pursue a career in firefighting where he continues today in Saint Bernard. Back in 2010 John and his band, The Rusty Griswolds were playing at the stadium and he questioned if they still had an organ. They did, although it had not been played in a few years. He mentioned that if they ever needed someone, to give him a call. To that they responded, “What are you doing Sunday?” John has been playing with the Reds ever since.

Through our association with John and the Reds we became aware that they needed better equipment for John to play on in the booth. We contacted Yamaha and began working on a solution. Before long John was playing on a brand new Tyros 4 all donated by Yamaha and Willis Music.

But probably the most interesting project we did with the Reds was with the Cincinnati Reds logo organ Willis donated and decorated. We had an organ in stock that we decorated for use around the park. It was an interesting project and involved a wrap like you might see on a car. I think it turned out great and you might see John before a Saturday afternoon game playing in front of the stadium on the Red’s organ. Make sure to stop by and listen.

Baseball is a great tradition in our hometown and has always been a big part of my life. I was fortunate to be in high school during the 70’s and the glory days of the Big Red Machine. If you were there you know how special that was. But my father, who grew up in Boston, played for the Red Sox farm team after the war. He decided the major leagues were not in his future and turned to the music business. Unfortunately I didn’t pick up his baseball ability but I wouldn’t trade the joy and fulfillment the music industry has brought me for anything.

Go Reds

Kevin Cranley

Walton-Verona High School Percussion Ensemble

Taking it “On The Road”

Walton Verona High School, under the direction of Mr. Chris Miller, started a Percussion Ensemble Program in 2012. It is a class made up of percussionists and wind players from the Walton-Verona High School Band. This year the Ensemble was the featured group at the very famous “Day of Percussion” at Marshall University in Huntington, WV.

They participated in a variety of percussion workshops in the morning, including several with renowned percussionist and composer Nathan Daughtrey. Their afternoon performance included Detour by Brian Blume and Millennium by Chris Brooks. A very special thanks goes out to Chris Miller for allowing us to share his successes with everyone.

Cindy Hicks

Magical Moments

I’ve met some interesting and famous people in my life and this one for me was truly magical. Henry Z. Steinway represented to me one of the most honored and outstanding brands the world has ever known. He carried the family name of a product that is universally recognized as the finest, period.

The year was 2007 and while attending the NAMM convention in Anaheim, I had the opportunity to travel to Carlsbad, CA to attend the dedication of the Steinway Gallery at the NAMM Museum of Making Music. (If you are ever in the area, Carlsbad is just north of San Diego and it’s a wonderful museum.) At that meeting I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Henry Z. Steinway. We had a chance to discuss his early days in the business and what being a ‘Steinway’ meant to him. Henry was born in New York in 1915 and while he was the great-grandson of the founder Henry Engelhard Steinway he didn’t necessarily have an interest or desire to enter the family business. He graduated from Harvard College and thought ‘maybe I’ll give this piano thing a try’. As he spoke about this time in his life I was reminded of my growing up in the family business (Willis) yet not really sure what I wanted to do with my life. He started on the shop floor doing whatever needed to be done and ended up working in various departments. As he worked, his passion developed all the way to the recognition he received in 2007. In November of 2007, he received the National Medal of Arts presented by President George W. Bush. Henry credited his time with the Steinway skilled craftsman in his early years as more valuable than any amount of study he would have done.

I think one of the more interesting periods in his life was during WWII. As the war broke out, Henry became a factory manager. In 1942, his career was paused as he was drafted and assigned to work on Governor’s Island at the Army’s Counter-Intelligence Corps headquarters. That’s when he met his wife Polly. After the war, he returned to Steinway and Sons and became president in 1955.

As I sat and listened to Henry, I felt like I was experiencing a slice of American/World history first hand. I sensed a wisdom that comes from years of experiences, both good and bad. He was gracious and although there were many people at the opening, when he spoke with me he was totally tuned into our conversation, which I greatly admired. Henry Z. Steinway is missed but his spirit and passion live with me.

One interesting side note is that we were in the museum that Henry was a founding member of and served as its first president. See and hear Henry in a clip from his historical interview at the museum. Notice his extreme humility. Click here to see information about Henry Steinway on the NAMM page.

I do remember telling him as we finished that Willis would one day represent Steinway with great honor. Happily, we were able to reach that goal three years ago. Steinway and Sons is a valued partner and we look forward to representing them in this region for many years to come.

Kevin Cranley

Band Director skydiving

Who said Camels Can’t Fly!

This is the most unusual thing I have ever seen a band director do. To get his students motivated Mr. Stephen Dietsch, Director of Bands at Campbell County Middle School, home of the Camels, promised he would jump out of a plane if his students earned a Distinguished Rating at the Kentucky Music Educator Association state assessment. Boy oh boy did he keep his promise. Check out this video!


Great job Mr. Dietsch, and thank you for showing our young people the importance of honoring a promise!

If You Sing or Play, It’s All Music To My Ears!

Last month I neglected to mention the Choral Assessments and I would like to correct that this month. There were over 35 middle and high school choirs that performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association District 7 Choral Performance Assessment. Students came from Campbell, Boone, Kenton, Bracken and Grant counties. Most people do not realize that choral students go through the same process as band students and Choral Music is very strong in our Northern Kentucky School Districts and here’s why…
Congratulations to the Campbell County Camel Singers and Camerate Choirs who both received Proficient ratings.
Another Congratulations goes out to the Campbell County Select Choir who received three Distinguished Ratings and a Proficient on sight reading.
Keeping with the Campbell County theme here is a big shout out to the 8th grade Choir who received Distinguished Ratings.

All-Stars, And I am Not Talking Baseball!

Choral students from all four Kenton County Middle Schools participated in a concert that was hosted at Turkey Foot Middle School. It was a pleasure to attend and I would like to thank Mrs. Debbie Brown, Secondary G/T Specialist for choosing Willis Music to supply the music for the All-Star Chorus. A special congratulations for a job well done are the choral teachers who put in so much time and effort into making the concert a success…
Debbie Sager at Summit View Middle, Allison Peeno at Turkey Foot Middle, Sherry Clark (the sweetest person in the world) at Twenhofel Middle and Nancy Bailey at Woodward Middle. You ladies rock!

Cindy Hicks

Have You Heard About Free Lesson Day?

Have you heard about Free Lesson Day?

We do many exciting things here at Willis Music- but I personally am really excited about this. We have decided that the best way for you or your child to decide if lessons are right for you- is to try them out- for free! So we invite you to come to any of our stores from 1:00-3:00 on May 23rd.

There we will have teachers ready to give you a short lesson to decide if private instruction is right for you. We will be focusing on piano and guitar. It is going to be a really fun day- introducing people to music is what we are here for. It will be a great way to meet some of our fantastic teachers. We can’t wait to see you there. Contact the store nearest you for more information.

Here is a short video telling you all about Free Lesson Day!

Assessment Recap

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Assessment at Northern Kentucky University. For those of you that might not know judges record the school’s performances and provide them with immediate feedback. The bands and their directors are also asked to sight-read. They have a few minutes to view the music before they perform in front of a judge. Wow, I would think that would be the most stressful part of this event! All the judges scores are combined for an overall rating. Here a re few highlights we would like to mention…

The following ensembles were named exemplary groups by the adjudicators:

– Gray Middle School 8th Grade Band – Bill Kidwell

– Turkey Foot Middle School 7th Grade Band – Jana Bromley

– Highlands High School Chamber Orchestra – Kathy Anderson

– Beechwood High School Symphonic Band – Joe Craig & Adam Proctor

– Ryle High School Honors Wind Symphony – Bob Elliott

​A special mention and thank you go out to Mr. Chris Miller, Director of Bands and Walton-Verona High School for serving again as this years Assessment Manager.

The History of the Willis Music Company

Beginning in 1899 through today, Willis Music’s focus has always been on music education. From their internationally known educational piano catalog to one of the top retail music chains in America this focus on education has always remained. Here’s how it began…

On April 1, 1899, Charles H. Willis, a veteran of the sheet music industry, founded a small business at 41 East 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati. For the next 20 years Mr. Willis and his son William grew the business through hard work and a keen focus on the needs of music educators. During that time the company acquired several music publishers such as The John Church Company and George B. Jennings and Company. In 1919, Gustave Schirmer bought the Willis Music Company, making it a branch of G. Schirmer of Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1923 John J. Cranley, a fiery, redheaded Irishman from the Boston Music Company, became general manager of the Willis subsidiary. John began as a stockboy at Boston Music and now was leading Willis Music with his hard work and love for the music business. He turned this small organization into a major corporation in very quick order. Little by little, he acquired more than 50% ownership in the company through stock options and then purchased all the remaining stock. John continued running Boston Music, Schirmer Music and Willis Music. Under his leadership, Willis Music became “The Publisher” for teaching methods and solo pieces. The John Thompson method, “Modern Course for the Piano” was added to the catalog in 1936 and quickly became, and still is today, the most widely used piano method in the world, published in 17 languages. He then added names like Edna Mae Burnam and her prolific “Dozen a Day” series as well as William Gillock.

