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Special poi nts of i nterest:  NAMM Show Din-

THE PIANO RAG National Piano Travelers Association

ner Meeting Photos V o l .

 Update NPTA

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I s s u e


M a r c h


“Average return on investment for

President’s Notes


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business travel is 15 to 1.”

Policy & Dues Structure

Glenn Clutter

“Stay Tuned”

Inside thi s issue: President’s Notes


Spotlight on Members


Membership Policy


NPTA Road Stories


Stay Tuned


Year End Report


Travel Tips


Update NPTA Future


Sponsors’ List


Contact Us


NAMM Mtg & Dinner Party

8– 16

Here's to another great year in Anaheim and hoping that all of my fellow Piano Travelers had a phenomenal 2012 NAMM Show. It was good to hear that business was up this past year for most of you. Year after year I am impressed by the consistently positive attitude of the reps in this "roller coaster" of the music industry. However, this year one negative topic came up frequently with many of you - the expense of business travel. Dorothy said it simply, "There's no place like home" , but if you've thought about cutting back on business travel as a way to save money during challenging economic times - maybe we should think again.

to 1. In other words, for every dollar spent on business travel, the company reaps an approximate $15 rise in incremental profit resulting from increased sales. Yeah, I know, grab the car keys. If you have some advice to share with the NPTA members on travel incentives and programs, how to travel smarter and more efficiently, or just the name of a really great restaurant, send it in to us and we'll put it in the newsletter. Maybe some members could look into the NPTA receiving association rates with hotels, car rental companies, etc. and briefly report on it at the NPTA dinner next year. Thanks to all for the exceptional turn out at this years NPTA reception. As always, it was great to enjoy the music, have a nice dinner and share some laughs with our friends. See you on the road,

A study conducted on behalf of the National Business Travelers Assoc. found that the average incremental return on investment for business travel is 15


Spotlight on Members Dick Christian

Fellow Piano Travelers:

We have just gone through yet another NAMM show that I have been told was better than last Past President year which was better than the year before, so hopefully we are once again on the upswing. As promised last year, NPTA is finally becoming a legitimate organization which will enable us to help others reap the benefits of music for years to come. We owe Dawn a sincere thank you for her continuing efforts to make this dream become a reality. We had several nominees this year for the Lifetime Achievement award

Dick Christian from Pg. 1 “I only know two pieces; one is ‘Clair de Lune’ and the other one isn’t.” Victor Borge


which was awarded to Vern Schafer, truly one of the living legends in our business. He started the concept of “Super Stores” with the Colton Piano chain throughout California. He also marketed a piano line named “Schafer & Sons” which was definitely one of the most recognized names in California and other western states as well. As I have said many times before, we piano travelers of the world have one of the, if not the, best jobs out there. Those of us that have been around for a few years know that as long as there are those out there continuing to promote music and the benefits

that result, the world will continue onward, not implode as some would lead us to believe. Once again, a great time was enjoyed by all at the annual NPTA function held at the Red Lion. It was great seeing all of you that were in attendance and I sincerely hope to see those of you that weren’t able to attend this year in 2013. Warmest Regards, Dick Christian

Spotlight on Members Continued John Larson


Rose Wernes Drake What a lady! What a story!


Music is the universal language of mankind - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

NAMM Oral History has many great video interviews with our industries past and current leaders. One of the newest interviews features our NPTA Member John Larson.


NPTA and NAMM celebrate the life of the first woman piano traveler who passed away in January. You won’t want to miss this great story as she was part of our associations great history! -history/rose-wernes-drake

Fun Musical Facts & Trivia 

The first recorded use of the flute, clarinet, oboe and trumpet was in ancient Egypt.

Silver, glass, gold and silk were used for making strings for musical instruments.

Abraham Lincoln used Chickering Grand #5070 while at the White House.

The worlds largest piano is a Challen Concert Grand which is 11 feet and 8 inches long and weighs a ton, literally.

Membership Policy & Dues

New Membership Card!

