Schmitt Music's Director of the Year, William A. Webb!

In an effort to recognize the work of outstanding school music directors, Schmitt Music and the SDC (Schmitt Director Center) set out to find the best of the best. We accepted nominations from the music community at large, and a panel of judges made the final selections.

We’re thrilled to announce Schmitt Music’s “Director of the Year” award winner, William A. Webb, director at Edina Public Schools, Edina, MN – CONGRATULATIONS!

Mr. Webb currently teaches at Concord, Cornelia and Highlands Elementary schools in the Edina School District. He formerly taught at Edina High School, Spring Lake Park High School, and St. Olaf College. Here’s what his nominator had to say:

Bill has been in the Edina district for over 25 years and continues to give to the community now as an elementary director. It takes a special teacher to leave high school to teach elementary, but still teach with the same energy and enthusiasm. The middle school has seen a huge surge as Bill starts so many students and gives them the right balance of skill and energy to successfully transition.

In addition, Bill has worked hard to obtain instruments and extra instruction for students struggling with money. Bill is driven to provide music instruction for all so that each student has an opportunity to achieve. I strive to be as actively engaged in music education as Bill – what a great role model for students and teachers alike.”

Congratulations to all of the deserving directors that were nominated to be our first “Director of the Year”!

CLICK HERE to learn more about our “Director of the Year” winner, as well as the nominees and judges (108 MB PDF). We have included excerpts from the nominees’ responses to our inquiries regarding their experience, their teaching styles and preferences, and their music programs.


MMEA's Educator of the Year, Jim Iverson!

Jim Iverson’s teaching career spanned 35 years – 28 in Fergus Falls, MN – and included directing concert, jazz, marching, and pep bands. Jim currently serves schools in West Central Minnesota as a Schmitt Music Educational Representative, based out of Schmitt Music Fargo.

Schmitt Music congratulates Jim Iverson, Minnesota Music Educators Association’s “Educator of the Year” for 2014!

The MMEA is the premier professional association for music educators in Minnesota. They serve approximately 1750 educators through programs, clinics, advocacy, and leadership. Each year, the MMEA sponsors awards to recognize outstanding music educators. Learn more on their website:

Jim Iverson is a 1973 graduate of Mahnomen High School (Mahnomen, MN). He earned his Bachelor of Arts in music education in 1977 from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and later earned a master’s degree from Southwest State University in Mankato, MN. His teaching career spanned 35 years – 7 in Lake Park, MN and 28 in Fergus Falls, MN – and included directing concert, jazz, marching, and pep bands.

Throughout his career his groups received numerous awards and honors. For 25 consecutive years, one or more Fergus Falls students were selected to the Minnesota All-State Band. The Fergus Falls High School Marching Band appeared in the historic 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C. Under his leadership, the Fergus Falls High School Wind Ensemble performed at the Minnesota Music Educators Midwinter Clinic in Minneapolis in 1991 and again in 2003. They also won the Grand Champion Award in the New York City Music Festival in 2001. The Fergus Falls music program was named a Grammy Signature School in 1999, and in 2004 Fergus Falls was named by the American Music Conference as one of the Best 100 Communities for Music Education.

Iverson has served on state and regional boards for MBDA and for MMEA. He helped organize the northwest region MBDA and served as its first president. He is a member of the Phi Beta Mu Fraternity of Minnesota Band Directors and remains an active adjudicator and clinician. In 2014 he was inducted into the Fergus Falls High School Hall of Fame.

Upon his retirement in 2012, Iverson was hired by Schmitt Music as an Educational Representative and continues to make a contribution to music education by servicing schools in West Central Minnesota. This has provided him the flexibility to do guest conducting in many schools as well as allowing him to serve as a mentor in the Minnesota Band Directors Association mentorship program. He is also an active performer as a member of the Fergus Falls Area Chamber Choral and is the director and a player in the Lakes Area All-Star Jazz Band.

Iverson has been married to his wife, Bonnie, for 38 years. Together they have children Kelly, Mandy and Anthony, as well as son-in-law Mark Egge, and grandsons Cooper and Keegan.


Eine Schubertiade: An Evening of Music in St. Paul


Looking for something to do Friday night? Schmitt Music recommends “Eine Schubertiade” – an event celebrating the music of Franz Schubert – Friday, February 20 at 7:30PM at The Art Gallery of the James J. Hill House in St. Paul!

A Schubertiade featuring members of The Schubert Trio and Friends: Daria Adams, violin; Johanna Torbenson, viola; Thomas Rosenberg, cello; Daniel Rieppel, piano and host. Performances will include the music of Franz Schubert, Johann Albrechtsberger, and Johannes Brahms.

Tickets: General Admission – $25; MN Historical Society Members – $22; Students with valid ID – $15.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or by calling the James. J. Hill House to place a reservation at 651-297-2555. Refreshments will be served at the intermission.

