In 1965 Robert Press, a school teacher in Langley, decided it was time for Langley to have a music shop of its own and so he founded Sound of Music. He began the company selling Acoustic Pianos, Gulbransen and Lowrey Organs in the city core (20575 Fraser Hwy). Ever a fan of the spectacular Bob was not about to enter the market without a splash so he brought in some of the best Organists of the time to demonstrate the new product. These presenters included Don Craig (all the way from Calgary), Ian Rankine and Jeanine Dye. Bob quickly expanded his offerings to include Conn Organs, guitars, drums, and other musical accessories. Also a switch of locale was in the cards as they moved the business 3 blocks east to 20489 Fraser Hwy.
In 1967 Dean Irving was a boy of 12 and eager to make some money in his spare time. Bob, having taught Dean in primary school knew the boy had good work ethics and offered him the job of keeping the store clean and doing other odd jobs, Dean of course jumped at the opportunity. A few years later Dean was helping out with the Sound of Music exhibit at the PNE keeping all of the instruments free of fingerprints, Bob was manning the booth and entertaining the masses but his relief was late and he wanted to have his lunch, so he asked Dean to watch the booth. When Bob came back to the booth after having had his fill nothing could hide his surprise at the 3 completed orders for delivery waiting for him, Dean had learned well and took the first opportunity given to shine. It was then that Bob realized what an asset he had in Dean and immediately put him to work on the sales floor.
Dean has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and this was the time of the greatest growth in the hobbyist musician industry, so Dean was there to see the changes. Bob knew the importance of knowledge and took his young protégé with him as he toured the world going to tradeshows, factories and seminars all over the world. By the age of 25 Dean had been to on tours of Piano Factories in Hamamatsu and Osaka, toured the Hammond Factories in both Chicago and Toronto, the Kincaid factory in Morganton (North Carolina), the Conn Organ factory in Madison (Indiana), the GEM Organ and LEM Sound factory in Paterno (Italy), the Farfisa and Bontempi factories in Italy (including the injection mold and toy factories).He Attended the Music Messe in Frankfurt (many times), NAMM shows in Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, Huston, and Anaheim (Disney Hotel), a sales conference on Paradise Island, a sales presentation in the Highlands of England, and dealer meetings in London with Conn Organs. He also went across Canada twice as a distributor for Kincaid Pianos and Optigan Organs. Dean was then sent to the big malls in Portland, Oregon to learn how to operate music stores in mall locations from the best in the business. To keep up with the changing industry Dean continues to travel the world attending trade shows and touring factories. The only difference is that now it is a family trip as well. Dean met Eloise in 1982 when she wandered into his Langley location to attend the free Organ Lessons. In 1985 they had Kathryn who now is just as involved in the business as her dad was at her age.
With all of this travel it is a wonder there was anytime left to do business, but there was. From 1965 to 1998 when we settled into our current location the Sound of Music has had 8 locations in Langley, 3 in Abbotsford, 2 in Surrey, 2 in Vancouver and one each in Mission, Richmond, North Vancouver, and Victoria. Now that Sound of Music has settled into one location (2631 West Railway St. Abbotsford) and grown roots you will always know where to find us.