RPMDA Convention Presenter Interviews

by Christie Smith, Alfred Music

Don Langlie – Popplers Music

You are hosting a panel this year at the RPMDA convention. Can you tell us briefly What you think the RPMDA members will get out of attending this session?

The session: As the print industry continues to change, it is more important than ever that as dealers, we bring value to both the customer and the publisher as we connect the offerings of music and resources to the needs of the classroom and local musician. Simply having a storefront and pushing paper is no longer enough. With the monumental amount of print material available, the dealer’s role is critical in reaching the end user. This select panel of print professionals will discuss the best practices of being an important part of this food chain!

You are sitting on the board as past president this year with many years of experience putting together conventions. What do you think of the program this year and why is this such a good investment for music dealers?

It is a privilege to serve with this Board of dedicated and hardworking professionals whose primary aim is to present a program rich and varied, that offers real-world thoughts and solutions for all of us engage in print music. As progress forces us all to think in different ways, the varied program being offered touches on the many aspects of business that are now part of our reality. With the goal of invoking thought as well as offering specific content, this year’s program is not to be missed if vendors and retailers are serious about having a substantive position in the business of print!

Tracy Leenman – Musical Innovations

I am excited that you will be giving a session at this years RPMDA convention. Can you tell us briefly why you were drawn to this topic?

A few years ago, SC was cited by the MPA for copyright violation. It was clear that their violations were totally unintentional, and resulted from well-meaning efforts to save time and money for students and educators, without really understanding what the laws said and what the implications were of “looking the other way.” About that time, I was developing the Music Business department at Newberry College, and an in-depth study of the copyright laws became part of the syllabus. I researched this issue, trying to find out how we could help people understand the true origin and meaning of the laws; and help them comply without “breaking the bank” (which was every educator’s fear). We can’t really expect our students to respect society’s laws if we break them merely for the sake of convenience or lack of understanding either. We wanted to become a resource and a help so that publishers, schools, churches, teachers and parents could all work together on this.

What do you think the RPMDA members will get out of attending your session?

Not legal mumbo-jumbo for sure – after all, I’m a bassoonist. I want to let people know what the law really says, where that came from, and what we can all do to help each other comply. We will look at some issues like “fair use” and “imminent performance” that can be confusing; and the current legal developments, which can be even more confusion. And yes, we will look at European laws as well as the US!

You have put together an amazing convention this year, and thank you. What are you most looking forward to?

We have an amazing venue, a hotel right on the water – a real destination. With plenty of activities available at the hotel and plenty more planned for the group – tours of Old San Diego, a baseball game and a tour of NAMM HQ and the Museum of Making Music. Things people – and families – will really enjoy. We also have an amazing program put together, with sessions that address current trends, and questions and needs our people have. It will be a really fun week – so bring your family, bring your camera, and bring your Yacht Rock wear for the Saturday night party — you won’t regret it!!

Christie Smith – Alfred Music

Your session looks interesting. Why is this a ‘must-see’ session for our members?

It is important in this time of rapid change in business, to keep our eye on what the current trends so we can gain an edge anywhere we can. One of the exciting ways businesses are doing this now, is by aligning themselves with a important causes. People want purpose and passion in their jobs now. Employees want to know they are making a difference with the time they spend at work, and businesses know that with a carefully designed charitable campaign, they have a great opportunity to see growth in their companies, attract the best employees and also make the world a better place, all at the same time. Who wouldn’t want that! This trend is very exciting because it levels the playing field. Research is showing that consumers are prepared to spend more money on companies with social responsibility, which means small businesses that can’t compete with the larger companies on price, now have the power to stand out and attract more business than they ever thought possible! Music businesses have always been committed to supporting their community. This session will be about how we can do even more and transform our businesses.

What value have RPMDA conventions had in your life?

Oh my goodness, SO much! I have learned an incredible amount at these conventions, not only about the print music business, but the music business in general. Through support and sharing of ideas, it helped me to come up with more and more creative ideas for my company. I was given opportunities to get involved and do sessions which helped me get the experience I need to become a leader. Most importantly, the people I met opened my world professionally. We are stronger together than we are standing on our own. Those that attend this convention are ‘in the loop’ and are have constantly been learning and have the strongest relationships with their suppliers. They are the leaders in print music and they are the ones that realize that print music will assist in the growth of all areas of their business.


1 thought on “RPMDA Convention Presenter Interviews”

  1. The Music Gifts Company is a proud member of RPMDA. For over 15 years we have built strong relationships with many member stores providing unique, excellent quality and profit making music related novelty products. This year while the format for us is new we are prepared to rise to the occasion and look forward to meeting you all in San Diego. In addition, we are very excited to visit The MUSEUM OF MAKING MUSIC. In their gift shop they sell a lot of our products so you will all get to see how they display them.
    Safe travels, everyone!!

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