New Members: Membership is available to all independent reps, reps employed by piano manufacturers, their executives and employees who travel to support the piano industry, i.e. clinicians, product specialists. The piano industry represents both acoustic and digital pianos. Also included are those who have worked in this capacity although they might not be a ‘traveler’ at present, either retired or no longer in a ‘travelers position’. New Membership Dues: $40 per year and $30 for seniors (65 and older). Renewal Memberships: A renewal membership is available to all described above who paid their previous year’s dues. Renewal Membership Dues: $25 per year and $15 for seniors (65 and older).

Once again NPTA will be issuing member cards as shown. All 2012 paid members will be receiving one in the next two weeks!

Associate Members: Associate members are those who travel in support of the piano industry aside from those who qualify under New Members. These members include (but not limited to) national piano movers, independent reps, manufacturing reps and executives of manufacturer’s of piano lamps, benches, piano dolly’s, piano covers, and other piano related accessories, those who travel to train or consult, NAMM employees, publishers of periodicals, magazines and websites that support the

Funny Musical Jokes “You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish” Answer: Sure you can, you just adjust it’s scales. Q: Why is an 11 foot concert grand better than a studio upright?

piano industry, travelers of finance companies who make retail credit and inventory financing for the piano industry. Associate Dues: Same as above.

A: Because it makes a much bigger KABOOM when pushed off a cliff. Fritz Kriesler and Rachmaninov had a recital in Carnegie Hall once. In the middle of the music, Kriesler got lost, turned to Rachmaninov and asked, “Where are we?” Rachmaninov said, “Carnegie Hall, Sir!”

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without - Confucius


Stay Tuned!

By Chuck Clynes

Our business is all about music. Music is what sets us apart from every other form of so called, “Consumer Durables”. Were it not for the fact that the products we make and sell produce human-made music, there’d be nothing to separate us from furniture, computers and every other type of products people buy and sell today. With this in mind, I must ask this question…. Why do so few manufacturers’ and retailers’ web sites include access to music? Web sites are a great form of advertising. People who are in the market for pianos will likely visit several piano web sites in their search for an instrument. These web sites will all provide pictures and information, but very few of them include any form of musical entertainment, information or education. I estimate that an easy 90% of the piano industry-associated web sites in the US today, offer no access or presentation of music for its visitors to enjoy and learn from. This exact same observation also holds true for furniture companies! Today’s web sites are like the old display widows we used to enjoy in the stores we patronized during the “good old days.” Just as those display windows needed to be periodically refreshed and up-dated, web sites need the same kind of attention. We now live in the age of “You Tube”, “Face Book”, “Twitter” and a host of other forms of “social media” that can deliver instantaneous news and information all over the world. That delivery system includes audio as well as visual capabilities. Likewise, every computer made in the world today includes an audio as well as visual delivery system.

NPTA Road Stories


Stay connected to others in the Industry

Send in your road stories for future newsletters. You can change names to protect the

Re-new your

innocent or the guilty.

NPTA membership Today!

We know you have more than one! Email to Dawn DeMars.


The Best Road Story gets 4 Free Drink Tickets THE PIANO RAG, Page 4

Year-end Report from Dawn DeMars 2011 Treasurer’s Report Beginning cash on hand


Expenses as follows: 2011 Dinner $ 2,819.29 Bank Fees $ 40.00 Credit Card Fees $ 489.92 NAMM Dues $ 195.00 Postage $ 53.57 Website $ 80.00 Total Expenses Net funds on hand from 2011

$4,247.31 $ 7,171.96

There were a total of 120 members in 2011 versus 88 members in 2010.

Travel Tips ♪ has the “hottest” hotel deals for

US travelers as reported by our members

Travel Tips for International Travelers

TRAVEL TIPS  Future Travel Tips Coming  From American Express &  AAA

Fight jet lag by drinking lots of water , drinking alcohol and coffee can aggravate jet lag Stay well on a flight by taking a lot of Vitamin C before and during your trip to keep your immune system up Get used to a new time zone by going along with the local meal and bedtime schedules.

