—Focus on Music Education is a Key to Business Model—
McKEESPORT, PA (January 2, 2017)— In 1947, the Frisbee was invented, Raytheon produced the first commercial microwave oven, the United States Congress began their investigation of communism in Hollywood and McKeesport, Pennsylvania had a new music store, Progressive Music.
While many details of those first days and months in business are somewhat unclear, it is known one of the original owners was Ed Garbett who was the McKeesport High School band director at the time. He saw the need for full service music dealer to serve the growing school music programs in the area. Everything from sheet music, instruments, lessons and other musical accessories were available in the downtown McKeesport location.
In the early years, Progressive Music was famous for the “Trial Rental Plan” that is commonly used today by music dealers around the country. The plan allowed a musical instrument to be rented for a reasonable rate for 6 weeks and private lessons were included. Progressive Music still uses a similar plan today as it is a great way to encourage students to try a musical instrument in their school music program.
Progressive Music was well known as a center for music lessons with some of Western Pennsylvania’s best-known musicians. In addition to vocal and instrumental lessons, Progressive Music also was the center for baton twirling lessons.
Over the past 70 years, many famous musicians have been through the doors of Progressive Music including names like the late Bill Schultz of Fender fame. Schultz operated the Progressive Music band instrument repair shop. That first repair shop helped to set Progressive Music’s legacy as one of the best repair shops in Western Pennsylvania. That legacy of excellent repair work still exists today.
Progressive Music has only moved twice in the last seventy years and has always remained in the City of McKeesport, just outside of Pittsburgh.
“It’s remarkable that we’re still in the same city where we first opened our doors,” noted Lorry Yednak, Progressive Music manager and one of the corporation’s owners. “We have served school music programs for seventy years and we know how important it is to be a part of a community and music education programs in McKeesport and all across Western Pennsylvania.”
Today, Progressive Music operates out of their McKeesport, Pennsylvania headquarters with a team of road sales staff who visit schools all over Western Pennsylvania.
A commitment to music education is evident by Progressive Music’s affiliation with the SupportMusic Coalition. The coalition is a national effort to strengthen and lobby for quality music education programs for students nationwide. Education of the public at large about the benefits of music and music making is also a key goal of the coalition. In addition, Progressive Music works with the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) and the Pennsylvania Arta Education Network to advocate and work towards public policy that benefits music and arts education in Pennsylvania.
“We’re not just your typical retail store,” said Progressive Music Director of Market Development, Mark Despotakis. “We’ve become a ‘go-to’ for music education advocacy and public policy work. It’s not uncommon to find us working with PMEA members and other leaders in arts education across Pennsylvania actively working to make sure every student has access to a quality music and arts education program.”
During Progressive Music’s 70th anniversary year, memories, photos and videos will be posted on the company website and social media pages.
Progressive Music is a business with a mission to enrich the quality of life, serving as a cultural and community center for all who make music for a living or personal enjoyment, regardless of age of ability. Progressive Music is the link between the public and suppliers of quality musical merchandise. The Progressive Music staff are professionals whose expertise assist, guide, and motivate people in the selection of music industry products as well present music education to the public through lessons, seminars and advocacy. Progressive Music is committed to their products with an experienced and knowledgeable service center. To learn more, visit www.progressivemusiccompany.com or visit Progressive Music on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube