Milwaukee Music Store Cascio Interstate Music Celebrates 70th Anniversary as a Musical Instrument Retailer

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Milwaukee music store to offer special events December 10th and 17th, celebrating 70 years as a leading retailer of musical instruments in Milwaukee. Special pricing and artist-signed musical instrument giveaways are also offered.

Cascio Interstate Music - 70th Anniversary

Cascio Interstate Music - 70th Anniversary

We follow in the tradition of our founder, Frank Cascio, of continuing to promote, inspire and encourage all generations in their musical endeavors throughout their lives.

Cascio Interstate Music of New Berlin, Wisconsin, celebrates 70 years in the music industry as 2016 comes to a close. Cascio is celebrating with artist-signed musical instrument giveaways and special retail store events on December 10th and 17th at its Milwaukee music store.

“We are so very proud to be celebrating our 70th Anniversary in the music industry,” said Michael Houser, Cascio Music’s CEO. “We have seen enormous changes in the global market place and are delighted to continue to take care of our customers through our evolutionary process as we advance, succeed and change, in this omni-channel world. We follow in the tradition of our founder, Frank Cascio, of continuing to promote, inspire and encourage all generations in their musical endeavors throughout their lives.”

Cascio Interstate is offering musical instrument giveaways nationwide and in-store, including a Shure Microphone signed by Alice Cooper, a Dean Guitar signed by Dave Mustaine, an Archer Guitar signed by Al Di Meola, a Mapex Snare Drum signed by Chris Adler, a Gretsch Snare Drum signed by Stanton Moore, a Casio Keyboard signed by Larry Dunn, a Pearl Snare Drum signed by Omar Hakim, and a $1000 Cascio Gift Card.

On Saturday and Sunday, December 10-11 at its New Berlin, Wisconsin retail store, customers will receive 16% off everything in the store with a purchase of $149 or more (restrictions apply). On Saturday the 10th only, a free $10 Cascio Gift Card will be given to the first 25 shoppers; Santa Claus will be on-hand between 10am and noon, and free cake, coffee and cocoa will be available as well as live music.

On Saturday, December 17 at the New Berlin store, customers will receive 20% off everything with a purchase of $249 or more (restrictions apply). Free gift wrapping will be available all day (10am – 5pm), a free $10 Cascio Gift Card will be given to the first 25 shoppers, and Santa Claus will be on-hand between 10am and noon and live music will again fill the store.

Frank Salvatore Cascio was the son of Italian immigrants and learned his business skills by running the family’s grocery store after his father died in 1937. He soon developed a mastery of the accordion and played live on local radio stations. After a stint in the US Army, Frank and his wife Marcie founded the company in 1946, opening a small teaching and accordion studio, the “West Milwaukee Accordion School” in West Milwaukee.

Cascio Music expanded in 1951 with a larger store on Lincoln Avenue in West Allis. As many as 600 music lessons per week were given by a staff of 40 instructors, and accordion was the most popular. Cascio Music then grew and adapted to meet the changing musical landscape in the 1960s.

In 1970 the mail order division Interstate Music Supply began, to service school band directors of Wisconsin, but which grew into nationwide catalogs that today continue to serve band directors and the military. In 1973, a second location, Cascio Music-West was added in the rural New Berlin suburb, to house Interstate Music Supply and a small warehouse. The New Berlin store eventually replaced the Lincoln Avenue store, which closed in 1976.

A major remodeling in 1997-1998 almost doubled the retail floor space to 30,000 square feet, while the warehouse moved to a much larger facility in Waukesha. In 1997, Frank S. Cascio died at age 76, leaving the company in the hands of his son Mike, who was named President. Cascio’s website http://www.interstatemusic.com was also born and grew into a full featured e-commerce website. Cascio’s retail store is one of the largest in the Midwest.

Preparing and guiding the company for the future, Mike Cascio formed an advisory board in 2003 where he met Michael R. Houser, a retired Vice Chairman, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Fresh Brands, Inc. Houser also served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Milwaukee's World Festivals, Inc. who operates and manages Summerfest, the World's Largest Music Festival. Michael Houser was then named Chief Executive Officer/Chief Marketing Officer of Cascio Interstate Music in 2004. Elwood Winn, former President and CEO at Fresh Brands, joined the Cascio team in 2005 as its Chief Financial Officer. These three Executive Committee Officers now comprise the Company's complete operational leadership.

ARU Music is Cascio’s division encompassing proprietary brands of musical instruments. ARU's original and primary instrument lines are Archer Guitars and Amps, Union Drums and Ravel Band Instruments. Additional brands developed in recent years include M. Ravel String Instruments, le'Var Band Instruments, Melokia and Omâlha Ukuleles, Union One Earth Percussion and Gravity Pedals. CEO Michael Houser provides brand oversight for these brands and introduces them to new markets via non-traditional, large retailers, along with obtaining and expanding artist endorsements. Artist endorsers for Archer Guitars and Union Drums include Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Shonn Hinton (Mary J. Blige), Sean Carey, Bon Iver and Josh Rouse.

As the Company moves into its 70th year in the Music Industry, Cascio continues to evolve as an omni-channel musical retailer, in an effort to satisfy all of its customers. Cascio Interstate Music consistently ranks in the top 15 nationally among musical instrument retailers, and is also one of the nation's top drum retailers.

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Mike Houser
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