4 minute read



Big Ben

Hal Leonard named Ben Culli vice president, editorial and production. In this new role, Culli oversees workflow and procedures between the company’s editorial, engraving, production, and other departments and domestic and European offices. Culli, based out of the company’s Milwaukee, Wis., headquarters, has worked at Hal Leonard for 22 years. In his previous role as managing editor, he oversaw the keyboard editorial department, managing production workflow and assisting with product development, among other duties.

After getting a degree in music education at Concordia University Chicago, Culli taught K-12 band, choir and general music. He began working for Hal Leonard as a freelance proofreader before accepting a position as a keyboard publications editor.

Culli has also worked as a part-time church musician for more than 20 years, currently serving as organist and choir director at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Whitefish Bay, Wis. More than 400 of his church music compositions and arrangements for organ, piano, choir and various instrumental ensembles appear in print.

Get Onboard

The Avedis Zildjian Co. announced that Cady Zildjian has been elevated to vice chair of the board of directors. Cady, daughter of Debbie Zildjian and granddaughter of Armand Zildjian, is the oldest of the 15th generation of Zildjian shareholders. Since joining the board of directors in 2018, Cady has been playing an integral role in guiding the company’s strategic plans for growth. After serving on the board for the past three years, Cady was elevated to vice chair in early 2021.

After graduating from Colgate University in 2002, Cady worked as senior account manager at SmartPak, a fast-growing supplier of supplements and accessories for animals. Cady’s involvement with Zildjian began in 2007, when she joined the company as manager of Z gear, the Zildjian line of apparel and accessories. In 2012, Cady left Zildjian to earn an MBA from Babson College’s Olin Graduate School of Business, while beginning a family.

In addition to her new responsibilities as vice chair, Cady was also appointed co-chair for Zildjian’s new Diversity and Inclusion Council as well as the company’s 400th Anniversary celebration in 2023. “As the oldest family business in the U.S., we appreciate the importance of carefully planned succession,” said Craigie Zildjian, executive chair of Zildjian. “We are pleased to see Cady assume a stronger leadership role in the family business at this time.”


Nate the Great

Seymour Duncan named Nate White director of artist relations and OEM marketing. A skilled guitarist, White also has a highly successful history of artist relations, brand collaborations, content creation and strategic partnerships.

Nate grew up in Southern California, playing in bands and snowboarding/skateboarding. He started his career in Creative Services at Levi Strauss & Co. and continued on to Fender where he spent seven years in Artist Relations, growing into the role of Global Director. The last four years were spent behind the helm of his own WorldClassFad LLC, working with clients such as Blue Note Records, Vans and Casio/G-Shock.

“We are thrilled to have Nate White join our Seymour Duncan family. He has the energy, creativity and passion for guitars and nurturing artists that we’ve been looking for,” said Jayla Siciliano, Seymolur Dunca’s vice president of marketing.

In Memoriam: Phil Jost

Phil Jost passed away on April 16. He was 71 years old. Jost had a career as a musician before joining the sales team at St. Louis Music in 1974, and thus entering the music products industry. In his early days, being classically trained on the piano, Jost played keyboards and early synthesizers for dances, concerts and recordings for many years. Even after joining St. Louis Music, he continued to play. Jost appeared on “American Bandstand” with Dick Clark, “Solid Gold” with Dionne Warwick and the “Tonight Show” with Johnnie Carson. He worked with famed producer/engineer Ken Scott on albums by Jeff Beck, Missing Persons and Kansas to name a few. With St. Louis Music, Jost held the various roles of clinician, product specialist, product manager and regional sales manager. After LOUD Technology purchased St. Louis Music, Jost worked for LOUD for several years before opening his own independent rep firm, Plus 3 Marketing, based in St. Louis.

In Memoriam: Arthur Gurwitz

Former president of Southern Music, Arthur Gurwitz, passed away on April 30. He was 94 years old. Gurwitz joined Southern Music Co. in the late 1940s, soon after his military service during World War II. He expanded the business into publishing, and soon the Southern Music catalog became one of the best known around the world. Gurwitz played a vital role in the growth and development of the company and the industry as he sought to publish composers who may have otherwise been forgotten. Active in the industry, he served as president of Music Industry Conference (1978-1980) and later on the Music Publishers Association (MPA) board. He also developed a reputation as one of the true gentlemen of the music publishing industry, a fact made clear by the number of dealers, representatives and suppliers who called him friend.