2017 - Music Store
Thousands of Iowans have played their very first notes on instruments rented or purchased from Rieman Music. The company began in the early 1950’s when instrument repair tech Frank Rieman started servicing instruments at his property on Broadway in Des Moines. Before long, Frank and his wife Dorothy were selling musical instruments and accessories from a retail store they built on that Broadway property…. a store still in operation today.
As the business grew, Frank relied more and more on his children Paul & Pam. Paul became the first in the company to call on local schools. In 1970, Paul was named president of Rieman Music and remained so until his retirement. His sister Pam learned every facet of running the business and is now president of Rieman Music. Following in her footsteps, Pam’s son Mike and daughter Brandy work with her at the original location.
Rieman Music says the largest part of their business has always been renting instruments to students in school band and orchestra programs. Even so, they sell a lot of other products like drums & percussion, guitars, ukuleles, keyboards, sound equipment, pianos, and print music.
Today, Rieman Music has six locations across central Iowa. Several locations have come and gone over the years but today you’ll find a Rieman Music in Mason City, Fort Dodge, Creston, Ames, Des Moines, & Urbandale. The largest store on Douglas Avenue in Urbandale was once a grocery store. They use the ample space of the store to provide music lessons. It’s not uncommon for them to have a thousand students a week learning at this location. Who knows, some of them might be future “Hall-of-Fame” inductees.
Speaking of “Hall-of-Fame” inductees… many have worked for Rieman Music over the years and some still do. Hal Thompson, Don Meyers, Shadric Smith, Mark Ohlson, Steve Rorebeck, & Jerry Peoples to name a few. A majority of Rieman Music employees play in a local band or orchestra.
Another way Rieman Music participates in the music scene is with rental gear. They have provided sound equipment for hundreds of rock and roll bands over the years in many of your favorite live venues. Their pianos have been played by the likes of Roger Williams, Ben Folds, & the Tony Bennett band.
Perhaps one of the most important things Rieman Music does for the music community is instrument repair. There’s not a lot of “glory” in removing a dent from a trumpet or tuning a piano but its important work just the same. They maintain, upgrade, and repair nearly everything they sell. Many big names in the industry have had their instruments serviced by the professionals at Rieman Music. Rieman Music has truly had a hand in Iowa rock n’ roll.