Use ATMs rather than travelers checks, they have minimal fees and usually better rates

Pay with local cash, while credit cards get you a good exchange rate, many places offering Europe's best deals — from craft shops to bed & breakfasts — accept only cash.

Make sure you know where your US embassy is, in case you lose your passport or any emergency


NPTA & NPTAF An Update on Legal Status At our annual meeting in Jan 2011, the board was mandated by a unanimous vote to incorporate and apply for a non-profit status. After much research and legal advice, it was decided to keep NPTA as it has been because if we incorporate the NPTA will become a new corporation and legally will lose all its great tradition and history. The NPTA now has a legal designation as an “Unincorporated Trade Association”. We were advised to and are in the process of creating a new corporation for non-profit or charitable activities. It was decided that the new corporation be a “foundation” rather than a “non-profit”. The name of the new corporation is The National Piano Traveler’s Association Foundation (NPTAF). The one and only stockholder of the NPTAF is the NPTA. Your NPTA officers presented two separate Mission Statements respective of both the NPTA and NPTAF at our annual dinner. The membership voted unanimously to adopt both. Please see below. The NPTAF will not have members and will be operated by a Board of Directors. It is our plan that the Board will have 13 members: The four current NPTA officers who will serve on both boards for their term in office, three current NPTA members, one from NAMM, one from NPF, one from legal background, one from CPA background, one from private piano teaching, and one from piano pedagogy or higher education piano background. Please note that the board will have 7 from NPTA and 6 from other backgrounds thus the NPTA can always maintain control of the foundation. We expect that all of this will be completed with the government later this year and the first steps will be the appointment and decisions on individual board members, opening up a new bank account for the foundation, and following that we can receive and all the contributors will be assured their donations will be tax deductible. If you would like to be one of the three board members from our general membership, please send email to or send a message on our website.

NPTA Mission Statement Since it's formation in 1904, The National Piano Travelers Association is dedicated to supporting and encouraging the progressive development of the Piano / Keyboard industry. While promoting and preserving the professionalism of the Salesman, the NPTA continues to build a strong foundation for the future of the piano industry through comradeship and integrity.

National Piano Traveler's Association Foundation, Inc The National Piano Traveler's Association Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life through the experience of playing music and specifically the piano. We do so by raising and distributing funds for music and piano education so that millions of people can experience of joy of making music. THE PIANO RAG, Page 6

Many Thanks! 2012 Pledges and Contributions A big “thank you” to all our members who made contributions in 2011. Please send your pledge to us, but don’t send contributions until our “foundation” has been finalized and has a checking account.


g a R o n a i “New” P

On P a ss i t nd ling frie e v a r t o an other pi n l a o t s i nd emai a e m Send th a n his/her n w a D d and sen address.

NPTA Board of Directors And General Information Glenn Clutter, President Dick Christian, Past President Ray Chandler, Vice President Dawn DeMars, Secr./Treas. and Newsletter Editor

Know Let Us ? ou think y d i d t a Wh s, ggestion u s y n a awn . Email D feedback r e h t o r ts, o commen rporate o c n i l l i We w s. and idea s t h g u o you’re th

Address: 442 Glenwood Pl Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 Phone: (818) 416-4308 (805) 379-9888 Fax: (818) 735-0188 Email:


NPTA Booth at NAMM 2012!! We need Volunteers for the 2013 NPTA

Special thanks to Bob Dove and Meghan Orbin for volunteering to work the booth!!!! Also a special Thanks to Dawn DeMars and Keyboard Concepts in So Cal for working the booth this past show. Next year her staff will not be available so we will need lots of T H E P I A N O R A G Page 8 volunteers.

