KHS America, the manufacturer and distributor of Jupiter wind instruments, Mapex drums, Majestic concert percussion, Altus flutes and Walden guitars, recently held its Grand Opening to celebrate the company's relocation to Mt. Juliet. Over 150 people attended the event, including artists, students and educators alike.

The centerpiece of the evening was a series of speeches surrounding the current state of music education throughout the country, and the parts various entities must play in the name of music advocacy.

Among the organizations represented by the speakers were The National Association of Music Merchandisers, the National Association for Music Educators, the American School Band Directors Association and the National Association of School Music Dealers. The engagement was kicked off with a few words on music education advocacy from KHS America President Tabor Stamper.

"Whether through budget cuts or other means, music education is continuously in peril," says Stamper. "We are opening a dialogue with national music organizations to get their visions for improvements in music education."

Two of the most respected names in music education in the Nashville area also took time to speak. Dr. Thomas Verrier, Professor of Music at Vanderbilt University's acclaimed Blair School of Music, and Mitchell Korn, Vice President of Education and Community Engagement for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Korn provided the Keynote Address for the evening.

"At the Nashville Symphony, we have been pursuing a tact of listening," said Korn in his speech. "What we heard over and over again was that for the children of this community, music education was an inequitable experience."

While the evening's speakers offered insight from very distinct points of view, the central message throughout was the same.

"We have a story to tell. About children who need instruments and why they need instruments." said Korn. "We know music education is about music instruction and children taking up instrumental studies. The greatest benefits come from that action."

Videos of all of the evening's speakers and their respective speeches in their entirety can be found below.

Tabor Stamper, President of KHS America

Mary Luehrsen, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, NAMM: The InternationalMusic Products Association, Executive Director, NAMM Foundation

Carol Grooms Director, ASBDA Region 5

Grayson Zeagler President, National Association of School Music Dealers President, Zeagler Music, Monroe, Louisiana

PART 2: Mitchell Korn Vice President of Education and Community Engagement, Nashville Symphony

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