The Tale of Educational Music Service
Bob Walls was a free spirit and very smart guy. He had excelled at selling books for Doubleday, selling music for Hansen House, Shawnee Press and Frank Richards Music. On the side, just for fun, he was a church music director. Being a rebel and lover of classical music he decided to start his own company in 1979 selling sheet music to high schools, but soon branched out to orchestras, opera companies, choral societies, colleges and churches.
But what would make EMS any different than other music dealers?
Bob knew that people usually want stuff fast, cheap and correct. So he had the radical idea to ask every customer for a delivery deadline, give them the best discount he could afford to give and still hire smart, hardworking classical musicians to help run the company. In 1981 he hired St. Louis Symphony assistant librarian Carla Lebedeff and 2 days later hired her soon-to-be-husband Don Boyer. Over the years they and their co-conspirator, Fern Ashworth, have thoroughly enjoyed being “air traffic controllers” for the sheet music needs of most of the “big” classical music organizations in North America and elsewhere as well as many of the medium, small and tiny groups, not to mention many conductors and other performing musicians.
After 43 years we’re still doing it fast, cheap and correct, not necessarily in that order. Or if you prefer – quickly, cheaply and correctly.
Educational Music Service ("EMS") is the leading supplier of purchasable, printed music to symphony orchestras, opera companies, colleges & universities, choral groups, libraries, churches and schools in North American and Asia.
Founded in 1979 by Bob Walls, EMS has become known as a unique music dealer, whose knowledgeable salespeople, complete range of printed music and reliable, all-inclusive service have made music purchasing a surprisingly easy and enjoyable task for those who buy on behalf of institutions. As a result, our customer list now reads like a Who's Who of performing organizations and artists. Here are some of the differences that set us apart from other music dealers:
- We are completely deadline-oriented. This is a quality you will not find in another music dealer. It has been honed over 43 years of supplying purchaseable music to very demanding performing organizations and artists of the highest level. Though not perfect, the reliability of our delivery time frames is superior to that of any other source. "Usually ships in" guidelines are given for items listed on our website but we also accept specific delivery deadline dates from institutional customers and carefully arrange for delivery by those dates. On this website simply give those deadlines in the box provided in the final step of checkout.
- Your order is processed by an experienced professional (an actual person), not by an algorithm or automaton. Our salespeople are some of the most experienced in the world in the field of sheet music distribution. They will gladly receive and process your order with care and courtesy via phone, website, email, fax or snail mail.
- We sell primarily to institutional customers. For over 43 years we have supplied some of the busiest musical organizations in the world including orchestras, opera companies, choral societies, colleges & universities, secondary schools, libraries, bands and chamber music societies. These include the Boston Sympony, Metropolitan Opera, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Aspen and Marlboro Music Festivals, Juilliard School, U.S. Marine Band and scores of others. Click on the "Institutional Accounts" link above to see how to establish an open account.
- We offer a blanket 10% discount to institutional customers. With few exceptions, publications from mainstream publishers are discounted at a predictable 10% for orders of $25.00 or more. Once an institutional account has been established (see the "Institutional Accounts" link above) you will see the discounted prices on this website.
If you would like to save money while enjoying courteous, friendly, efficient service, use EMS for all your music purchases.