John’s son, Edward, became president of the Willis Music Company in 1965. Like his father he grew up in the business at Boston Music. After serving in the Navy during WWII and Korea he moved his Family to Cincinnati to join Willis in 1955. He worked all departments, sharing his Dad’s enthusiasm while continuing the success and growth of the organization. In 1969 the Company’s headquarters and publishing operation moved to Florence, Kentucky.

After graduating from Xavier University in 1980, Kevin Cranley, Ed’s son, joined the company full time. In 1990, Kevin succeeded his father as President and continues in that role today. Kevin also served as the Chairman of NAMM, the industry’s International Trade Association from 2011-2013.

In the past 10 years Willis has gone through tremendous positive change. In 2005 Willis partnered with the Hal Leonard Corporation who now handles product development, production and distribution for the Willis catalog in the Americas and beyond. Hal Leonard provides an unmatched stable of popular songs and talent that have enhanced the iconic Willis Piano Methods.


In 2012 Willis became the exclusive representative for Steinway and Sons Pianos in the Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton markets. Willis services university music departments, local symphonies and music enthusiasts with the world’s finest pianos.

With the 2013 acquisition of Moeller Music, Willis strengthened its commitment and dedication to school music programs in all markets. At the same time Willis began representing the renowned Yamaha Band and Orchestra line of instruments.

Today Willis Music stores provide everything musicians of all levels need and desire. With performance spaces in several stores Willis is frequently the venue for beginners, rising stars and Steinway Artists.

Cick here to read what else happened the day of our inception!

Kevin Cranley

Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference

Annual Show in Louisville, KY

“KMEA (Kentucky Music Educators Association) holds a professional development conference every year in late January or early February. It is always held in Louisville at the Kentucky International Convention Center and is open to music teacher of all types. This event attracts teachers of general music, middle school, high school, universities and orchestra. They leave no one out.

Every year Willis Music hosts a booth at the event trying to bring something different every time. This year was one of the best! We partnered with Personus and opened Directors’ eyes to what new technology can do to enhance their programs.

It was wonderful to see everyone there in an atmosphere of relaxation. We also had an opportunity to hear great performances by some of Kentucky’s best elementary, middle and high school ensembles.

Below are some of the photos that we took. We look forward to seeing you there next year!”

– Cindy Hicks, Willis Music Director, Institutional Sales/Rentals/Bids

The Willis Music Booth Featuring Presonus and QSC at KMEA

willis music kmea booth 2015

Willis Music Booth at KMEA 2015

From the Vendor’s Point of View…

Gary Mielke

Gary Mielke, TechRep Marketing (Presonus and QSC)

Recently I had the pleasure of working with Willis Music at the KMEA show in Louisville. I am a manufacture representative for Presonus, and while I do enjoy my job I can also say that trade shows are more often than not, the toughest part. The people at Willis helped to make the booth one of the best we have had at any trade show of this type. They spent a lot of time at set-up, making sure the booth was laid out just right based on their experience with this customer base. It was obvious to me, based on comments from teachers and students that Willis Music has an outstanding reputation for customer service. This made it that much easier for us to share the Presonus EDU message, and show the solutions we can provide through Willis Music. There are many music stores that can sell gear, but it takes a more serious commitment to provide solutions, and it is clear to me after spending a few long days with the Willis sales staff, that they have made that commitment.

Thanks to everyone at Willis for making the KMEA show an enjoyable experience for me and a successful one for Presonus.

Gary Mielke, TechRep Marketing

From the Band Representative’s Point of View…

Michele VanSickle and Tim Lautzenheiser kmea 2015

Michele VanSickle and Tim Lautzenheiser

This was my first year at a music educator’s convention as a vendor. I had been to conventions as a director many times. It was enjoyable to be at the booth and see directors from all over the state. This was a terrific time to talk to them without limitations of time. Discussing needs, specific program information, and possibilities of utilizing new ideas for assessment and creativity through electronics were the hot topics with whom I interacted.

I saw this as my chance to talk with directors whom have very busy schedules at school. I also had fun introducing myself to directors, and retirees, NOT in my area but might need a connection to supplies, music, or equipment. Finally, meeting parents of All-Star Band and Choir members, was fun as they were excited for the same reason we were… the opportunity to see the results of music education.

My favorite experience was to have the honor of passing out packets for Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser’s Essential Elements session, then listen to him speak. I have always admired his work and his ability to remain passionate about teaching music to all students.

Michele VanSickle, Willis Music Education Representative

Pictures From the Show…

AJ Gatewood from Twenhofel Middle School and Kevin Cranley

AJ Gatewood from Twenhofel Middle School and Kevin Cranley

Chris Hedges from Williamstown High School with Michele VanSickle

Chris Hedges from Williamstown High School and Michele VanSickle

Derrick Turner from Fairdal High School with Bobb Sears

Derrick Turner from Fairdal High School with Bobb Sears

Chris Peterson from Connor High School with Kevin Cranley and Cindy Hicks

Chris Peterson from Connor High School with Kevin Cranley and Cindy Hicks

Scott Taylor from Newport Middle School with Michele VanSickle

Scott Taylor from Newport Middle School with Michele VanSickle

Chris Bednar at the booth

Chris Bednar, TechRep Marketing (Presonus and QSC), at the booth

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Trombone

This post is the final installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trombone.

 

The most important element to trombone maintenance is the slide. There are several slide lubricant options, but the important thing to remember is to keep it moving freely. Whenever you are playing, be aware of your surroundings so you don’t accidentally hit your slide on your chair or stand. The smallest dent or bend in the slide can make it not function properly, and this is an issue that needs to be taken to a professional repair person.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Slide lubricant (your teacher may recommend one of the following):
Slide oil
Slide cream and water spray
Formulated product (like Slide-O-Mix)
Slide grease (for tuning slide only)
Bore snake
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trombone to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Main Slide:
It is extremely important to keep your main slide well lubricated – both for the condition of the instrument, and for ease of playing. Your slide will need to be lubricated FREQUENTLY, probably each time that you play. There are several different options:

  • Slide oil: the most straightforward option, and may be best for beginners. Simply extend your slide, apply slide oil to the inner slide, and move the slide in and out to distribute the oil.
  • Slide cream: slide cream requires water to work properly. Apply slide cream to the inner slide, and spray some clean water (from a spray bottle) to the slide before moving it to distribute. Some musicians like this method as it allows the slide to move very fast, and the cream does not need to be applied as often – only the water spray. The downside to the slide cream is that residue tends to build up on the slide faster than with oil, so you may need to clean your instrument more frequently.
  • Formulated products: there are many other products out there (one of the most popular is called Slide-O-Mix). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any type of product.

Tuning Slide:
REGULARLY, move the tuning slide on the instrument. This will prevent it from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slide to clean it and keep it moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease. (Note that this is a different type of grease than the one you use for your main slide)

Cleaning:
OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trombone. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/) that can apply to the trombone as well. The good news is that your entire trombone can be submerged in water! Fill a bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the main slide and tuning slide from the trombone and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trombone in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Grease your slides with the appropriate materials, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trombone. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young trombone players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Good luck!

This Is How It Gets Done!

Walton Verona Middle School started their beginning band class off with a big bang! Mrs. Hedges, Director of Bands at Walton Verona Middle School, knows how to get her students and their parents involved and excited about making music.

walton verona beginning band meeting

Right before Christmas break, students and parents were invited to a hands-on meeting where students had the chance to actually make a sound on several instruments. Parents loved watching as Mrs. Hedges helped each child choose an instrument that best fits them.

walton verona beginning band meeting

Some crazy sounds were heard on that day. Mrs. Shana Gatewood, (yes, she is the wife of band director A.J. Gatewood from Twenhofel Middle School and … a great trumpet player/teacher that also helps Willis Music out with many parent meetings and student demonstrations), had students making great sounds! Trumpet was a big choice for several students. Shana did a great job fitting the students! She ROCKS!

walton verona beginning band meeting

We all know how important making music is in our kids lives. We all also know music education improves recall and retention of verbal information, advances math achievement and boosts reading and English skills. And of course… we all know it increases average SAT scores. With all that we know it’s the band director of your child’s school and the directors of beginning bands all over the world that have the most influence on students and can help change their lives through music. Amber Hedges is one of the best and she knows how to get things done in her school!

