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.
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.
Want to be the next Band Of The Month in Cincinnati? Click Here!
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
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.
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!
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!”
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,
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.
- Kentucky is 23%
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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Merry Christmas Everyone!!
From our Willis Music Family here in Florence to yours, we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!
Here’s Your Present!
In honor of Christmas, here is an original arrangement of the classic “Carol of the Bells” created by all of us here at the store. Enjoy!!
See What We Have In Our Stores From Anywhere
We should qualify our above statement by adding… “Anywhere ‘with internet access,’ YOU can see what we have in our store locations!”
When you are searching through our site, you will notice text that says “Available for In-Store Pickup” directly under the price of products on the category pages. See the example just below.
If you see that text in red you can click on that link, choose the location that is closest to you, fill out the form fields completely and have it waiting for you when you go to the store.
Also, if you are looking at a single product, look for the red text located just below the “Add to cart” button. See the example below.
Just like above, if you see that text in red you can click on that link, choose the location that is closest to you, fill out the form fields completely and have it waiting for you when you go to the store.
“What if the ‘Available for In-Store Pickup’ option isn’t shown?” That means that we probably have it at our warehouse. Add it to your cart, choose your favorite shipping option and we will ship it to your home (or your preferred shipping address). It’s just that easy.
Click HERE to start your shopping experience!
Follow us on Twitter for exclusive offers, promos, pictures and just all-around information!
The Warehouse Sale Survival Guide
We are already deep in to the Holiday season. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is rapidly approaching. Your weekends of “free time” are running out. Some questions running through your head might be: “Did the kids study for their tests next week?”, “When do the in-laws come in to town again?”, “Did you order the turkey?”, “Why are these clothes still wet?”, or “Where’s my phone?!” We can’t answer all of those questions, but we can make it just a little easier when you come to the sale this weekend.
November 20 – 22, 2015
We know your life is hectic right now, so here is a list of tips you need to know before coming to our sale:
- 1. Get here EARLY…
- The warehouse sale is a “first come, first served” event. We typically have a line about an hour or so before we open to the public. Don’t wait until Sunday, you might lose out…
- 2. Purchase Sheet Music by the Pound!
- That’s right! All of the sheet music for sale is sold by the pound! There will be a scale for you to weigh and tally all of the music before you get to the register. We will also have boxes and will assist in taking your purchases to your vehicle.
- 3. Ask questions…
- There is so much product here, it is hard to comprehend. Ask anyone with a name tag and they should be able to help you find what you are looking for.
- 4. The prices marked are the lowest they will be… ever.
- Come ready to “pull the trigger.” There is nowhere else for the prices to go except up.
- 5. Get here early…
- I know we already mentioned this, but it is so important we needed to say it twice. The best deals are the ones that go first…
Click HERE for more information about the Warehouse Sale.
Also, Follow us on Twitter for updated pictures, more information and future exclusive deals! For this event, use or search for #willismusic and #WarehouseSale
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
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!
Brought to you by Billsworld
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
Speaker Blown? Need more Lights for the show?
We now have your answer. Willis Music Florence is now your connection for Short Term PA and Lighting rental. We will rent by the day, weekend, week, or month. Great rates!! We rent only the best equipment for your needs. Stop by today for a quote!
December News LIVE SOUND
A new line of cables that will blow your socks off! These all come standard with Neutrik connectors and heavy gauge wire. You will be amazed at the flexibility, all while letting full signal flow! Get the best for a better price. Come into the store for a demo of Rhino cables and get 10% off any Rhino cable purchase. Available for instruments (with the 1/4 inputs) and microphones (with XLR inputs)!
December News PRO-SOUND
This P.A. system combines quality performance and convenient features, all in a highly portable package. You’ll find that the PW100T works well in a variety of environments amplifying vocals, instruments, keyboards, drum machines, audio devices and more.
- Master Level Control
- Four 4.5″ Drivers w/ High Frequency Horn
- Three Channel Mixer
- Subwoofer Out
- Two Instrument / Mic Channels with XLR and 1/4″ Inputs
- High and Low EQ per channel
- One Pre-Recorded Music channel with 1/8″ Mini Input, High and Low EQ
- Standard Speaker Stand-mount adaptor Built in
- Powerlink Circuit that uses standard Microphone cables to link multiple systems
Sale price $179.99 (that’s 40% OFF)
Click HERE for a Willis Music location nearest you!
December Pro Sound News
The PW50 P.A. System combines quality performance and convenient features, all in a highly portable package. You’ll find that the PW50 works well in a variety of environments, amplifying vocals, instruments, keyboards, drum machines, audio devices, and more.
The two 4.5″ speakers and high-frequency driver provide just the right combination of high and mid-range sounds. This balance ensures your vocals cut through the mix while minimizing harsh and unwanted frequencies.
The PW50 Construction is based on the same tried-and-true techniques as the rest of our speaker line. This includes a heavy-duty steel grill and rigid corners. This model also utilizes a high-frequency driver for crisp, accurate reproduction of treble frequency and articulate speech. For the soloist or acoustic duo, the PW50 works well when positioned on a standard speaker stand.
The Powerlink Circuit allows two or more units to be linked together and function as one P.A. system. As your following grows, so does your sound system. Multiple units can be connected to increase the sound coverage in your venue of choice.
Retail Price: $159.99
Willis Price: $108.00 (that’s almost a 33% discount!)