The Art Gallery of the James J. Hill House:
240 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102
Click here to learn more about the James J. Hill House.


Schmitt Music's 2015 Play-Along Contest!

You could win great prizes in the Schmitt Music Play-Along Contest – 1st place is a $500 Schmitt Music Gift Card! All instruments, ages and skill levels are welcome!

All you have to do is get a “Play-Along” book, learn a song, record and submit a performance video, get the most votes and win! Contest submissions are accepted now through March 31st.

“Play-Along” books from Hal Leonard and Alfred are a great way to learn your favorite songs, while jamming with accompaniment tracks. Click here to learn more about the contest, or visit your Schmitt Music store to get your “Play-Along” books today!


Presidents Day Piano Sale

Visit your Schmitt Music piano store this weekend for our Presidents’ Day Piano Sale – Friday, February 13 through Monday, February 16 – it’s the biggest piano event of the season! Click here for sale details.

Kawai Grand Piano
Shop a great selection of new and used, consignment and rebuilt pianos from Steinway & Sons, Steinway-designed Boston and Essex pianos, Kawai and Lyrica, plus the latest player piano technology from QRS, and the best digital pianos from Casio & Celviano, Kawai and Roland.

The Presidents’ Day Piano Sale is 4 DAYS ONLY at these Schmitt Music locations: Brooklyn Center (Piano Warehouse Sale), Denver, Fargo, Kansas City, Omaha and Rochester.


We’d love to get your opinion about our business. Just answer a few easy questions, and you can enter to win one of three $500 Schmitt Music Gift Cards – CLICK HERE!

Schmitt Music has been helping people make music for over a century – since 1896! In the spirit of ongoing improvement, we would like to get your opinion about our business. As we examine our long history, we see that the world is changing, and it’s happening faster and faster. Your input will allow Schmitt Music to stay current in the marketplace, and offer you the best experience when you shop with us, or use one of our services. Complete the survey by March 31 for your chance to win!

You can choose to keep your answers anonymous, or if you’d like to be entered to win one of three $500 Schmitt Music Gift Cards, please provide your contact information at the end of this survey. Thank you very much for your valuable time!


MusicLink Playathon at MOA, sponsored by Schmitt Music

“Kids Helping Kids” – MusicLink Playathon Event!

Join us for the MusicLink PlayathonSaturday, February 7 through Sunday, February 8 – a great opportunity for students to perform at the Mall of America, while helping children in need! All instrumental and voice students are invited to participate.

Schmitt Music, in partnership with the Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA), is proud to sponsor this “Benefit Playathon” to help raise funds for the Minnesota MusicLink Program. The mission of MusicLink is to help children in need get the opportunity to study music.

For details, or to register for the “Playathon” event, visit, or to learn more about the MusicLink Foundation, visit

On February 7 and 8, 2015, Minnesota students will be given the opportunity to show off their musical talents by participating in this exciting fundraising event. All students of MMTA members and non-members are invited to perform at this fun venue, demonstrating how their music can benefit others. All instrumental and voice students can perform solo or ensemble pieces, and all ages and levels are welcome, including adult students.

Online registration is available for MMTA teachers on the MMTA website; Postmark deadline for registration is January 26, or January 28 for online registrations.


Music Makes Us Whole is supported by Schmitt Music

Every child can reap the benefits of music when communities and schools support a complete music learning framework. Schmitt Music is a proud sponsor of “Music Makes Us Whole” – a great new resource for Minnesota’s school music programs!

Music Makes Us Whole is the initiative of several dozen Minnesota non-profit and for-profit organizations that believe every child deserves a rich music education. We advocate for this because of music’s intrinsic value in the human experience, and also for the whole-brain and whole-life benefits to the child as well as his or her community.

Visit to learn more, and get involved. Call your local Principal or Superintendent and ask how music is doing in your school.

Principals and superintendents value input from community members. Have a conversation, focus on students, and share why music is important for a child’s success.Music learning is proven to support students. That can only happen when your school has a strong music program. Make sure every child in your community receives the boost that music learning provides.

Schmitt Music is deeply involved in advocating on behalf of music education. In addition to donations of volunteer time and in-kind gifts, for over 45 years the Schmitt Foundation has donated 5% of pre-tax income to music-oriented charities.

“Our vision is to be our customers’ preferred resource for everything they need to accomplish their musical goals,” said Tom Schmitt. “We want to help people become music makers for life, and we strive to make a quality musical education available for every kid in our service area!”

As a long-standing and ongoing corporate commitment, Schmitt Music has taken direct action to help needy students receive the benefits of a musical education. For nearly 30 years, the company has organized, promoted and conducted numerous used instrument drives to put quality instruments into the hands of needy children – and Schmitt Music supports the similar work of “Music for All Children” and “Vega Productions” through instrument donations, referrals and the use of our stores as drop-off points. Tens of thousands of instruments have been put into the hands of disadvantages students through those efforts.