An Insider’s Account of This Year’s NAMM Show

winter namm 2015I just attended my 35th January NAMM show. Yes, my first one was at 21 years old. For those of you who are unaware of NAMM, it’s the trade association of the $17 billion dollar music products industry. NAMM began in 1901 making it 2 years younger than Willis Music.

Our yearly pilgrimage to NAMM is always a welcome retreat from our cold winters. We go to sunny Anaheim and this year the weather was fantastic. I travel with 3 buyers from Willis (Paul, Bill and Mike) and my wife Debbi. Our buyers spend most of their time visiting vendors like Yamaha, Fender, Steinway, Hal Leonard and hundreds more; placing orders and learning about new products. My time at NAMM is involved with meetings with some of our larger vendors along with meetings with each of our foreign sub-publishers. As many of you know Willis owns a catalog of educational piano music with names like John Thompson, Edna Mae Burnam and William Gillock. Those publications and more are in great demand in other countries so I use the NAMM show to meet with our partners representing the countries of Japan, China, England, Australia, South Africa and other parts of Europe. In some cases working with translators which I always find interesting. Our John Thompson Piano Course is now printed in 17 languages.

That’s a bit about our main jobs at the show but there is much more. For me, the show is a reunion of some of my best friends. I was fortunate to be asked to serve on the executive committee of NAMM for 8 years which ended in 2013. My final 2 years I was the Chairman of NAMM and traveled around the world meeting so many great people. I love reconnecting with all of them each year at the NAMM show. In a later edition I’ll write about some of our most memorable experiences during that time. For me, this year’s highlight was the annual Yamaha concert. They hold a concert every other year or so in DisneyLand at the Hyperion Theater. The artists are unbelievable. This year’s highlight for Debbi and me was Jamie Cullum. If you don’t know Jamie, do yourself a favor and check him out. Also performing were The Piano Guys, James Blunt, Jonathan Butler, Bob James, Colbie Caillat, Nathan East and others. The MC was Sinbad and he was a riot. The show was 3 1/2 hours long and was amazing. Jonathan Butler was the surprise for us; such an amazing voice. And Colbie Caillat has such a clear distinctive voice, she was really good too.

One last thing, check out this video of The Piano Guys at a retirement home. Watch the change in the residents as the Piano Guys perform, it’s amazing. The benefits of music in action.

Paul (one of the Willis buyers) attended a concert put on by Vandoren called VandoJam. Several Grammy winning Jazz artists really killed it. It featured Paquito D’Rivera, Eric Marienthal, and Jerry Vivino, with special guests Felix Peikli and Farnell Newton. That is one of the most exciting things about the show. Artists are everywhere and each company tries to provide the best performances you will ever hear. You can be walking the halls and see Jason Mraz, John Mayer or even Stevie Wonder. I was fortunate enough to meet Stevie last year. I remember one year when Stevie Wonder just started playing in the Yamaha booth; not planned… just spontaneous artistry at it’s best.

Make today a musical day.

Kevin Cranley

It’s All About That Band!

It is that time of year. School is in full swing, and school band is something that your child is going to stick with. We have always found that private lessons are the best way for your child to succeed in band class- some band directors even require that all students take private lessons outside of school. Here at Willis Music, we are always on the look out for the best musician to help your child grow. We are always expanding, especially when it comes to band. Here are just a few of our many new band teachers. To find out more about lessons for you or your child, click on the location nearest you, or on one of these great teachers below!

Willis Music Lexington

Willis Music Florence

Willis Music Eastgate

Willis Music Kenwood

Moeller/Willis Music West Chester 


 

Armond Luckey- West Chester Location

I started playing trumpet when I was 12 so I’ve been playing for about 16 years. I attended Miami University on a full ride scholarship. While there I had the opportunity to connect and play with several musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Wayne Bergeron and Jon Faddis. While at Miami I was the lead player for the Miami Jazz Ensemble as well as the jazz trumpet ensemble called the Lickitysplits. I was also a part of the Miami Wind Ensemble, Miami Marching Band, and Miami Orchestra. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Click here to register with Armond


 

Chase Clark- Lexington Location

As an educator, Chase has taught at various schools and music camps throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Teaching with his first instrument, the trombone, Chase has appeared as a guest instructor at prestigious music programs such as Lafayette High School, Beaumont Middle School, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and John Hardin High School. Chase also has taught at the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN since 2010. This fine arts camp trains 200-250 students in which Chase is the primary trombone and low brass instructor, jazz big band section instructor, and a member of the faculty performing groups. As well as teaching across Kentucky and Tennessee, Chase maintains a successful trombone studio of emerging talent in the Lexington, Kentucky area. As a performer, Chase has appeared with an extensive variety of musical groups such as the University of Kentucky’s Opera Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, the Annie Moses Band, Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy-award winning artist Bob Mintzer. Chase also recorded with Bob Mintzer on the album “Go” which released in 2011. Chase also joined with the Annie Moses Band to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013. He currently can be heard as lead trombone/soloist with local artists in the Lexington area such as the jazz big band the MetroGnomes, the oldies rock group Big City Groove, and the Lexington Community Orchestra.

Click here to register with Chase


 

Stacey Krimmer- Eastgate Mall location

STACEY KRIMMER received both her Bachelor of Music degree in education and her Master of Music degree in flute performance from the University of Wyoming. In addition to running a private flute studio since 1986, Stacey was the instructor for the flute program at Colorado Academy in Denver. She also taught Suzuki flute, penny whistle, and recorder at Colorado Academy, and was an instructor of flute ensembles at the Suzuki Association of Colorado’s Winter Workshop. She also served as board president of the Colorado Flute Association. Stacey’s performance work includes Wind Images Woodwind Quintet, the ballet orchestra to premiere “Winter Moons,” the Denver Opera Company Orchestra, the Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Symphony. She also worked and performed with School House Symphony, a small ensemble dedicated to providing in-school performances by combining teaching with performing.

Click here to register with Stacey


 

 

Ashley Martin- West Chester Location

A native of Mason, OH, Ashley Martin holds degrees in music education and oboe performance from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. At Ohio State, she studied oboe with Professors Robert and Bailey Sorton, and had the opportunity to work with Joe Robsinson, the retired principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. Ashley has performed on both oboe and English horn in numerous ensembles, including the Ohio Capital Winds, Columbus Childrens’ Theatre, and the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra. She currently performs with the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, and can be heard in a Naxos Label recording performing with the Ohio State University Wind Symphony. As an educator, Ms. Martin specializes in concert band instruction in addition to oboe. She spent two years teaching 5th through 12th grade band for Crestwood Local Schools in northeast Ohio, and currently teaches beginning band at VanGorden Elementary School in the Lakota school district. Ms. Martin has been teaching oboe privately in the Cincinnati, Akron, and Columbus metro areas for over seven years. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Ohio Music Educators Association, Women Band Directors International, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Click here to register with Ashley


 

You Received A Musical Instrument For Christmas…

Now What?

Congratulations!!! If you received a musical instrument for Christmas, someone really cares about you. You now have in your possession the gift that keeps on giving. The gift that does not care about your age, sex, race, religion, class and so one. Although you may go through many instruments, the music itself will last most of your lifetime.

Learn…

It’s never too late to learn! This is one of our mantras. Watch these videos, get inspired, then read further.

Now that you’ve seen the videos, it’s time for you to start your journey of making music.

Look…

Whether you opened up a humanatone or a Steinway Grand Piano from under the tree, the instrument is only the facilitator of your music making process. YOU are the music.

With that being said, do you have everything you need to play, maintain, clean and store your instrument? Over the next few days we will feature different articles pertaining to your instrument. Check back often for your instrument category.

  • There was a guitar under the tree just for me! COMING SOON
  • I got a drumset for Christmas! COMING SOON
  • I opened a violin from under the tree! COMING SOON
  • There was a woodwind instrument under the tree! COMING SOON
  • There was a brass instrument under the tree! COMING SOON
  • I got a keyboard for Christmas! COMING SOON

Please note if you received an instrument for Christmas that is not listed above, comment on this blog or send us an email and we will reply with a personalized list just for you!