2012 NPTA Lifetime Achievement Vern Schafer and Glenn Clutter

Ruston Schafer speaks about his father, Vern Schafer

Vern Schafer established his first piano retail store in Colton, CA., in 1955 and with it the Schafer & Sons Piano. The NPTA recognized his many great accomplishments both in retail and manufacturing/ wholesale with the NPTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for year 2011. Several members spoke about Vern and shared their stories of their relationship. Some spoke of his creative marketing in the retailing of pianos. Others about his contributions as a “ Piano Traveler” of great distinction including his development of his Schafer & Sons Piano Line and gave him credit as the branding genius of his time. All our members enjoyed hearing from one of his sons, Ruston, who spoke on behalf of Vern’s family. He spoke of how proud all the brothers are to have Vern as their father, how important family is to Vern and of his quiet nature. And he was right as it took a lot of coaxing but he did make some remarks and spoke of his gratitude to the industry and to the NPTA for the recognition and award. Continued on Page 10 T H E P I A N O R A G Page 9

2012 NPTA Lifetime Achievement

Joe Brattesoni speaks about Vern Schafer Continued from Page 9… Hear Vern tell some wonderful stories in his Namm’s Oral History interview. Use this link: Other background information as follows: The first 100 Schafer & Sons pianos were made by Currier Piano Co in N Carolina. Vern the entered into agreements with additional manufacturers and among them were Aeolian, Story & Clark, Kinball, Kohler & Campbell, Schimmel, Samick, Wurlitzer and Young Chang. The manufacturers produced certain models selected by Vern and modifications and specs specific to his request. Vern worked primarily with Kohler & Campbell through the 60s then expanded into a full line of Schafer & Sons “Classic” consoles in the 70s. Kimball produced the new Schafer & Sons grand and console pianos as well as the cases and actions for his player pianos. Vern had designed and built the mechanism from scratch to fit the new console cases from Kimball and manufactured 500 of these special player pianos in Santa Ana, CA. In 1974 Mr. Lee of Samick in Korea and Vern developed a business relationship that lasted until 1989. From 1990-2005 Young Chang manufactured his pianos. Since that time most of the Schafer & Sons pianos have been assembled in China with parts from around the world. Vern and his six sons (Vernon Jr, Charles, James, Weston, Ruston, Duston) are running their family business together at Colton Piano Co in Colton. THE PIANO RAG, Page 10

2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner

Come on join the PARTY

Reception: Liesa Covey, Elad Sobol, Dawn DeMars, and Joe Brattesani

Ray Chandler Mario Merdirossian John Rajcic


2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner Let there be MUSIC!!

The Llew Matthews Trio

Our own Larry Fresch sits in for a couple tunes “Blow Larry, Blow” THE PIANO RAG, Page 11

2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner Left to Right: Bruce Hindla, John Larson, Bob Tringali, Dick Christian, Larry Fresch, Richard Deutsch, and Sam Eberwein

Left to Right: Clemen von Arnim, Arnold Poppenberg, Hansuk Schafer, Weston Schafer,Paul Jansen, and Bill Jansen,

Left to Right: Jay Davison, Dave Erikson, Dave Rooksby, Rich Pritikin, Cindy Caruth, and Joe Bednar,


2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner Left to Right: Bob Tringali, Baik Lee, Don Glasgow, Bob Priem, Lori Clutter, and Glenn Clutter,

Left to Right: Lothar Kiesche, and Hannes Schimmel– Vogel,

Left to Right: Ray Chandler, Mario Merdirossian, John Rajcic, Connie Rajcic, Emily Rajcic, and Mitch Rajcic


2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner Left to Right Tessarah McDonald, Richard McDonald, Duston Schafer, Ruston Schafer, Vernon Schafer, Kathryn Schafer, Laressa Schafer, and Ryan Shaw,

Great Attendance! Everyone is having a great time!!

Left to Right: Joe Brattesani, Meghan Orbin, Joe Orbin, and Tom Dorn


2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner



and Party! THE PIANO RAG, Page 15

2012 NAMM Meeting & Dinner

Above: President Glenn Clutter and Secretary/ Treasurer Dawn DeMars

Above: Past President Don Glasgow Below: Vice President Ray Chandler

Below: Joe Brattesani

Above: Right to Left: NPTA Volunteers: Liesa Covey, Mitch Guy, Elad Sobol Right: Secretary & Treasurer Dawn DeMars THE PIANO RAG, Page 16

NPTA Newsletter March 2012  

NPTA Newsletter March 2012

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