- Written by Christian Wissmuller
- Published: 13 July 2014
Capital Music Center (Austin, Texas) co-owner and co-founder Ron Edelman died on June 1, 2014 when his heart failed unexpectedly after winning a six-months fight with cancer. He was 61. "Ron was an incredible man who forever enriched countless lives with the gift of music," offered James Harding of Gist piano, a friend and music business peer.
Making piano lessons more fun and acceptable was paramount to Edelman, and he believed that Capital Music could make this possible by becoming an education center with technology and group piano as its core. Longtime manager Britt Cawthon, education director Catherine Davis and co-founder Cherrie Droutz are proud to carry on Edelman’s musical vision and the Capital Music Center mantra, “People Making Music for Life.”
Ron Edelman and Cherrie Droutz co-founded Capital Music Center (CMC) in 1988, initially concentrating on organ, keyboard, digital piano, and lessons. CMC became an authorized Roland piano dealer in 1989, a choice that forever changed the core focus of their business. Roland developed an easy way for students and teachers to utilize MIDI files to help students learn to play the piano called “Interactive Music Tutoring System.” It was also the first system to focus on the specific challenges that caused students to give up. Edelman embraced the system wholeheartedly and grew CMC student enrollment exponentially.
In honor of Edelman’s life and contribution to music education in Austin, his family created the Ron Edelman Scholarship for Piano Education at the University of Texas, a permanent endowment benefitting students attending the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music in the College of Fine Arts. Funds distributed from the endowment will support non-piano major freshmen participating in Butler School of Music’s Group Piano program, and preference will be given to students with financial need.
Donations for The Ron Edelman Scholarship for Piano Education may be sent to:
The Ron Edelman Scholarship for Piano Education
University of Texas
Butler School of Music
2406 Robert Dedman Drive, Stop E3100,
Austin, TX 78712-1555