Sound of Music in Abbotsford recognized for 50 years of service

The music store and academy was honoured at the recent NAMM Show in Anaheim, California

Dean Irving (left) and daughter Kathryn receive the National Association of Music Merchants' (NAMM) Milestone Award from NAMM chair Larry Morton.

Dean Irving (left) and daughter Kathryn receive the National Association of Music Merchants' (NAMM) Milestone Award from NAMM chair Larry Morton.

The Sound of Music in Abbotsford has received the Milestone Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for 50 years of service in the music products industry.

The award recognizes retailers and manufacturers who have succeeded over the years through best practices and strong community standing to reach a landmark anniversary.

The Sound of Music, located on West Railway Street, is owned by Dean and Eloise Irving.

It opened on June 24,1965 in Langley and was founded by Irving’s elementary school teacher Bob Press.

A grand opening newspaper advertisement offered a $50 gift certificate with a $10 piano tuning, but not one certificate was given out that day.

Despite this inglorious beginning, the next two and a half decades resulted in several piano and organ specialty mall locations as well as wholesaling these products across Canada.

In 1990, Dean and Eloise officially partnered and a few years later purchased the rest of the shares.

Over the last 25 years, mall operations were phased out, and a building was purchased in Abbotsford in 1998.

The Irvings have since been joined by their daughter Kathryn in the running of Sound of Music, which is now a full-line music shop and academy.

Dean has attended NAMM regularly since 1971, educating himself and keeping up on trends.

NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond praised the local store for its service.

“Their hard work and willingness to adapt, as well as their commitment to making this world a more musical place, have helped them stand the test of time and will be the driver of their future success,” Lamond said.

Milestone Awards were presented during the 2015 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif. from Jan. 22 to 25.

The annual event brings together 95,000 industry professionals to preview the latest gear, attend educational sessions and network with peers from 100 different countries.