Everyone on our staff at Griggs Music takes pride in being a part of our company’s rich, 113 year history. We all channel our unique passion for music every day into helping our fellow musicians, aspiring musicians, and music lovers in the Quad Cities area. In this way, we are honored to be writing our own chapter of the storied history of Griggs Music.
Meet the Staff at Griggs Music Staff Photos
Steve Judge – President
Steve joined the Griggs Music staff in 1975 as a salesman in the Guitar Department. As a bassist, he has played in many local bands and still enjoys playing guitar and bass and occasionally playing with his classic rock band, the Blackstones. Steve became President and co-owner of Griggs in 1998, and now has 40 years of experience in music retail sales and management. Steve served on the National Association of Music Merchants Board of Directors from 2010 to 2013.
Doug Davis – Vice President and Sales Manager
Doug is a graduate of Northeast Missouri State, now named Truman State, with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. He spent 8 years as an educator in the Iowa Public School System and has over 30 years of experience in music retail. Doug has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of School Music Dealers as well as other local and state organizations in support of music in our schools. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. His numerous hobbies and interests include traveling with his wife of more than 30 years, Vivian, as well as hunting, fishing, skiing, and playing golf, all while trying to keep the dust off his trumpet.
Chris Foster – Educational Representative and Percussion Specialist
Chris joined the Griggs Music staff in 2006 as a salesman. A local percussion teacher with experience in all aspects of percussion, he has a bachelors degree in Music Education from South Dakota State University and a Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His teachers include: Jim McKinney, Adam Mason, Jeff Prosperie, Jason Trigg, Jim Drier, Dan Moore, and William Moersch. His students have a reputation of making All-State in Illinois and Iowa. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity and the Percussive Arts Society.
Kurt Ockelmann – Retail Sales Associate
Kurt joined the Griggs Music staff in early 2007. He is a graduate of St. Ambrose University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Working in the retail music industry since 1991, Kurt has vast experience in print music as well as school music programs. His current duties include music accessory purchasing for the company, and he serves as in-store brass specialist. Kurt is also a trombonist who performs locally with various groups and ensembles.
Mark Wagler – Combo Retail Sales Associate
Mark joined the Griggs staff in 2001. He is a graduate of the Guitar Institute of Technology (GIT) in Hollywood, California. He has been playing guitar since 1982 and has been teaching guitar since 1992. Mark can be seen playing in local bands: Old Man’s Curse in the Muscatine area and the O’Connell Brothers in the Cedar Rapids area.
Jerry Henry – Director of Orchestral Resources
Jerry joined Griggs in December of 2008 after 25 years of teaching orchestra in the public school systems of Texas and Iowa. He is a graduate of Wartburg College and has a Masters degree in Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa. Jerry is the concertmaster of the Clinton Symphony, a member of the Cedar Rapids Symphony, and a member the string quartet Quartrio. A past president of the Iowa String Teachers Association, Jerry was the Iowa String Teacher of the Year in 2002.
Jim Holifield – Technology Specialist, Educational Representative
Jim is in his 20th year with Griggs Music. He has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southeast Missouri State University and spent 18 years as a school band director. A bass trombonist with the Quad City Wind Ensemble, Big River Brass Band, and Bettendorf Park Band, Jim coordinates Griggs Music’s TubaChristmas each December at SouthPark Mall. He is a member of the Iowa Bandmasters Association, the National Association of School Music Dealers, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Jim’s responsibilities include computer technology, computer graphics, online rental, social media and Griggs websites, plus sales and service for school band and orchestra directors.
Al Moore – Educational Representative
Al Moore is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa where he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree. Al pursued graduate studies in performance on tuba at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He has taught music in both public and private schools in Iowa.