Listen…

If you are not doing it already, we encourage you to do lots of “listening.” Always be listening and never stop listening. Are you listening? If you are, your next question might be, “What should I listen to?” As stated by one of the greatest american composers, Duke Ellington:

There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.

We highly suggest listening to “Good Music.” You should try and listen to music that features your instrument but you should at least start with what your “ear” tells you.

Remember when we said “anyone can listen to music?” We really meant it. Here is an example.

Bottom line, think about this: If you don’t listen to music, how do you know what you want to sound like?

Lessons…

How do you learn something new? Do you research on the internet? Do you just hope and guess? Whether you are a “self-taught” type of person or not, EVERYONE must practice in order to learn/improve upon a skill. “Talent” only gets you so far.

How do I know if I am getting the most efficient results from my practice time? Wait, what is “practicing?” I don’t own a “woodshed,” what does it mean to go there? I was progressing really quickly but then one day it just stopped; what happened? If you have asked any of these questions, then Music Lessons are definitely for you.

If you are a beginner and have never asked any of the above questions, Music Lessons are also for you. Did you know that it is impossible to break a habit? You can only form a new habit that hopefully supersedes the bad one. Start with good habits. Start with music lessons.

For information about our Lesson Programs, click HERE.

Combine…

Add listening to music and playing a musical instrument together, and the result is described in this video:

Recapitulation (ask your new lessons teacher about this word)…

Music is a combined effort of your learning, listening and lessons. You may catch on to this whole music thing real quick or real slow. The truth is, it does not make a difference. The amount of fun and enjoyment you will experience when you play your instrument should be the same for the beginner as it is for the professional. In fact, it gets better the more proficient you get at your instrument.

Before you click on the sign to the right and schedule your lessons and start practicing, we will leave you with another quote by T.S. Elliot:

You are the music while the music lasts.


Follow us on Twitter for exclusive offers, promos, pictures, and just all-around information!


Walton Verona’s Beginning Band Meeting

Students Make Some Great Choices

walton verona beginning band meeting

“Willis Music was invited to Walton Verona’s beginning band meeting by Mrs. Hedges, Director of bands, where new students found themselves making sounds on many different instruments, all while trying to select the one that best fits them. Shana Gatewood, (a Gateway College Music Teacher) was instructing ‘soon-to-be trumpet players’ while Colleen and Michele (from Willis Music) made lots of noise instructing clarinet and trombone. Parents were happy and some great choices were made.”

walton verona beginning band meeting

“Mrs. Hedges starts her students after Christmas break on January 8th. Also new in 2015, she will give birth to her fourth child the around the first of February. Don’t worry, she will have a great substitute and will be greatly involved even after the baby is born. Our congratulations goes out to her and her husband Chris Hedges (Director of bands at Williamstown) and we wish them a happy, healthy baby next year.”

walton verona beginning band meeting

From the desk of Cindy Hicks, Willis Music

Care and Feeding of Your Band Instrument: Trumpet

This post is the fourth installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trumpet.

 

Care of any brass instrument is fairly straightforward. The most important thing to remember is to regularly empty water, and keep valves and slides lubricated.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Valve oil
Slide grease
Bore snake
Valve casing brush
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trumpet to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Valves:
Valves should be oiled REGULARLY: at least once a week, and every time they don’t move freely. To oil the valves, unscrew the valve caps at the top of each valve case (be careful not to unscrew the valve buttons!). Pull the valve straight up out of the valve casing. Apply a few drops of valve oil to the lower part of each valve (the part with the holes, usually a darker metal). You don’t need oil in the holes, just on the outside of the cylinder. Be especially careful when replacing the valves – if they are in the wrong order or not aligned correctly, your trumpet will not work! Usually, the valves will have a 1, 2, and 3 printed on them. More often than not, the numbers on the valves should face the lead pipe. There is also an internal mechanism called a valve guide – it should make the valve lock into place when it is in position if it is gently turned in the valve casing.

Slides:
REGULARLY, (once a week or so), move each of the slides on the instrument. This will prevent them from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slides to clean them and keep them moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease.

Cleaning:
OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trumpet. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/). The good news is that most of your trumpet can be submerged in water! Fill a sink or bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the valves from your trumpet and set them aside. Remove each of the slides from the trumpet and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trumpet (minus the valves) in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. For the valves, gently clean the bottom section with the ports/holes (where you put valve oil) with the water/dish soap. DO NOT submerge the valves in water – the only part of the trumpet that shouldn’t get wet is the felt rings at the tops of the valves. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Oil your valves, grease your slides, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trumpet. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young trumpet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next care and feeding lesson: the trombone!

Annual Warehouse Sale 2014

It’s Back… And Better Than Ever!

Do your internet price research; check on eBay, check on Craigslist… You Won’t Find Any Better Pricing Than These Three Days! We will even have better deals than Amazon!

Your “Dream” Instrument Could Be Here

Think about the last time you were infatuated by an instrument you saw online. You thought… “this is perfect.” You could picture yourself playing it right at that moment. You could even faintly smell that subtle “new instrument case” aroma of vinyl and wood as you imagined holding the facilitator of your musical dreams. Then your eyes catch the price… reality sets in and you immediately feel your shoulders get heavy. You think about your budget and now the “dream” instrument slowly slips away to unattainable…

WAIT!

You’re a smart person! You realize… “maybe I can find this instrument USED?!” Now begins the frantic clicking on all of the major websites that show up in your Google search. Then the light bulb goes off. The moment of clarity presents itself: A Warehouse Sale! An event of massive proportions that has used gear, scratch and dent, unclaimed repairs, old stock and just about every other form of instrument you can imagine. This is your chance to find “the” instrument that has “your” sound at “that” price.

Your Questions: Who, What, When, Where and Why?

Our Answers: Us, A Warehouse Sale, November 21 – 23, At our Warehouse, Because we must…

Click HERE for more information.

Follow us on Twitter for updated pictures and more information. Use or search for #willismusic or #WarehouseSale


Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Saxophone

This post is the third installment of the “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the saxophone.

 

Like all woodwinds, one of the most important things to remember is that woodwinds and water don’t mix! There is a small disk of a soft material covered by a film or leather under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer. The other big element to saxophone care is the reeds, which will have its own section below.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Swab
Cork Grease

Optional/Occasional Care Supplies:
Mouthpiece brush
Key brush
Polishing cloth
Reed Guard
Padguard

Cleaning:
After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your saxophone. The swab should consist of a piece of material (and perhaps a piece of foam or bristle) attached to a long string with a weight on the end. Remove your reed, mouthpiece, and neck. Make sure the swab is unfolded completely, and drop the weight through the bell. Turn and gently shake your saxophone until the weight drops out the other end, and pull the fabric through. Gently shake moisture from the neck (if the swab will fit through the neck, swab it as well).

The other option is a pair of items, often called a “Padsaver” and a “Necksaver.” These are flexible, fuzzy rods that are inserted into the instrument and left there to wick moisture from the pads. These are acceptable as well.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher – it is not made to handle the heat and will warp and be ruined.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your saxophone. Pay special attention to the keys – the oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Cork:
The first several times you use your instrument, then EVERY FEW USES after that, you should grease your neck cork. The neck cork is a tube of cork on the next where the mouthpiece is attached. It creates a seal so that air cannot escape when the instrument is assembled. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the neck cork to make the mouthpiece easier to attach, and to condition the cork so it will last longer.

Reeds:
Reeds are one of the most important (and can be one of the most frustrating!) elements of caring for your saxophone. They are both the most fragile part of the instrument, and the part essential for creating a good sound (or any sound at all!). Take extra care when handling reeds and assembling your instrument not to let the tip (thin end) touch anything. The tiniest chip or crack will cause problems with your reeds. Proper storage when not playing is also essential to keep the reed from breaking or warping. NEVER leave your reed on your mouthpiece when you put your instrument away, it should always be removed and stored in its own case. Most reeds are sold in individual plastic protector sleeves – these are effective in preventing breaks, but can still allow the reed to warp as it dries. I recommend a reed case (like those made by Rico, LaVoz, or Vandoren), as they will prolong the life of your reeds.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young clarinet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next week’s care and feeding lesson: the Trumpet!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Clarinet

This post is the second installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music.  This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the clarinet.

