After spending most of 2016 barraged by polarizing politics and the sad news of music legend losses, you may find yourself hard-pressed to hear stories of inspiration. Look no further. MMR is ushering in 2017 by featuring the winners of The Don Johnson Industry Service Award (DJA), Susan and Jonathan Lipp, in a story of generous giving and all that is right with the MI world.

Read more: Susan and Jonathan Lipp - A Partnership of Generosity

We all know the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” and you’d be hard pressed to find a more applicable example than Steve West. His father, Pearl West, was a musician, owner of West Music, and a prime example of a music education advocate. Pearl passed that torch on to his son Steve, who passed that torch on to his own son, Ryan West, who now operates as senior vice president of West Music.

Read more: Steve West – Fighting the Good Fight

One of today’s most passionate, effective advocates for music making and music education, Mary Luehrsen has directly impacted – for the better – the lives of so many who participate in, support, or simply appreciate the culture of music in contemporary American society. A former professional flutist, a veteran music teacher, and currently the executive director of the NAMM Foundation, hers has been a life shaped and defined by a love of the positive impact that music can have on individuals and communities.

Read more: Mary Luehrsen – An Advocate For All

2014 Don Johnson Music Industry Service Award Winners

The copy on the Don Johnson Music Industry Service Award trophy reads, “In Recognition and Appreciation for Your Outstanding Advocacy and Support for Music Education at the Community and National Level.” As such, it’s no surprise whatsoever that this year’s honorees are the D’Addarios – Jim and John, Jr.

Read more: John D’Addario Jr. and Jim D’Addario

The 2016 Dealers’ Choice Awards (DCA) process represents “year two” of a far more comprehensive approach, resulting in enhanced participation and verifiability.

Read more: 24th Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards

The 2015 Dealers’ Choice Awards saw a comprehensive overhaul of the entire nomination and voting process. Safeguards are now in place to ensure against “ballot stuffing” (multiple votes from the same parties) and the early nomination procedure allows for more reader input at a much earlier stage.

A happy byproduct of the new system was that 2015 saw the highest level of participation – by FAR – in the entire history of the Dealer’s Choice Awards, leading to the most meaningful and verifiable balloting ever. This also marks the first year of the MMR Legacy Awards, bestowed upon products, which have won in their respective categories for multiple years, and now both recognized for their achievement and retired from consideration.

Read more: 23rd Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards

The 2014 Dealers’ Choice Awards again brought together hundreds of enthusiastic music products dealers to nominate the lines that made this year a success.  This winning slate of instrument, sound, lighting and other categories, was provided by over 800 votes from dealers eager to promote their best-performing favorites.

Yamaha again returns as the “Product of the Year” category winner with its much-loved Disklavier Piano, a clear favorite among voting dealers in 2014. Many familiar companies are again represented this year, as dealers made their voice clear about the lines that rocked the year, and rang the register.

Read more: 22nd Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards

As the Dealers’ Choice Awards enter their third decade, we see amongst the 2013 winners some familiar faces, some newcomers, and the return of champions from years past.

While 2012 seemed to possibly be ushering in a new era, as Yamaha’s AvantGrand was the top vote-getter in the “Product of the Year” category after first ending the previous winner’s ten-year streak, 2013 sees that previous instrument reclaim the distinction. 

Read more: 21st Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards

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