Who We Serve
If you do, or want to, play a musical instrument of any kind, for any reason, we are here to serve you. We have a variety of contacts, the BEST people in the industry, and carry the BEST instruments, cared for by the BEST service department in East Texas. From school band students to professional instrument players, we are here to serve you.
- Complete wind and percussion repair
- Brand name manufacturers of wind and percussion instruments
- New and used instruments in inventory
- Staff of musicians, ready to help other musicians or those who want to become a musician
- Positive attitudes, fair prices, sincere desire to help you
Every person involved with American Band Instruments is a musician, and we are all dedicated to being as helpful as possible to other musicians. Each of us has been a part of a school band program, and we understand the wants and needs of band directors and musicians. Public schools are our stock-in-trade and we have developed a service philosophy that is committed to making the band director and student musician's jobs as easy as possible.
Owner: Mac K. Miller, III
I started in band in the sixth grade as a trumpet student and played all the way through high school and college. I joined the Air Force and played in one of their bands for 4 years, although I played mostly saxophone and some drums. I began working as an apprentice band instrument repairman in 1955, so I was a band instrument repairman all the time I was doing these performance things. All my life I have been involved in music, and I love it even more today than I did back when I started!
I believe music (especially school music) to be more important to our childrens' lives than ever before!
Store Manager: Cheryl Hale
I have been with American Band Instrument Service since August of 1993. Before starting here I was a band director at Mineola I. S. D. and before that at Frankston I. S. D. I am a Tyler native having graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. I have my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. I received my Master of Arts from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1997. My emphasis was in Woodwind Pedagogy.
As the store manager it is my privilege to work with a great group of people in trying to provide a musical experience for the children of East Texas. I try to provide a comfortable working atmosphere and make the store customer friendly in appearance and in attitude. As a musician and educator, I want to share my love of music and the benefits it provides to all our customers. Getting to work with my former colleagues is a great joy and I enjoy being the liason between them, the store, and their future students.
Drum Shop Manager: Ken Nardo
Ken "Nardo" Murray, Manager of American Drum Shop, has built an amazing career as a professional drummer and a highly respected musician. Born in Tyler, Texas October 6, 1950, Nardo started playing drums at the age of 11.
At the age of 14, he was the original drummer for the legendary "Mouse &the Traps." Nardo played on all 15 singles and two albums, "Rio Grande", on RCA, and "A Public Execution", on Eva Records. Three of the singles were released on Rhino Records in the 80's, and a new album on ACE Records, with several unreleased cuts, was released in the late 90's.
From 1970 to 1978 he was on the road with acts : Salt & Pepper, The Drifters, Coasters, and Chuck Berry, and recorded commercials for Dairy Queen, Phillips 66, Zebco, Haggar, Churchís, and Lone Star Beer. His busy schedule also included records by Ike & Tina Turner, Joe Stampley, Lonnie Mack, Bruce Channel, Leon Rausch, Johnny Paycheck, and many others.
1978 saw Nardo move to Las Vegas and direct the 18 piece Nardo Lee Orchestra at the Silverbird Hotel for the Johnny Harra Show. He performed on the Merv Griffin Show, 20/20 News Magazine, Jerry Lewis Telethon, and a BBC special.
In 1981 he returned to Texas and was voted into the prestigious Texas Musician's Hall of Fame, Buddy Magazine's Texas Tornadoes.
Nardo's attention turned to Tennessee in 1988 and he helped form The Lone Star Ramblers and invented the focal point of the group, the "Rambling Machine Mark V"...drums on wheels...with horns, bells, bubbles, fireworks, battery operated P.A., an electronic drum machine and sound effects, a modern day Spike Jones. The Ramblers performed for 9 years at Dolly Parton's theme park, Dollywood, and were one of the most popular groups at the park. While at Dollywood they performed in many commercials, the video "The Race is On" for Sawyer Brown, and a special on TNN...The Sunset Music Festival. They also performed at the largest state fair in the world, the State Fair of Texas, 24 days, every October for 8 years. The Ramblers have brought out the comedic personality of Nardo and have shown his quick wit and improvisational mind.
Coming back to Texas in 1997, Nardo has embarked on a new chapter in his career, teaching young kids all about drums, drumming, music, and the life of a professional musician. In his spare time, Nardo calls on 30 or so schools a week for American Band Instrument Service, providing service and experience to music educators in East Texas. To sum it up, a total entertainer & musician.
One Of A Kind....."NARDO"
Mindy Howell: Accounts Manager & Sales Specialist
Mindy started to work for American Band on June 3, 1996. She was attending Robert E. Lee High School at the time and we hired her as a "cleanup person". She went on to attend Tyler Jr. College and now has a degree in music as a flute major from the University of Texas at Tyler. Mindy handles the accounts on all the instruments we sell to beginning band students.
Jason Taylor: School Accounts Director & Sales Specialist
Jason hails from Houston and has attended Trinity Valley Community College and the University of Texas at Tyler as a music education major. He taught band for several years at Leverett's Chapel before he came to us. Mr. Taylor is on the road calling on schools four days a week. He is a great trumpet player and a great asset to the store.
Jeff Goodman: Repair Manager & Service Specialist
Jeff is one of the most talented professional repairmen I have ever known. His attention to detail and attitude of “it will be right every time” is a blessing both to those of us who work in the store, and the thousands of musicians he helps every year. A talented musican in his own right, he understands the needs of the professional player.
Mike Branin: Repair & Service Specialist
Mike is an accomplished band instrument repairman. He provides real service to thousands of musicians a year. Michael graduated from Grand Saline High school and attended Tyler Jr. College, where he played French horn in the Apache Band.
Jim Hudgins: Chief Clinician and Advisor (Gone now, but not forgotten in our hearts!)
Mr. Hudgins is an inspiration to all of us associated with American Band Instrument Service. His wisdom, humor, and depth of knowledge about band, music, and the music industry are invaluable to us. His unerring ability to really hear what a wind ensemble is doing has proved invaluable to many bands and directors over a lifetime of his service to them. We are thankful to be associated with him and to call him “friend”.
Jim was born on March 12, 1925 in the community of Cumby in Hopkins County Texas. He moved to Commerce when he was two years old. He grew up and graduated from high school there. Jim attended East Texas State Teachers College and graduated from there on December 15, 1949.
He enlisted in the US Navy in December 1942 and served on active duty until September 1945, and reserve duty until 1949. Jim flew in Navy dive-bombers as a gunner in the Pacific during World War II. At the close of the war he had been sent back to the states to become a pilot. However, the war ended before he completed his training.
When he was released from active duty, he taught band at Timpson, Texas from 1945 until 1952. In 1952 he moved to Port Author, Texas where he taught band at Austin High School until 1954. From there he moved to Nacogdoches, Texas and became Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin State College where he stayed until 1963.
At the end of the school year in 1963 Jim left teaching to become a sales representative for an East Texas music store. Later he served as a Field Sales Manager for C. G. Conn band instrument manufacturer, and also as a District Manager for Selmer Corporation, another band instrument manufacturer.
Mr. Hudgins has been with us at American Band Instrument Service since 1990. He has been honored by a long list of music associations and organizations. Some of these include Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa, Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, Texas Bandmasters, Texas Music Educators, ASBDA, TSTA, and many others.