Please help Schmitt Music realize our mission… help make a quality musical education available for every child in Minnesota. Learn more about the benefits of music education, and get involved – CLICK HERE to visit the Music Makes Us Whole website.


Amadeus Flutes by Wm. S. Haynes at Schmitt Music

Haynes Amadeus Performance Flutes Now Available!

Visit your Schmitt Music store today and experience the new “Amadeus” line of flutes from Wm. S. Haynes Co. Stop in to play an Amadeus and enter to win a $500 Schmitt Music Gift Card!

Haynes Amadeus Performance Flutes

The passion and craftsmanship that has been associated with Wm. S. Haynes flutes since 1888 emanates through every Amadeus flute. The master flutemakers design and work on each flute before it leaves the Boston workshop. Each flute is set-up by a professional at the Boston Haynes Shop right before it is shipped, ensuring the pads are sealed evenly and the mechanism feels crisp.

For decades, discerning flutists have chosen Haynes for “that sound” – a beautiful core with rich colors. Continuing that tradition, Amadeus flutes come standard with a professional Haynes Classic handcut headjoint. The heart of the flute is trusted to the same master headjoint maker who handcuts all Haynes professional headjoints. The Classic headjoint allows you to explore a wide range of tone colors with depth and agility.

Professional options, such as a C# trill key, D# roller and 14k gold riser, will set you and your Amadeus flute apart from the crowd. Love your sound. Play Amadeus.


When you visit your Schmitt Music store and test play the new Amadeus flutes, you can enter to win a $500 gift card! Just stop in now through January 31, and fill out a short survey to let us know what you think of the flutes. One winner will be announced on Friday, February 6, 2015.

Visit your Schmitt Music store today, or contact us to set up a showing with your Schmitt Music Instrument Specialist.

Haynes Flute Co.

Click here to learn more about “Amadeus” flutes on the Wm. S. Haynes website.


Spring Recital Workshop sessions

Discover the best new music for your spring recitals at this free workshop! Join us at Schmitt Music Brooklyn Center for a “Spring Recital Workshop” on Friday, January 9th at 9:00AM.

Our presenters, Barbara Ongna and Joy Ray, summarize and perform the best new material for your spring recitals. They’ll also present time savers, gifts and other merchandise for your studio. Two hours of valuable information and shopping convenience make this event a must!

Please contact us for details or to RSVP to the Brooklyn Center workshop. Call Print Music Specialist, Bonni McConnell at 763-566-4560, or CLICK HERE to use our online RSVP form.

All solo and duet sheet music showcased is available for purchase at each workshop. You can also place an order by contacting the Print Music Specialist at your Schmitt Music store – CLICK HERE.

Schmitt Music’s “Winter Expo” is canceled, but please join us for this free “Spring Recital Workshop” session on Friday, January 9th at Schmitt Music Brooklyn Center.

“Spring Recital Workshop” events are also coming in January to Schmitt Music stores in Burnsville and Virginia, MN. Join us at Schmitt Music Burnsville on Tuesday, January 27 at 9AM. Virginia workshop date TBA.

Barbara Ongna

Barbara Ogna

Born and raised in Eastern Wisconsin, Barbara Ongna loved her piano lessons from the get-go, thanks to skilled and insightful instructors. As soon as she was old enough she was set on the church’s piano bench and assigned the assorted joys of church pianists, including hymn-playing, plunking out choir parts, and following wayward soloists around their time signatures of choice.

Barbara attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa where she learned that “if ya ain’t Dutch, ya ain’t much.” After earning a degree in Music Education with Piano Emphasis, Barb started the journey into finding her “perfect job”. On the way she worked as a college recruiter for Northwestern, and taught music in Christian schools in Sioux Falls and Edina (with additional responsibilities as cheerleading sponsor and Kindergarten PE teacher to keep her humble).

Barbara loves ‘all things piano,’ and is thrilled to have her days filled with learning about pianos and assisting customers in the selection process. Her motto is: “A Piano Makes a House a Home.” Barbara has been a part of Schmitt Music’s Keyboard Team for over 15 years and has worked at all of the Metro Stores (NOT because she ‘doesn’t work well with others’).

Passions outside of work include Church Worship – the great hymns of the church as well as contemporary praise and worship. She also began studying jazz piano and theory a few years back, and keeps stretching at that, playing with ensembles whenever work permits. To have a life filled with music and to pass that on is, to Barbara, ‘truly a gift.’

Joy Ray

Joy Ray

Joy has 8 years of teaching experience. She works with students to help achieve goals, and enjoys working with children of all ages. Joy has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Pensacola Christian College, and has attended Master Classes and Workshops at the University of Minnesota.

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