KHS’s Karl Leong (left) and Tabor Stamper (center) are congratulated by Mt. Juliet Vice Mayor Will Sellers after the ribbon-cutting ceremony
OCT. 12 I KHS AMERICA I BY FRANK ALKYER
KHS America Opens Nashville Headquarters
In an effort to consolidate its brands into one location, KHS America has opened a new headquarters and warehouse in the Greater Nashville, Tenn., area.
The 100,000-square-foot facility, opened during October in the Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet, will serve as the home to all KHS America brands — from Jupiter woodwinds and brass to Mapex drums and Majestic percussion to Altus flutes to Walden guitars.
Tabor Stamper, president of KHS America, said bringing the brands together in one facility will mean better customer service, marketing and distribution. Before the move, Mapex was based in Nashville while the other brands were based in Austin, Texas.
“We have 52 employees in this facility,” Stamper said. “Twenty-two of them moved from Austin. Another 20 or so are brand-new employees. The remaining eight or 10 were here at the Mapex facility. So, we have a lot of new folks with us in this building. They’ve all come together, and we didn’t miss one day of being open. The phone lines were never down. We shut them down at 5 p.m. in Austin on a Thursday, and they were up and running here the next morning. We only missed one day of shipping. So the team really made it happen. I’m especially proud of the Texans, those lifelong Texans, who were willing to move with the company.”
Stamper noted during a speech that the company also has 14 regional sales reps seeing dealers and educators on a daily basis.
The new facility provides 85,000 square feet of warehouse space and 15,000 square feet of office space with room to grow. The custom-designed building will house all corporate functions, warehousing and shipping facilities, as well as provide climate-controlled space for new instrument testing and quality assurance. The building also features a recital hall that will be open for use to Nashville’s music and music education communities.
“Certainly, our team is pleased to be in our new building, but I must say that our location in Nashville is equally important, maybe more so,” Stamper said. “First of all, Nashville is centrally located. It allows us to reach many more of our dealers much faster and much more efficiently. Its live music activity works really well with our Mapex drum sets. If you stroll down Broadway and walk into any of the clubs, you’ll see a Mapex drum set in that club. Our Walden guitar business, as well, is enhanced by our location in the Nashville area.
“Most of all, we hope this new facility demonstrates our commitment to the United States market — for music education and the music industry, in general.”
To demonstrate that commitment, the grand opening featured an array of speakers from the local and national music community, including Mary Luehrsen from NAMM; Michael Blakeslee from Music Educators National Conference; Carole Grooms, regional director of the American School Band Directors Association; Dr. Thomas Verrier from the College Band Directors National Association; Grayson Zeagler from the National Association of School Music Dealers; and keynote speaker Mitchell Korn from the Nashville Symphony.
Karl Leong, president and CEO of KHS Musical Instruments Co., the Taiwan-based parent company of KHS, said the company’s dedicated to promoting music education and making musical instruments for everyone, from students to educators to professionals. He noted that KHS is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Leong also mentioned that the initials KHS represent Kong Hseu Sheh in Chinese, which means “contribute to schools and society.”
In line with that thinking, KHS America donated 24 instruments valued at $23,500 to the Nashville Symphony. The instruments will be used for the symphony’s Instrument Petting Zoo for children. They replace instruments lost in the recent floods that devastated middle Tennessee. MI