 

Like all woodwinds, one of the most important things to remember is that woodwinds and water don’t mix! There is a small disk of a soft material covered by a film under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer. The other big element to clarinet care is the reeds, which will have its own section below.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Swab
Cork Grease

Occasional/Optional Care Supplies:
Mouthpiece brush
Key brush
Polishing cloth
Reed Guard

Cleaning:
After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your clarinet. The swab should consist of a piece of material attached to a long string with a weight on the other end. After removing your reed, make sure the swab is unfolded completely, turn your clarinet upside down, drop the weight through the bell until it drops out the other end, and pull the fabric through. (Depending on how long the string is, you may need to swab your clarinet in 2 sections)

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water (just be sure to dry the cork very carefully and allow it to dry completely before you put it back in the case). DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher – it is not made to handle the heat and will warp and be ruined.

Use your key brush (small, cylindrical) AS NEEDED to gently clean any buildup that may occur in your finger holes.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your clarinet. Pay special attention to the keys – the oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Corks:
The first several times you use your instrument, then EVERY FEW USES after that, you should grease your tenon corks. Tenon corks are the rings of cork that are found where each section joins together (including on the mouthpiece). They create a seal so that air cannot escape when the instrument is assembled. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the tenon corks to make the instrument easier to assemble, and to condition the cork so it will last longer.

Reeds:
Reeds are one of the most important (and can be one of the most frustrating!) elements of caring for your clarinet. They are both the most fragile part of the instrument, and the part essential for creating a good sound (or any sound at all!). Take extra care when handling reeds and assembling your instrument not to let the tip (thin end) touch anything. The tiniest chip or crack will cause problems with your reeds. Proper storage when not playing is also essential to keep the reed from breaking or warping. NEVER leave your reed on your mouthpiece when you put your instrument away, it should always be removed and stored in its own case. Most reeds are sold in individual plastic protector sleeves – these are effective in preventing breaks, but can still allow the reed to warp as it dries. I recommend a reed case (like those made by Rico, LaVoz, or Vandoren), as they will prolong the life of your reeds.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young clarinet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next week’s care and feeding lesson: the Saxophone!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Flute

This post is the first installment of the “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the flute.

 

As far as the woodwinds go, the flute is the most straightforward when it comes to care and maintenance. The main thing to remember is that woodwinds and water DON’T MIX. There is a small ring of a soft material covered by a film under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Cleaning rod
Rod cloth (cotton, flannel, or felt)

Occasional/Optional Care Supplies:
Microfiber Polishing cloth
Key brush
Key cleaning papers
Treated dry polishing cloth for silver
Fine steel wool

Cleaning:
After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your head joint at the very least. If there is visible moisture inside of the body or foot joints, these should be swabbed as well. To swab your instrument, thread a corner of your rod cloth through the loop of the cleaning rod. Drape the rest of the cloth over the rod loop, and turn it around the rod to cover any exposed metal/plastic/wood (the exposed rod could scratch the inside of your instrument). Insert the rod/cloth assembly and gently turn to wipe moisture from the inside of the instrument.

After EVERY to EVERY FEW uses, you should wipe down the outside of your instrument with your rod cloth or a microfiber polishing cloth to remove any dirt or finger oils that may have gotten on the instrument while playing.

OCCASIONALLY, you may want to clean and sanitize the lip plate of your head joint. You can use rubbing alcohol or a mouthpiece cleaning spray with a soft cloth or paper towel for this.

AS NEEDED, you may want to polish the outside of the instrument with a dry treated silver polishing cloth to remove any tarnish that may have developed. This should only be done occasionally, as polish will remove a small layer of the silver plating. Take care not to get any residue on the pads. Only use a DRY cloth intended for this purpose – DO NOT attempt to use a liquid or cream silver polish intended for jewelry.

Tenons:
Tenons are the two joints where the parts of your instrument come together. If they become dirty or bent, it may be difficult to put the instrument together or the joints may become loose and wobbly. When assembling the instrument, take care to be sure that the joints will go straight together, and that you are not putting pressure on the tenon at an angle. If it becomes difficult to assemble your instrument, the tenons may be dirty. Clean them with your rod cloth or polishing cloth, or if they are especially bad, you can gently use fine steel wool to remove any residue. DO NOT attempt to lubricate the tenons with Vaseline or cork grease, as they are not intended to need it. Having a substance on the tenon will attract dirt and make the problem worse. Simply keeping the tenons clean should be sufficient to keep them working well.

Questions?
We hope this has been informative for our young flute players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Keep an eye out for “Care and Feeding of your Clarinet,” coming soon!

Williamsburg Homecoming Parade 2014

Kevin Lockwood Takes The Wheel

Willis Music Band Representative, Michele VanSickle, is fantastic at her job. Don’t take our word for it, check out the pictures of her “ride” below, on loan to the Williamsburg Marching Wildcats for their Homecoming parade. Michele asked the Director, Kevin Lockwood, why hold a parade for homecoming?

[It’s] tradition and it provides great support for the school.Kevin Lockwood, Director, Williamsburg Jr/Sr High School Band

Michele also asked, why did you invite us to your event?

[I]… Appreciate the fact that Willis Music supports music education.Kevin Lockwood, Director, Williamsburg Jr/Sr High School Band

Michele said, any finally words?

[I was]… happy to drive the car to be supportive of a local company as they are supportive or our program.Kevin Lockwood, Director, Williamsburg Jr/Sr High School Band









 

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Do you want to build a snowman?

Frozen-Movie-Elsa-HD-Wallpaper1

For the First Time In Forever…

It’s cold! After many months of blissful warmth “In Summer” (get it?) the cold weather has decided to roll in. If you’re anything like me, your heart is a little broken. Winter is your foe, deliberately ruining your life with every gust of cold wind.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. That’s why you should just “Let It Go,” (GET IT?!) and embrace those cold weather blues by getting a head start on your wintry tunes.

The Florence store has a great selection of music from our favorite animated soon-to-be-a-classic film, “Frozen.” You want it, we’ve got it (or we can order it for you).

If “Frozen” isn’t your cup of hot cocoa, we also have a wide array of other music for your playing pleasure.

See you soon!

Kendra

New Teacher Alert!

Willis Music Lexington is happy to welcome Chase Clark to their team of qualified teachers. Chase has been working as the Willis Music Lexington Band Rep since the spring, and is happy to teach during the evenings! Read more about Chase below and click here to sign up for lessons today.

 

 

As an educator, Chase has taught at various schools and music camps throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Teaching with his first instrument, the trombone, Chase has appeared as a guest instructor at prestigious music programs such as Lafayette High School, Beaumont Middle School, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and John Hardin High School. Chase also has taught at the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN since 2010. This fine arts camp trains 200-250 students in which Chase is the primary trombone and low brass instructor, jazz big band section instructor, and a member of the faculty performing groups. As well as teaching across Kentucky and Tennessee, Chase maintains a successful trombone studio of emerging talent in the Lexington, Kentucky area. As a performer, Chase has appeared with an extensive variety of musical groups such as the University of Kentucky’s Opera Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, the Annie Moses Band, Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy-award winning artist Bob Mintzer. Chase also recorded with Bob Mintzer on the album “Go” which released in 2011. Chase also joined with the Annie Moses Band to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013. He currently can be heard as lead trombone/soloist with local artists in the Lexington area such as the jazz big band the MetroGnomes, the oldies rock group Big City Groove, and the Lexington Community Orchestra.

 

 

New Teacher Alert!

We are excited to welcome Krista Weiss as a new teacher in our Kenwood and Florence locations. Krista teaches Clarinet and Bass Clarinet. Read more about Krista below and click here to register for lessons today!

Krista Weiss currently serves as principal clarinet of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and second clarinet of the Richmond Indiana Symphony. An active freelancer, Krista has recently performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Kentucky Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and New World Symphony, as well as on dozens of recordings for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Krista attended Indiana University where she received both her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Clarinet Performance. She has also spent several summers participating in music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Chautauqua Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Marrowstone Music Festival. During the 2010-2011 academic year Krista served as the clarinet instructor at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, teaching a full studio of undergraduate and graduate students and performing with the ISU Faculty Woodwind Quintet. She currently serves as a Reserve Method Clinician for D’Addario Woodwinds and has traveled to dozens of schools across the Midwest to give clinics on clarinet fundamentals and equipment. Krista enjoys teaching clarinetists of all ages and abilities and maintains a private studio in the Cincinnati area.

 

Here’s A Great “Reed!”

