NewsJul 1, 06:49 PM
By Pete Vriesenga
Richard Kolacny, who joined the DMA in 1947, recently called the office to pay his annual dues. I was privileged to take his call and personally thanked him for 64 years of dedicated support for causes of professional musicians.
Our conversation touched on anti-labor legislation that was making national headlines in Wisconsin and Ohio. Richard and I share the time-tested, contrasting view; that small businesses, industry professionals and trade unions build strong partnerships because they’re naturally dependent on each other. There is no better example than a local music store, with its deep community roots and established relationships with professional musicians and music educators.
Kolacny Music established the 1st professional drum shop in Denver and maintains its long tradition of offering full service repair on brass, woodwinds, strings and harp. Richard’s son, David Kolacny, is one of the finest harp technicians in the region. The Yamaha Music School, in partnership with Kolacny Music during the ’60’s, enrolled as many as 600 students through a 3-year program. Kolacny was also a sponsor of the Denver’s Sister Cities partnership with Takayama, Japan.
In this spirit of community, Kolacny Music has also provided us with a central networking and meeting location. Richard’s father Bill (William Kolacny) started the business in 1930 at 15th & Stout in downtown Denver. Ed Blackburn (cornet) and Alex Horst (bass) were among Kolacny’s first private instructors. The store quickly became a place where all music professionals, teachers & students, would network and hang together. National and touring musicians such as Charlie Teagarden routinely stopped by the store in those days to visit with Bill and any number of local players who happened by.
Sixty, seventy and eighty years later, Kolacny Music remains a known destination that has opened its doors to such greats as Stanley Turrentine, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Eddie Harris. Members of the Harry Connick Big Band and Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra also know they can count on Kolacny Music for supplies or a critical repair.
As president of Kolacny Music, a family-owned business since 1930, Richard Kolacny’s dedicated support to our local community shines bigger than life. I join many thousands of music professionals in thanking the Kolacny family for more than 80 years of service to our community. How many lifetime friendships and associations have been forged over this time, and how do we put a price on that?
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