Trade Regrets

Fred Dee Hoyt, 71, passed away February 16, 2015 in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Dee, as he was known, was born in Dodge City, Kansas on July 26, 1943. He graduated from Ford High School where he was an outstanding athlete (basketball and track) and also played low bass for the band. He attended Fort Hays State College where he continued his interest in music by playing bass guitar for the band The Tornadoes, cutting a record and touring.  While making music and pursuing his college degree, he got the “call,” like so many others, to put down his instrument and pick up the sales side of the music products business. It started at Hays Music Co in 1963 where he was hired as guitar manager. This opportunity gave him the experience needed for things to come.  Dee spent the next 50 years selling instruments, designing new products (guitars, amps and accessories), building sales forces and developing marketing strategies for the music industry. His innovations were industry changing and led to unprecedented success for each company he worked for.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Fred Dee Hoyt


American Music and Sound (AM&S), has announced the new hire of Kristyn Fryrear as the social media & promotions manager, effective immediately.

Fryrear comes to AM&S with seven years experience, multiple awards for her work in journalism and social media marketing. Having a background in television, print, and radio has created a terrific dynamic in her ability to brainstorm creatively using different medias. Fryrear can write, produce, report, edit and shoot video, all of which is great for developing engaging posts and promotions on social media platforms.

Read more: AM&S Names Fryrear Social Media & Promotions Manager

Supplier Scene

Korg is releasing Step Master, a dance training iPhone app aimed at improving the users’ sense of rhythm in a game like manner. Dancers from beginner to expert level will work at becoming a better dancer by improving the body’s core strength and sense of tempo. Designed from the dancer’s point of view, Step Master provides both entertainment and instruction.

Step Master contains cutting edge technology from Korg, who initiated a new avenue of participation in the entertainment world in 2013 by opening the Topfield Dance Center in Shibuya, Tokyo, with internationally acclaimed dancer Takahiro.  Korg has uploaded three instructional videos featuring internationally acclaimed dancer Takahiro to help breakdown the functions and features of the app.

Read more: Korg Launches Dance Training App: Step Master


Guitar Center opened its 264th location in Champaign, Illinois, on February 26.  Guitar Center’s latest store, a state-of-the-art musical instrument and technology center covering over 8,000 square feet, is the first in a series of new store grand openings in 2015.  The announcement was made by Michael Amkreutz, Guitar Center executive vice president, marketing, merchandising and e-commerce, and is said to “further [exemplify] the company’s ongoing plans for growth and long-term expansion and its primary goal of providing customers with the widest selection of musical instruments and professional audio products at the best prices sold by an experienced and knowledgeable sales staff.” 

Read more: GC Opens New Store in Illinois


PRS Guitars has announced the opening of its new “West Street East” Museum Room and retail store and the commencement of free public tours of the Stevensville, Maryland manufacturing facility.

When touring the PRS factory, visitors will get a firsthand look at PRS Guitars’ processes, instruments, and amplifiers from raw wood or blank chassis form to finished guitar or amplifier. PRS intends to give visitors a unique view into PRS quality and the dedication of the people building PRS instruments. “We have a passion for building instruments and also for the music that these instruments help create. Most here are dedicated players, refining our craft as builders and musicians. There is a special kind of pride and individual ownership surrounding our instruments. From our experience, there is no better way to see this unique aspect of PRS than to walk through the shop,” stated PRS President Jack Higginbotham.

Read more: PRS Announces Opening of ‘West Street East’ and Start of Factory Tours

Supplier Scene

Music offers inspiration, creativity, and expression for students of every level. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of ‘Music in Our Schools Month,’ which was designated by The National Association for Music Education, Casio America, Inc. is encouraging individuals this March to embrace their inner musician. 

‘Music in Our Schools Month’ is a time to reflect on how music education truly benefits students’ growth and stimulates development and creativity. Research shows that being educated in music progresses students in other subject areas, such as mathematics, and the skills learned can be used for everyday activities. Examples of this can be found in Casio’s education book, Fostering Mathematical Thinking Through Music, which illustrates that cognitive connections between music and mathematics do exist, as many math teachers have musical talents and the majority of math students have an interest in music overall. Chapters in this volume draw parallels between the two subjects, including topics that highlight the relationships between pitch and ratios, musical transformations and trigonometry, and more.

Read more: Casio Celebrates 'Music in Our Schools Month'

Supplier Scene

As the taller half of the superstar Las Vegas magic team of Penn & Teller, Penn Jillette is a master of illusion, but there was nothing chimerical about the magical lighting effects from CHAUVET DJ that illuminated his performance at the Mobile Beat Show.

Rather than “catching bullets,” escaping from helium bags or doing any of the other astounding and comedic tricks that have made him and his partner Raymond Teller world famous, Penn showed a more serious side to the Mobile Beat audience, recounting the journey that led him to become half of one of the longest running acts in Las Vegas history. Displaying the unique brand of humor that has made him beloved from Las Vegas to London, he shared his thoughts about music, magic, and the lessons both hold for DJs.

Read more: CHAUVET DJ Works Magic with Penn Jillette

Supplier Scene

Located in the rural Illinois town of Carlinville, Blackburn College serves six hundred undergraduates. Its unique work program keeps costs low and campus community involvement high by employing students in a range of non-traditional student jobs under the direction of professionals, for nine of the campus's sixteen buildings. A recent $3 million upgrade to the 430-seat Bothwell Auditorium continued that tradition, with the student construction crew providing much of the labor. Amid a range of new infrastructure is a new sound reinforcement system centered on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers.

"The old system was original to the building, which was constructed in the 1970s," explained Ryan Winstead, sales design consultant with Advanced Audio and Lighting Systems (AALS) of Peoria, Illinois. "Their tech staff had a hard time making things sound good, and they had an especially hard time keeping stage mics from feeding back during theater productions. Part of our upgrade included a new Yamaha QL5-65 console, which scales functionality to the expertise of the operator. Accommodating different proficiencies was an important part of the upgrade."

Read more: Blackburn College Revamps Auditorium with Danley


NAMM has honored John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd. in Leeds with the Milestone Award for 50 years of service in the music products industry. The award recognizes retailers and manufacturers who have succeeded over the years through best practices and strong community standing to reach a landmark anniversary.

“2015 sees a very different commercial landscape to when John Skewes and his wife Madge started the business from a standing start 1965, but the basics remain constant,” says managing director Dennis Drumm ”Provide great customer service, offer saleable, well designed, profitable products, be prudent, follow through on promises, and be reliable, honest and trustworthy”.

Read more: JHS Honored with Milestone Award


NAMM members will take the nation’s capital by storm, May 18-21, 2015, making the case that all children deserve comprehensive school music education programs. Leaders of the music product industry, artists and other industry influencers will meet with their Senators and Members of Congress to forward legislation that advances access to music education for all children. Current NAMM members may register for the annual D.C. Fly-In, now through April 17.

Read more: Join NAMM’s Music Education Advocacy Efforts on Capitol Hill

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