Reserve reeds are crafted using naturally-grown cane from D’Addario’s own fields. D’Addario has pioneered the first practical and precise system to digitally measure and cut the incredibly complex geometrical patterns necessary to reinvent single reeds. These reeds are cut to the tightest tolerances, offering the most consistent performance.

  • Ideal for the advancing student and professional
  • Expertly designed and made in the USA (from foreign materials) by a team of top musicians and engineers
  • Available in half strengths, from 2.0 to 4.5
  • Offered in boxes of ten and packs of two reeds

What Can You Expect From Playing Reserve Reeds?

  • A rich, warm tone
  • A heavy spine that promotes dynamic flexibility and exceptional tone quality in all registers
  • A narrow rail slope to produce consistency of response
  • A traditional tip thickness for ease of articulation

Why Willis Music Likes Reserve?

It’s simple, you save money in the long run with less waste in the box than other brands because of the quality control and better machinery used in making the Reserve reeds. This is not just another reed! I like them so much that I worked out a special deal with D’Addario so that I can offer you a chance to try them out with no risk. I challenge you to prove me wrong!

How Can You Try Reserve Reeds For Free?!

From now until November 30th, Willis Music will give you a free 2 pack of Reserve reeds for free for every 10 or 12 pack of Rico “orange box” or 10 pack of Juno reeds that you purchase. This will let you try these amazing reeds without one more penny coming out of your wallet.

I can only offer the 2 packs for free in the strengths of 2.5, 3 and 3.5 for clarinet and alto sax. Sorry tenor saxes, maybe next time.

I am not responsible for side affects that this may cause. The only known side affect is that you will love ’em.

Where Can I Go To Get These Reeds?

-Go into any Willis Music Store!

That’s how it works; easy as pie! One thing to note with your online order, you do not have to add the 2 packs to your cart. We will automatically ship them at the strength of the Rico “orange box” or Juno reeds that you buy, unless you send us a follow up e-mail with a different request. Place your orders before November 30th!

Brought to you from Billsworld.

 

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Parents, Are You Listening?

Calling all parents…

How You Can help school Music Programs

Do you ever hear about your child’s school band? Unless your child is in the music program at school, would you know about it? That is an important question to ask. We know about sports in schools because that is what is pushed within the school advertising methods. They use flyers, announcements, rallies, social media and more. Ask your child when was the last time the morning announcements included a song from the band? I don’t remember any when I was in school (full disclosure: I’m in my late thirties). I think this is the norm because musicians and novices have been pigeon-holed in to a “secret society” full of stereotypes and preconceived notions… but that is for another blog in the future. The leading question is: why can’t we share our plays like the football team? Why can’t we share our successes and failures? I’ll tell you why! Musicians aren’t good at marketing. What if when a song is performed in class, it is recorded and shared through out the school? What if a recording of the music concerts were shared with the world (while still abiding by copyright policies)? What if parents could here the improvement of there children through out the year? What if all of these answers could also lead to raising a little money for the school program along the way?

These are all possible with the advancements in recording technology. You can get great recordings with only a little investment in equipment and without an extensive learning curve. Looking at Presonus product: you get the recording interfaces, the editing software and the ability to post to a cloud service to share. This opens the door for getting the music out there.

All it takes is one proud parent posting the concert to their Facebook page and the whole world can hear it. You don’t need to be a recording engineer anymore to share some quality music. If the band director doesn’t have the time to do the recording, start a recording club!

I would think with the world being so technology tethered and with all these classrooms using iPads and laptops, I am sure there are grants that will fund music technology. All we have to do is ask. If a grant can’t be secured, I say, as parents, let’s all join the PTA and push for funding technology in music.

I did not receive this epiphany until my daughter started middle school and I saw her choir instructor struggling. I immediately volunteered my services and whatever she needed… of course with Billsworld flair! I can see the Christmas production now: flaming lights and enough sound to fill a stadium!

In conclusion, If we want music, we have to drive it without relying on the school and the instructors. It is up to us as parents to make it fun and cool… just like we had it when we were in school!


Brought to you from Billsworld

Help Music Education In Your School!

Willis Music donates 5% of sales to schools…


The benefits of a good music education are being threatened. When schools are forced to make cutbacks they historically look first to the Arts and Music programs. Music is an important part of a complete, well rounded education and needs your help.

It’s time to make a difference.

Willis Music will donate 5% of your purchase towards future purchases to the school music program of your choice.

How can you help?

Pass this information on to your school administrators, teachers, booster organizations, students, private teachers and churches. Tell everyone you know. Drop your receipt with the schools name on it into the vessel at any of the Willis Music stores. All purchases from the stores or online can be used. Together we can make a difference!

Repairs, Rentals, Lessons, and Steinway do not apply.

Brought to you by Billsworld

What You Need To Know About Renting An Instrument

We Tapped Our Knowledge Base To Find The Top Inquires

Your Questions Answered

Why?

Why should your child be in a band or orchestra class? I could write for months about the benefits of music but I think this video below really gives a great introduction.

Who?

Who has to rent the instrument? The parent or legal guardian must be present to fill out the rental contract. We have monthly and yearly rental options available. For more information about the rental contract, please contact a Willis Music Sales Associate.

What?

What do I need for my child’s band class? Typically the band director will provide a list of essentials which will include a Band Method book (click HERE to see more info on that subject). Besides the method book, other essentials will be different depending on the instrument that is being rented. Here are a few examples:

  • Woodwind instruments such as clarinets and saxophones require reeds for that instrument to produce sound. A typical rental comes with one reed to get the student started. Your child will go through these reeds at a pretty good pace so purchasing reeds throughout the year is common and expected. Each instrument has specific reeds and specific sizes/strengths. Buying reeds in boxes is always more cost effective. Please consult with the band director on the specified reed sizes/strengths.
  • Brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones will require specific oils/lubricants to maintain it’s continuity. A typical rental will come with a small bottle of oil. Not unlike reeds, your child will go through oils/lubricants throughout the year and it is a common recurring purchase. Most band directors do not require a specified oil for these instruments, so please consult with a Willis Music Sales Associate or your child’s private lessons teacher for recommendations. (Is your child not taking private lessons? Click HERE for information)
  • Percussion instruments will require specific sticks or mallets throughout the year. A typical rental will come with a basic set. Sticks and mallets are also a common purchase recurrence during the year. In many cases, the band director will specify the brand and size for their students.

The constants for every instrument are cleaning kits (specified for each instrument) and a music stand. The music stand holds the music and band methods in a proper position for practicing their instrument at home (which is just like doing “homework”). The cleaning kit is exactly as it sounds; a kit to clean the instrument. It is very important that your child’s instrument is cleaned consistently. Don’t believe us? Check out this article. Full Disclosure: All of our rental instruments go through a strict anti-bacterial sterilization process before they are rented to the general public.

Parents, treat these accessories just as you would school supplies; they are necessary for your child’s development.

When?

When can I rent an instrument? Right NOW! We rent instruments throughout the year. But this is typically the busiest time and we do have somewhat of a limited supply. If your child knows what instrument they want to play, the time is of the essence: come in and rent that instrument.

Where?

Where can I rent an instrument? ALL Willis Music locations and Moeller Music have the ability to rent instruments for your child for band class. Click HERE for store locations.

How Do I Choose A Wireless Microphone?

How Do I Choose A Wireless Microphone?

That is a “loaded question” depending on who you ask. Having been in the industry 25+ years, the only way I know how to answer is to share my opinion in this blog.

The first option and least expensive wireless microphones (mics) are VHF transmitter wireless units. VHF stands for ìVery High Frequency.î These will be the least expensive mainly because the microphone manufacturers have discounted the quality of these mics. The reason being is because of interference from products that we no longer use today. Now that technology like cordless phones and TVs have gone digital the interference of these bandwidths are almost non-existent. VHF signal is incredibly strong, if not the strongest signal of all the wireless choices. The downside is the major manufacturers stopped producing VHF systems over a decade ago so finding a quality VHF system that will last and be durable is a difficult talk. Yet another downside is the amount of systems you can run simultaneous without interference; four systems are about the limit.

