Trade Regrets

Richard O’Donnell passed away on January 15, 2015.

O’Donnell was vice president of Yamaha Corporation of America at a very historic time in the company’s growth and development during the 1970s. He worked on several projects including managing the operations for the Everett Piano Plant in Michigan, which Yamaha purchased to expand its piano manufacturing. O’Donnell later oversaw the Georgia manufacturing plants for Yamaha and witnessed first-hand the growth of the company within the American market.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Richard O’Donnell

Trade Regrets

On February 12th, NAMM’s Dan Del Fiorentino sent the following regarding the passing of Fritz Kollitz, founder of Fritz Kollitz Fine Tone Woods:

Without a doubt, one of my favorite components of an interview is gathering in-depth details of a given topic from a passionate expert of the various segments of our industry. Never was there such a profound example of this than when I interviewed Fritz Kollitz!  What clearly came through within his interview was his passion.  He made the subject of tonewood compelling and interesting because of his knowledge and because he clearly cared about providing the best products possible for his customers. Just listening to him explain the process of drying wood for musical instruments becomes of interest because of his dedication to the topic. And he was a very kind person who supported his son, Oliver, when he turned the company over to retire.  He remained in a supportive role until his passing on February 11.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Fritz Kollitz

Trade Regrets

We recently received the following message from NAMM’s Dan Del Fiorentino:

At the time of DW Caffey's NAMM Oral History interview in 2012, he had been tuning pianos for just over 72 years!  This fact is made all the more amazing considering DW was blind.  

Read more: Trade Regrets: DW Caffey

Trade Regrets

Bill Tregoe passed away on February 25th. Throughout his 35-year career as a sales rep for CG Conn and later King Musical Instruments, Tregoe drove an estimated 1,300,000-plus miles.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Bill Tregoe

Trade Regrets

Bob See founded See Factor, a pioneering and innovative pro-lighting and pro-sound service. See’s career began when Bill Graham opened up the Fillmore East in the late 1960s. Bob cut his teeth in the lighting field as it was new to everyone. Many of the methods for lighting he created in those early days have become standards within the industry. Over the years See and his team worked with top musicians and performers around the world and expanded their services to include pro-sound in the early 1980s.

Read more: Trade Regrets: Bob See

Supplier Scene

The Music Producers Guild hosted their 7th Annual Awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London. With a host of industry stalwarts, grammy-award winning producers, and engineers in attendance, the show also featured live performances from top producer and former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart who picked up the MPG’s 'Outstanding Contribution to UK Music Award'.

Austrian microphone manufacturers LEWITT Audio in conjunction with UK and Eire distributors John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd., were proud to sponsor the ‘International Producer of the Year Award’ to a shortlist that included Dan Auerbach, Pharrell Williams, and T-Bone Burnet. The award was presented to Dave Arnold on behalf of Dan Auerbach, who was unfortunately unable to attend, by compere Tom Robinson and JHS executive director of sales and marketing Alan Smith.

Read more: JHS & LEWITT sponsor ‘International Producer Of The Year Award’

Supplier Scene

Playground Sessions™ and Yamaha Music Interactive, Inc. have partnered to offer Playground’s piano and keyboard learning software on Yamaha’s popular MusicSoft™ platform using Playground's Play To Learn™ technology. 

Co-created by the music producer, composer, and artist Quincy Jones, Playground’s keyboard learning program launched on the Yamaha site in mid-December.

“Playground Sessions employs technology, popular music, and classic hits, as well as elements of gaming to reach the musician in all of us," according to Playground Sessions' CEO, Chris Vance. “In today's digital world, it's more important than ever to provide an interactive experience, allow for instant gratification, let users learn at their own pace, and serve up content they relate to and are inspired by.”

Read more: Playground Sessions and Yamaha Music Interactive Enter Partnership

Supplier Scene

Ashly Audio announced the appointment of Sound Directions, Ltd. as its exclusive distributor in the United Kingdom. Sound Directions caters to consultants and A/V integrators with peerless systems knowledge and a free system designing and programming service. The Chessington, Surrey-based company will distribute Ashly’s entire line of products, including Ashly’s networked multi-channel amplifiers, Protea DSP-equipped amplifiers, and customizable user interfaces, such as Ashly’s iPad app.

Stanislas Boivin-Champeaux founded Sound Directions in 1998. “From the very start, we’ve worked closely with our customers to demystify the vast array of technologies that are available in the installed A/V market,” he said. “When it benefits our clients, we happily design and program systems that work flawlessly under the pressures and challenges of the real world. We’ve seen countless systems designed by others that left end-users with a system that they did not understand and could not operate. We go the extra mile to ensure that this is never the case for the systems we design. A job is never complete until everyone is perfectly satisfied.”

Read more: Ashly Audio Appoints Sound Directions as Exclusive UK Distributor

Supplier Scene

On-Stage announced its Outstanding AIMM Dealers of 2014 during a reception held at Winter NAMM. This year’s recipients included Robert M. Sides Family Music Centers, West Music, Dietze Music, Paige’s Music, and Palen Music Center.

Jeremy Payne, On-Stage sales & marketing director, described the award in his comments, “TMP is a proud and longtime partner of AIMM. As a whole, AIMM is a fantastic organization and each year we like to recognize the very best performers in the group. We select the recipients of the Outstanding AIMM Dealer Awards based on many criteria, including purchasing growth, product assortment, business communication, and overall support of our lines. It is truly rewarding to be able to recognize these great friends and partners for their dedication to The Music People in 2014.”

Read more: On-Stage Honors the Outstanding Dealers of 2014

Supplier Scene

Blackstar Amplification has announced a new partnership with Kimberly Freeman, the front-woman of rock duo One-Eyed Doll. Freeman has chosen the HT Metal 100 Series Amps as her go–to for the band’s upcoming North American spring tour.


"I'm so excited to bring the Blackstar HT Metal 100 on our Witches album release tour this Spring! As the guitarist in a two-piece rock band, it's so important to have an amazing sounding amp. One-Eyed Doll is just drums, vocals and one loud guitar. No backing tracks or tricks, so the amp has to be powerful. It's the backbone of our show,” shared Freeman.  “The rich, clear tone of the HT Metal 100 has everything I need for any size venue. I can't wait to show it off!"

Read more: Kimberly Freeman Partners with Blackstar Amplification

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