Progressive Celebrates 60 Years in McKeesport, PA

Focus on Music Education is a Key to Business Model

McKEESPORT, PA (October 17, 2007)— 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.

progressive music eps logoWhile the exact date in 1947 that Progressive Music opened is somewhat uncertain, it is known that 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. A similar plan is still used today and 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 60 years, many famous musicians have been through the doors of Progressive Music including names like… The late Bill Schultz of Fender famDSC_032e 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 sixty years and has always remained in the City of McKeesport.

“We have a commitment to the community,” noted Progressive Music manager and owner Lorry Yednak. “We have served school music programs for sixty years and we know how important it is to be a part of a community and their music education programs.”

Today, Progressive Music operates out of their McKeesport, Pennsylvania headquarters with a team of road sales staff who visit schools all over Western Pennsylvania.

“We’re not just your typical retail store,” said Progressive Music Director of Market Development, Mark Despotakis. “I think we strive to become a part of the school music programs we service. Everyone on our staff realizes that if school music education survives then we survive too.”

That commitment to music education is evident by Progressive Music’s recent 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. Progressive Music’s affiliation with the SupportMusic coalition is another link to the school music programs they serve to help keep music education strong in Western Pennsylvania.

More information about the products and services available at Progressive Music is available at

About Progressive Music 
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 or visit Progressive Music on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.