The second option you have is UHF systems. UHF stands for ìUltra High Frequency.î These are very viable systems that, with recent technology, are very easy to setup and use. Most major venues are using UHF systems because they give you the ability to run unlimited systems due to the bandwidth being so wide. Even entry level systems can use up to 8 units. The downside to the UHF systems is the government. A couple of years ago the US government seized the 700mhz bandwidth in response to 9/11. They said it was for emergency broadcast reasons, but then wound up auctioning off 80% of it to TV stations and in turn making billions. This put most of the microphone manufacturers in the 600mhz range which made the broadcast pie smaller. We all know where there is money, there is greed. I predict that within the next three years part of the 600mhz bandwidth will be seized and sold, making a ton of these systems obsolete. With this being said I have read on the FCC website that as long as the system emits less than 50mw, is not a licensed transmitter, and is not interfering with emergency broadcastsÖ you are safe to use them. My concern is how it is interpreted by those enforcing the laws; so better safe than sorry. You will see the UHF system continue to go up in price as the bandwidth gets smaller and the manufacturers have to spend more for the licenses to operate in them.

The third option for wireless and the fastest developing on the market right now is digital. Currently most digital units you can be used with 8 simultaneously. I am sure this number will increase as technology improves. These units are easy to link together and, one of the best benefits, they work anywhere where UHF and VHF frequencies have to be purchased by region. The digital units have all the ìbells and whistlesî like the UHF units as well at the great sound.

In review, for most situations, I would choose the digital systems. You get major brands with quality, all the feature sets that make wireless mics easy to use, and no worries about the government making the bandwidth obsolete. This will give you many years of worry-free use.

Now all you have to is decide if you want handheld, lavalier, head-worn, or instrument systems. Pick your preference and make some noise.

Brought to you by Billsworld

Amelia’s “Newest” Band Member

Hello World!

Mrs. Aimee Schrameck, director of bands at Amelia High School, gave birth to her first child, Norah Anne Schrameck on June 14th, 2014. Pictured holding the now two plus week old Norah is Willis Music Band Representative Jeff Mellott. He is excited with the possibility that what he holds could very well be a future drummer… notice the hands…

Everyone at Willis Music sends their Congratulations!

The New Yamaha Silent Brass Reviewed

We Tested the Yamaha Silent Brass for Trumpet…

As a loud, abrasive and sometimes obnoxious instrument, it is easy to see what draws people to the trumpet. There is no doubt that the trumpet (or some variation) has a long history with actions such as breaking down walls, warding off evil spirits, announcing royalty, sending troops in to battle, opening a funeral march, facilitating the birth of jazz, and many others “sho-far” (trumpet pun). I could wax poetic about the pure awesomeness that is the trumpet and it’s aural distinction forever, but instead I will stay “silent” on the subject.

When I first saw the newest version of the Yamaha Silent Brass, my first impression was… okay, another practice mute… I’ve got half a dozen… that I don’t use… But when I tried it, I could not have been more wrong. Measuring at 5 1/2″ long and 3 1/2″ wide at the base, it is definitely one of the smaller practice mutes out there. One of the biggest differences between the previous version of the Silent Brass Mute and the current version is the back-pressure. There is a significant reduction in back-pressure in this current model! Couple that with the new “Brass Resonance Modeling” in the “Personal Studio STX” pack included, and you have a complete “keep-me-from-getting-evicted-while-I-practice-repetitive-lead-charts” package!

Here’s What Yamaha Says About The Silent Brass…

“Yamaha’s next generation SILENT Brass delivers greater playing enjoyment, anytime, anywhere.
The new SILENT Brass consists of a smaller, lighter, free blowing Pickup Mute™, and the Personal Studio™, which features Yamaha’s exclusive Brass Resonance Modeling™.
Used together, the two deliver the natural acoustic tone you hear when playing without a mute, making it feel as though you are playing mute free.”

Here is a video without the brass resonance

Here is a video with the brass resonance

“Connect the output from an audio player, smartphone, etc. to the AUX IN jack on the Personal Studio and enjoy playing along with your favorite recordings or “minus one” practice aids. The PHONES jack can also be used as an output jack for recording what you play. *Do not use the AUX IN jack when using the PHONES jack as an output jack”

 

Here is another video about the Silent Brass System for trumpet:

 

 

Purchase the Silent Brass SB7X for Trumpet and Cornet by visiting one of our locations.

Trombone Players! We didn’t forget about you! Here is a video of the Silent Brass System for trombone:

 

 

Purchase the Silent Brass SB5XC for Trombone by visiting one of our locations.

Who is this Adolphe Sax guy?

Ever wonder where the word Saxophone came from?  Me either, but here’s your answer.

From Wikipedia.

Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (6 November 1814 – c. 7 February 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is well known for having invented the saxophone.

Early life
Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant, Belgium. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was an instrument designer himself, who made several changes to the design of the horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of 15. He subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Career
Having left the school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to make conventional instruments to bring money into the household. Adolphe’s first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet design, which he patented at the age of 24. Sax relocated permanently to Paris in 1841 and began working on a new set of instruments exhibited there in 1844. These were valved bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so much more successful than those of his rivals that they became known as saxhorns. They range in approximately seven different sizes, and paved the path to the creation of the flugelhorn. Saxhorns are widely used today in concert bands and sometimes in orchestras. The saxhorn also laid the groundwork for the modern euphonium.

Sax also developed the saxotromba family, valved brass instruments with narrower bore than the saxhorns, in 1845, though they survived only briefly.[2]

Saxhorn instruments spread rapidly throughout the world. The saxhorn valves were accepted as state of the art and are largely unchanged today. The advances made by Adolphe Sax were soon followed by the British brass band movement which exclusively adopted the saxhorn range. The Jedforest Instrumental Band formed in 1854 and The Hawick Saxhorn Band formed in 1855, within the Scottish Borders, a decade after saxhorn models became available.

The period around 1840 saw Sax inventing the clarinette-bourdon, an early unsuccessful design of contrabass clarinet. He developed around this time the instrument for which he is now best known, the saxophone, patented on June 28, 1846. The saxophone was invented for use in both orchestras and concert bands. Composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the new instrument in 1842. By 1846 Sax had designed, on paper, a full range of saxophones (from sopranino to subcontrabass). Although they never became standard orchestral instruments, the saxophones made his reputation and secured him a job, teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857.[3]

Sax continued to make instruments later in life and presided over a new saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire. Rival instrument makers attacked the legitimacy of his patents and mounted a long campaign of litigation against Sax and his company. He was driven into bankruptcy in 1856 and again in 1873.

Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858 but made a full recovery. He died in 1894 in Paris and was interred in section 5 (Avenue de Montebello) at the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.

 

So that’s how the saxophone was invented and where the name came from.  Here at Moeller/Willis Music West Chester we have one of the best selections of saxes I’ve ever seen.  Come in and check them out today!

Top 3 Band Parent Questions Answered

Parents Asked, Cindy Answered

Dear Parents,

Welcome back, Cindy here again with more helpful hints and ideas as well as taking credit for bringing Spring along with me as well. I know what you are thinking… “well it is about time!” …and I agree! I have a couple of things to tell you about so let’s get started…

Because of our new e-notes, parents are asking questions so let’s answer the one most asked by you…”why are reeds numbered”? Most reeds are classified with numbers from 2 to 4 and in half strengths. It’s simple, the higher the number, the harder the reed plays. So, your child should have started on a number 2 or 2 1/2, the director usually decides which one. Then, as they progress into the 7th and 8th grades and into high school they will advance into 3 and 3 1/2. The lower number reeds are softer and students will go through them faster. Higher numbered reeds are harder and if stored properly will last a lot longer.

For those of you thinking about investing in a higher-quality instrument for your child, I commend you. A lot of parents take the leap this time of year as they want their child to sound their best during concert season. As a parent, there is one important thing you need to know before you take that leap and that is to be very aware of your timing! You should not upgrade your child’s instrument days before a big performance. It takes time for any player to get the feel of a step-up instrument and everything it has to offer. So, the lesson here is no matter where you purchase your step-up, make the purchase a few weeks before the big concert giving them the practice time they need with their new instrument. Then set back with a big smile on your face, camera in hand and enjoy the music you helped your child to create. As a Mom, I know the family budget may not always have room for a step-up instrument. Willis Music knows this as well so check out their First Chair Rental Program at any Willis Music location or for more information e-mail BandO@willismusic.com.

As we move towards the end of the school year I have had several requests for new band folders and replacement instrument name tags. I have both in-stock and are no charge for our rental customers. Simply e-mail your request to BandO@willismusic.com.

I look forward to answering more of your questions in June and I promise to bring SUMMER along with me.

Forward your questions to BandO@willismusic.com and have a fun Easter and great Spring!