Pete Drahozal – Educational Representative
Pete graduated from St. Ambrose University, with a Bachelor of Music, Mass Communications, and Music Education certificate. He completed his MA in Music Education from the University of Iowa, but credits his mother as the best music teacher he ever had. Pete taught instrumental music and lessons in Iowa for ten years and now labors mightily in the most challenging of music education tasks: raising his young son Joseph. When not busy with Little Joe, Pete plays trombone, tuba, trumpet, piano, accordion, and clarinet. He also plays, directs, or arranges music in several groups including Lyle Beaver’s Brass Notes, the Lyle Beaver Quartet, the Van Pool Quartet and Cedar Rapids’ Czech Plus Band. In his spare time, Pete leads a scout group in Eldridge and enjoys reading, camping, fishing, carpentry, electronics, and keeping busy with projects requested by his wife.
Isabella Brown – Retail Sales Associate, Woodwind Specialist
Isabella graduated from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Glenn Korff School of Music in 2016 with her degree in Music Education with an emphasis in flute studies. She joined the staff at Griggs Music shortly after graduation and holds the position as Woodwind Specialist in the store and gives flute lessons in Studio G. While at Nebraska, Isabella served three semesters with the Cornhusker Marching Band with the piccolo section and was an active member of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international women’s music fraternity.
Billy Heller – Educational Services Coordinator
Billy joined Griggs Music as a part of our seasonal staff in the Fall of 2010 and later transitioned into a full time staff member as our Print Associate. He has since been moved to the post of Educational Services Coordinator. Billy’s main job is in-store support for the Educational Representatives, but he can also assist you in sheet music, accessories, or leasing or renting of band instruments.
Sarah Hartman – Print Music Associate
Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Voice from the University of Northern Iowa in 2014. She began as a part of the seasonal staff and has transitioned into the position of Print Associate. Sarah is here to help in choosing and obtaining the music, whether it is a method book, solo, or ensemble piece that will best suit your needs.
Michael Wahlmann – Retail Sales, Orchestra Specialist
Michael joined the Griggs Music staff in 2015. He is a graduate of Augustana College and has been playing cello since 1982. As a cellist, Michael has taught privately since 2004, plays in local string quartet Quartrio, the Clinton Symphony and has played in groups from pit-orchestras for the Clinton Showboat Theater, Quad City Music Guild, Opera at Augustana and Opera Quad Cities to groups backing acts like The Moody Blues, Transiberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller and Josh Groban at the iWireless Center. As a vocalist Michael is co-music and choir director for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island, sings with Nova Singers and occasionally, Quad City Choral Arts and Opera at Augustana’s summer collaboration with Rock Island’s Genesius Guild. On Sunday evenings Michael can be heard over the radio airwaves of Northwestern Illinois and Eastern Iowa hosting WVIK-Quad Cities NPR’s classical program, Serenade.
Christin Thompson – Store Manager – Cedar Rapids
Christin Hart Thompson has been playing violin for over 20 years. She began her studies at age 11 and has been in love with the instrument and classical music ever since. Christin comes to us after spending several years as an orchestral violinist working with organizations such as the Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and a number of other symphonies. She is also a violin teacher and has worked with students ranging from 8 to 60 years of age. Christin firmly believes that you are never to old to learn an instrument. She is presently working on her Doctorate in Musical Arts at the University of Memphis in violin performance, and holds degrees from Baylor University, M.M., and the University of North Texas. In her spare time, Christin enjoys kayaking, going for long drives, and watching science-fiction TV shows.
Eric Beenk – Band Instrument Repair Technician
Eric Beenk is a 1993 graduate of Red Wing Technical College, Red Wing, Minnesota with a degree in band instrument repair. He has been employed with Griggs Music as a repair tech since 2001. Eric lives in Grand Mound, Iowa with his wife, children, many cats and Chloe, a Great Pyrenees dog.
Dean Kurtz – Washington Store
Dean Kurtz is a native of Washington, Iowa where he now manages the Washington Store. A graduate of Truman State in trumpet & jazz piano, he taught band for 11 years, and has been repairing all band instruments in the Washington shop since 1982. He is married to Cheryl & they have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Call us today at 877-391-9001 or contact us for more information or to find a location nearest you. We look forward to serving all of your musical needs!