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The 2022 OBA Convention

The OBA July convention is a yearly congregation of the Oklahoman Bandmaster Association members otherwise known as your local retired or active band directors, plus college students who plan on working in the field. The goal is to foster a community, grow networks, and support bands around the state. The Tuneful Tech owner & operator Christina, and apprentice - intern Daniel attended this year's convention. They had a great time reconnecting with old friends and meeting lots of new ones.

Christina and Daniel saw many other music stores and suppliers from around the state and country. Midwest Music, Christina's former shop, was in attendance, as well as Palen Music, the Music Store in Tulsa, Saied Music, and Ada Music.

The OBA convention is a great place to try new products and learn new things. Instrument makers attend with large assortments of instruments to view and test out. Food-based fundraising organizations bring out samples to try. In addition, all sorts of companies that support music programs bring information and guidance to directors who are planning their upcoming year.

The most talked about event is the golf tournament. A whole day is set aside for chatting around the course and soaking up the sun. After the tournament, trophies are passed out to winners.

Back at the convention center, door prizes are handed out at random, which creates quite an exciting buzz. In addition, experts from around the country are holding clinics, which are lectures on a variety of topics. There are also banquets where friends share meals and acquaintances share program ideas. And none of it happens without a lot of work done by the people in charge of OBA and other companies besides.

One of the benefits of the OBA convention is it also gives techs & business owners a great chance to talk shop. While there are many things to do at the convention, Christina and Daniel's time was spent talking with directors like Danny Powers from Hennessey and Jessica Haas Peercy from Elgin along with many others discussing what they do. They showed them Tuneful Tech's website, online store, and links to the repair classes & instrument trials. They handed out lots of pencils, business cards, and their new stickers. In addition, they discussed repair issues in the classroom, how to solve problems, and instruments that directors want to have cleaned up and running better so they themselves can have some fun playing music too.

Tuneful Tech's booth was surrounded by different fundraising programs that help directors build up funds so their groups can expand their programs. These fundraisers help bring in money for music purchases, instrument purchases, instrument repairs, travel, competition fees, uniforms, buses, and much more. Around their booth were Fan-Pledge & Snap! Raise, digital fundraisers, and Boren Fundraiser, which has a delicious variety of small business-sourced snacks and products for sale.

Christina and Daniel chatted with other exhibitors like Richie Vallandingham from Ada Music and the crew from Midwest Music. Daniel even tried out an oboe from Orion horns to see how it played. Orion specializes in student-level instruments designed to play well.

Overall, they had a great time at the OBA convention. There are so many kind people with whom to connect and reconnect. It really unites musicians together and feels like a home away from home. If you are interested in attending next year's conventions, it's scheduled to be on July 17 - 20, 2023. Check out OBA's website for more information.

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