Sincerely,

Cindy

Willis Music

Click HERE for Store Locations

Email Cindy HERE

Call Cindy at 888-594-5547

Interested in renting a Band Instrument? Click HERE

December Newsletter Highlights – BAND and ORCHESTRA

December News – CHOPSAVER

chopsaver original and gold

ChopSaver Original and Chopsaver Gold with SPF are two of the finest lip balms on the market today. Originally created to help wind musicians with severe lip problems, it is now recommended by doctors for their patients who suffer from chronic chapped lips. ChopSaver Original is a 100% all natural lip therapy which combines the healing properties of herbs such as arnica, calendula, comfrey and white willow with nature’s finest oils and moisturizers. Soothing emollients like shea butter, mango butter, avocado oil, apricot oil, grapeseed oil, aloe, Vitamin E and a light citrus fragrance complete the refreshing ChopSaver formula.

For the outdoor enthusiast, ChopSaver Gold adds the protection of SPF to the rejuvenating qualities of ChopSaver Original. Gold has all the same properties of our original plus two FDA approved sunscreens for outdoor protection. Both products have the same soft feel and same great fragrance!

Doctors, Dentists and Dermatologists recommend ChopSaver as a superior moisturizer due to its all natural ingredients and non-petroleum based formulation. ChopSaver is also gluten and alcohol free!

Try ChopSaver and see why it is being used by professional musicians and doctors!

SGCHPR

Retail Price: $4.95

Sale Price: $3.71 (that’s 25% Off)

Click HERE for a Willis Music location nearest you!

…from billsworld…

December Newsletter Highlights – BAND & ORCHESTRA

December Band and Orchestra News

JUNO Reeds!!!

Juno Reeds

What makes JUNO reeds different from other ‘entry-level’ reeds is the immediate response the student will experience combined with the sound of a Vandoren.

“Responded well throughout all ranges of the saxophone. Low register quite easy. Has the sound of a Vandoren with the feel of a Rico.” — Jason Laczkoski – Yamaha Artist

What’s The Juno Difference – Better yet, how are they similar?

There have been many questions about what the difference between the JUNO reed and other Vandoren reeds. Instead, let’s focus on what the similarities…

First – Vandoren cane – all Vandoren reeds cane only comes from the Mediterranean basin – including JUNO.

Second – JUNO reeds are cut and packaged using the same machines Vandoren uses to cut and package all their reeds.

Third – Consider JUNO just another Vandoren cut since each Vandoren reed has its own profile, the JUNO reed is a beginning reed profile that takes less time to cut and can be made more economically.

Finally – Everything about the way JUNO reeds are made is the same as any other Vandoren reed. The box and the 3 Packs even say “Designed and Manufactured by Vandoren.” Technology is the secret, but the ability to design a beautiful sounding reed is all Vandoren.

Here’s a Story about Juno Reeds…

“My Son Almost Quit Band”
Here’s a story that came from someone very close to us. Stephanie Murphy, our account representative for JUNO, has a son who started band this fall. He brought his saxophone home and with great expectation, got ready to practice. He carefully put on the reed that came in the case and began to play. As hard as he tried, he was unable to create a sound or do any of the exercises without squeaking. He was so frustrated that he went to his mother and told her he didn’t think he could play an instrument and that he felt like quitting. His mother urged him to keep trying and also said she would bring some reeds home from work – of  course they were JUNO reeds.
From the time Stephanie’s son began using JUNO reeds, his progress has been amazing. “He wants to play all the time,” commented Stephanie.

We do not presume to believe that there are “Magical” reeds that give people “superpowers” of prowess on woodwind instruments… however, we DO believe that everyone WILL benefit from using higher quality equipment.

Until a ring reed is forged in the fire of Mount “what-cha-call-it”… try JUNO. These could be your next precious “go-to” reeds.

Click HERE for a Willis Music closest to you to try out JUNO reeds!

Click HERE for the .pdf brochure.

Annual Warehouse Sale is BACK!

FOR 3 DAYS ONLY, WE OPEN OUR DOORS TO THE PUBLIC….

The Annual Willis Music Warehouse Sale is notoriously known as one of the best events of the season. In its 12th year running, this sale will continue to drop jaws and raise eyebrows at all of the incredibly low prices and immense inventory that will be on display. You’ll  find Brand Name, New, Used, Old Stock, Overstock, Scratch-and-Dent: Band Instruments, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Cymbals, Amps, PA and Pro Sound Equipment, Keyboards, Pianos, Sheet Music Books, Accessories, Cases and more… all at phenomenally low prices. Come on out and see us at our Warehouse Location for some of the best deals of the year! We look forward to your visit.

When?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 from 12pm (Noon) to 6pm

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 from 11am to 4pm

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 from 1pm to 4pm

Where?

Willis Music Company
7380 Industrial Rd.
Florence, KY 41042 
 

Click HERE for directions to our Warehouse Sale


View Larger Map

Questions?

Call: 800-354-9799

Email: willis@willismusic.com

Click HEREfor a printable version.

Step-Up to Yamaha at Willis Music

Yamaha Step Up Willis Music

STEP UP to YAMAHA

Triple Rebate Events! These Locations and Dates ONLY!

November 16th, 2013

Willis Music Louisville
Hurstbourne Pkwy at I64
Louisville, KY
502-426-1818
 
Willis Music Lexington
130 W. Tiverton Way
Lexington, KY
859-273-4063

November 23rd, 2013

Willis Music Tri-County Mall
2nd Floor near Sears
Cincinnati, OH
513-671-3288

November 29th, 2013

Willis Music Florence
Next to hhgregg on Mall Rd.
Florence, KY
859-525-6050

December 14th, 2013

Willis Music Kenwood
Kenwood Galleria next to Half Price Books
Cincinnati, OH
513-252-0445

December 21st, 2013

Willis Music Eastgate Mall
Next to Sears
Cincinnati, OH
513-752-6341
 

For more details on how you could earn triple rebates on your Yamaha Step Up purchase, call or visit the Willis Music closest to you!

Click HERE for locations.

Indoor Yard Sale 2013!

Indoor Yard Sale!

September 19th – 22nd, 2013

Our Annual Customers’ Most Favored Sale of the Year!

Manufacturer’s Samples, Demos, Unclaimed Orders, Scratch & Dent, Open Box, etc.

Major Categories and Brands Represented throughout!

Bookmark this post and check back often as we will be posting gear, locations, and more!!!

May Newsletter Highlights BAND & Orchestra

May News 2013 – Band & Orchestra

What!?!?

Your child is still playing on the same band instrument since the fifth or sixth grade!?

Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa – these kids have put in the practice time, incited your cheer at concerts, and love making music as much as they do listening to it. Now is the Time! Reward their hard work with a higher quality instrument that will build their confidence and help them to be more successful.

Trumpet Players… Need a silver horn for a big bold sound and better intonation that players are looking for!

Flute Players… Need an Open Hole flute with a B Foot and solid silver head to play better than they have before!

Clarinet Players… Is your child in Concert Band? If so, you need to hear the incredible sounds they will make on a Wood Clarinet!

Sax Players… All sax players need a High F# key to play like a professional. Student horns do not offer this option so your child’s horn could be holding them back!

Trombone Players… All trombone players need an F trigger! Enough said!

Come on out to one of our store locations to see these fine instruments in person.

When you visit one of our stores, be sure you ask about our “Try B4U Buy” program… It’s FREE! If you are not sure which instrument is right for your child, with “Try B4U Buy” your child can play the instrument at school, at their private lesson and at home so they are able to feel comfortable before you purchase.

Do you currently rent an instrument from Willis Music?

If you have rental equity, it can be applied toward most Step-Up instruments.

We also offer Step-Up rental rates beginning at $59.99 which can be applied toward the purchase of that Step-Up instrument.

Visit the store nearest you or contact the Band & Orchestra Department by email at BandO@willismusic.com. It’s Step-Up time and your child is ready!

This post is from the desk of Cindy Hicks, Willis Music Education Director B&O Rentals/Sales.

Check Out Our New Expanded Band & Orchestra Areas

Band and Orchestra is Where it’s At!

Have you seen the newest addition to our stores!? We have expanded our Band and Orchestra Departments with more accessories, more instruments and more…paint. You could call it a Department Makeover; “hipper threads” (also called “gear” – for all of you born in the 80’s), a new “do,” and even some “bling.” Peep some of the pictures below to catch a glimpse into what is now the norm.

ML_B&O_96dpi_3

ML_B&O_96dpi_2

 

ML_B&O_96dpi

Be sure to check back with us often because, like a fine wine, this department will only get better with age!

Click HERE to locate the department closest you.