November Pro-Sound & Recording News
The POCKETRAK PR7 is Yamaha’s newest, ultra-portable linear PCM recorder that provides effortless high-quality recordings whenever and wherever you need. Equipped with a newly developed crossed XY stereo microphone, the PR7 captures high-resolution stereo recordings, achieving consistent quality and natural sound. An invaluable tool for any musician, the PR7 offers essential practice functions such as an on board tuner and metronome, as well as powerful recording functions like overdubbing and marker editing – all easily accessed via a simple, intuitive interface. It even features five optimized presets tailored to a variety of applications, so whether you’re rehearsing, songwriting, attending a speaking engagement or making a field recording, achieving studio quality sound has never been so easy.
Willis price: $149.99
Call a Willis Music nearest you for availability. Click HERE for a listing of our locations.
The Ultimate All-in-One Portable PA System
Yamaha StagePas 600
The new STAGEPAS features two sleek, lightweight speakers and a detachable powered mixer, along with one pair of speaker cables and a power cord, giving you a complete, extremely portable sound solution that can be set up quickly and easily in a variety of configurations and environments. By combining new high-efficiency amplifiers, newly designed speakers, and high performance DSP, the new STAGEPAS delivers a significant increase in power output (680W for the 600i) as well as substantial improvements in sound quality and reliability. Complementing the boost in performance, the addition of iPod/ iPhone connectivity, SPX digital reverbs, an on board feedback suppressor and more versatile EQ, has improved functionality and ease of use considerably, allowing STAGEPAS to meet the demands of a much wider range of applications and users.
Willis Price: $899.99
Call a Willis Music nearest you for availability. Click HERE for a listing of our locations.
October News – Pro Sound & Recording
Ribbon Mic for $99.99… Unbelievable!!!
Incorporating a Figure-8 polar pattern and a 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon, the
MXL R144offers breathtaking sound for vocal and instrument recordings and is an excellent microphone for broadcast applications. The R144 also performs brilliantly on acoustic instruments, strings, and horns and offers high SPL capability, outstanding side rejection and precise directivity.
- Perfect for a musician who needs a workhorse ribbon mic
- Mellow sound with a rich midrange and rolled-off top end
- Figure-8 polar pattern that captures instruments and room sound
- High SPL capability—ideal for horns and electric guitars
- Compact design that makes mic placement easy
Click on the link to sample audio: http://www.mxlmics.com/microphones/studio/R144/
SGMXLR144 Retail $159.99… Sells for $99.99
Great all around mic for $199.95!
The MXL Cr30 has a small profile body with a sleek black chrome finish. It features a 32mm large diaphragm capsule with a fixed cardioid pattern, and a low
noise FET preamp with fully balanced transformerless output. In addition it has a 3 position pad (pre attenuation) switch with settings of 0dB, -10dB and -20dB. The Cr30 delivers power and depth to vocals, as well as capturing the clarity and smoothness of instrumental performances. Wired with a Mogami cable, the Cr30’s fidelity and versatility will ensure that it is a favorite in your studio.
- Selectable -10dB or -20dB pad
- Delivers a rich and warm tonality
- Elegant black chrome finish
- Small body size for easy placement in tight spots
Watch a video here: http://www.mxlmics.com/microphones/studio/Cr30/
SGMXLCR30 Retail $269.95… Sells for $199.95
Both are in stock!
From the desk of billsworld
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!!!
August News – PRO SOUND
Chauvet 4BAR Flex
We are introducing lighting into the Willis Music Stores. The first product to be put in all locations is the 4BAR flex. It brings an added level of FLEXibility to all applications such as backdrop washing, stage lighting, and up lighting. The 4BAR flex is all LED so no worries about getting enough power or replacing bulbs. You can put this unit on any speaker stand and add lights to the supplied bar with included additional power outlets and mounting points. You will be amazed with the 2900 LUX that this unit outputs for only $329.99. Put yours on hold now!
Written by Bill of Billsworld
July News – PRO-SOUND
Yamaha HS Series Monitors
When choosing reference monitors for mixing and music production, accuracy is the prime consideration. Speakers that sound “good” on first impression may not necessarily be accurate. What you really need is an honest reference for your mix, rather than monitors that have been tweaked or colored to deceptively sound impressive.
The new HS series reference monitors have been created by Yamaha’s studio monitor engineering team to deliver exceptionally flat, accurate response that you can trust. Unlike “monitor” speakers with exaggerated bass and treble that make a good first impression but can’t be relied on for accuracy, the HS series were designed to be true studio reference monitors in the tradition of the legendary Yamaha NS10M.
Whether you’re mixing for stereo or 5.1 surround, mixes that sound good on Yamaha HS series reference monitors will translate accurately to the widest possible range of reproduction systems … which is engineer-speak that simply means they’ll sound good on anything. That is the ultimate goal of any reference monitor. We should also mention that the HS-series monitors not only sound great, they look great, too.
- 2-way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter
- 54Hz – 30kHz frequency response
- 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
- ROOM CONTROL and HIGH TRIM response controls
- XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals
YMHS5 @ $199.99
Hear, See and Feel these in person at any of our Willis Music locations. Click HERE for the listings.
From the Desk of Paul Finke, VP of Sales & Purchasing
May News – Pro Sound
Willis Music features the Fender Passport Mini
See the newest member of Fender’s Passport family in action in this Passport Mini video demo featuring Radical Classical, Infantree guitarist Matt Kronish and Capital. The Passport Mini offers convenient amplification for any instrument or microphone. It’s perfect for performances by street musicians and students, as well as a basic public address system for events and presentations. It goes anywhere thanks to its dual AC- or Battery-powered capabilities. It can even be used as a music media playback system or computer recording interface.
FE694600 @ $149.99
West Chester, OH 45069 513.777.7474
Willis Music (Kenwood Galleria)
Cincinnati, OH 45236 513.252.0445