Piano Distributors

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Bill Boyce - Founder

William Clifton "Bill" Boyce, Jr.,

who distinguished himself as a highly successful piano retailer throughout his remarkable 60-year career in the music products industry, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, February 2 in Bradenton, Florida. He was 78. Bill was best defined as a tireless entrepreneur, savvy businessman, guiding mentor, devoted husband and wonderfully loving father. He, along with his wife, Sandy, was the owner of and guiding force behind Palmetto, Florida-based Piano Distributors, one of the most successful piano store chains in the nation, with thousands of satisfied customers largely in the Southeast.

Born July 9, 1940, in Raleigh, North Carolina, to William and Virginia Boyce, Bill grew up in Windsor, North Carolina.
His six-decade career in the music business effectively began in 1959 when, at the age of 19, he was invited by his uncle, Edwin Poole, a band director in North Carolina, to join his Raleigh piano store, E.R. Poole Music Co. Bill's initial calling was in the field of engineering, which he studied at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He worked part-time in the store to pay for college, selling his first piano in 1959. He earned $40 a week plus a 3% commission on anything he sold. Upon graduation in 1961, now earning $10,000 a year at the music store, Bill was approached by a recruiter for IBM, who offered him a starting salary of $5,400/year. "I told them I was making [more] in the piano business," Boyce told a reporter several years ago. "I couldn't take the pay cut."
From that moment, Bill became a lifer in the piano business. He opened his first store, and eventually had a chain of full line stores in North Carolina under Bill Boyce Music. In 1962, he began selling both pianos and organs, renaming his business, Piano and Organ Distributors. His excitement for sales escalated over the next few years, as he loaded pianos on vans, answering classified ads in the newspapers. He fell in love with "Outside Promotions," working all the county fairs, and requiring each of his store managers to do at least one outside promotion a month. His sales motto: "The Outside drives the Inside." In 1982, Piano Distributors became an authorized dealer for Yamaha, the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments. To this day, the company continues to be the exclusive authorized Yamaha Piano Dealer in each of its multi-state markets.
Encore Performance
In 1993, Bill married his beloved wife, Sandra "Sandy" McCowen on the beach in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, and, semi-retired at the age of 52 now living in Durham, turned over the management of his North Carolina stores to his son, Cliff. Bill and Sandy eventually moved to Florida in 1997 to relax and enjoy their new home on Sanibel Island. However, the idea of retirement was short lived, as Bill quickly found that he had too much love and enthusiasm for the piano business to leave it all behind.
Yamaha had some influence over the matter, too. The global music company was so impressed with Bill's success in selling its pianos in North Carolina the previous 20 years, that it offered the couple the proverbial "deal you can't refuse." He opened his first Piano Distributors store in Sarasota on April 1, 2001, and today, there are nine locations in Florida and Georgia, including a new store in Jupiter, Florida, which opened December 2018. Each location offers all Yamaha piano models including the Clavinova and the Disklavier reproducing piano, along with pre-owned fine brand pianos.
Yamaha has recognized Piano Distributors with a Top Dealer Award consistently since 2004. The company maintains an extensive outside promotion schedule, for which Yamaha recognized Piano Distributors as the 2018 "Promotions and Outside Events Dealer of the Year" in January 2019. "Our industry has lost not only an icon, but a true gentleman," said Dan Rodowicz, general manager, Keyboard division, Yamaha Corporation of America. "Bill was always a man of his word. Beyond that, he mirrored the Yamaha mission of creating more music makers. I can't even imagine the number of people's lives that are better because of the joy of making music that he introduced to them."
In addition to running Piano Distributors, Bill served as President of the National Association of Young Music Merchants (NAYMM), which prepares young professionals, ages 21–35, for greater leadership roles within the products industry through business, social networking and leadership development programs, such as industry mentoring. He also enjoyed many years with the KIG group.
With Bill's passing, Piano Distributors is now led by his wife, Sandy Boyce, and Frank Harvey, who was promoted to President of the company in 2016.

Sandy Boyce - Owner

I started taking piano lessons at age 4 and was teaching young children to play by the time I was 16. I soon found my real passion was showing the parents how much fun they could have making music. I have worked in piano and organ stores all my life and even met my husband in his music store in North Carolina.

After we moved to Florida to slow down a little, I found I missed the interaction of the staff, customers and students so we opened a store in Sarasota and the rest is history!

Today, I enjoy working with Adults who attend beginner classes, concerts and workshops. I particularly like participating in the outside sales events showing new people how easy it is to play, making their dreams come true.

Thank You,
Sandy Boyce
Piano Distributors

Our Corporate Staff

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Frank Harvey - President

Frank Harvey was born in Ft Myers, Fl and began playing the piano at the age of 8. He and his wife Shelly have 2 children that were raised loving and making music.

Frank "grew up" around pianos and worked in a piano and organ store when he was still in high school. His love and excitement for pianos is obvious when he demonstrates pianos all across Florida. He spends much of his time meeting new customers and sharing his passion for making music both in and outside of Piano Distributors locations. You may see him soon in a city near you!

Frank Harvey
Piano Distributors

Suzanne Mooney - Admin Assistant

Suzanne joined PD approximately 7 year ago as an Administrative Assistant and handles a variety of duties for the company. She performs a wide range of admin, and office support for Piano Distributors to facilitate the efficient operation of the company.

Tara Brandewie - Book Keeper - Accounting

Tara joined PD approximately 13 year ago as a Bookkeeper and has recently been named head of Accounting for the company. She performs a wide range of duties for Piano Distributors to facilitate the efficient operation of the company reporting directly to the Owner and President.