artistpro, LLC Acquires MI/Education Trade Magazines

SBO Staff • ChoralNews • June 24, 2021

Industry Publishing Veteran Mike Lawson’s artistpro, LLC acquires Musical Merchandise Review (MMR), School Band & Orchestra (SBO), Choral Director, and JAZZed Magazines.

MMR Editor of Two Decades Christian Wissmuller Continues as Executive Editor

Terry Lowe, of Timeless Communications Corp. (TCC) – a Nevada corporation – announced on June 23, 2021 that longtime music industry publisher and current employee Mike Lawson has acquired the four magazines and will produce all issues from August, 2021 forward. Lowe will advise Lawson’s company, artistpro, LLC – a Tennessee Limited Liability Company – as a consultant to help ensure their ongoing successes.

Said Lowe, “Mike is an old friend and experienced publisher who loves the MI trade and music education. This profitable group of publications have been in tremendous hands the past several years since we acquired them, and both Mike and Christian have worked diligently to get our company through the COVID-19 crisis with great success. With the touring and performance businesses rematerializing now to pent-up demand, I want to put our full focus on FRONT of HOUSE (FOH) and Projection, Lights & Staging News (PLSN), so the time was right to pass the torch and allow Mike and his team to see them into the next generation, while we help our mutual reemerging markets grow in this new normal era we are entering.”

MMR was founded in 1879 and publishes a monthly print magazine, website, and newsletters for music retailers and musical instrument manufactures. It continued in print throughout the COVID-19 crisis and continues to be the market-leading publication in the music products industry.

Boston-based executive editor Christian Wissmuller says, “In early 2002 I began what has shaped up to be a colorful and rewarding two-decade journey reporting on the MI industry. It’s been an honor to serve as one of the stewards of MMR, the longest continuously published trade magazine with the largest readership in the business. Now, as one of the most challenging times the market has faced in a century is ending (fingers crossed…), ownership of this 142-year-old title is passing into the capable hands of Mike Lawson. I’m pleased to remain a key part of the team as we collectively look towardscelebrating a rebounding and vibrant market.”

Nashville-based Lawson served as of editor-in-chief of SBO, Choral Director, and associate editor of JAZZed since 2014. He has a rich 30-year history in print, digital, video, and periodical publishing, with deep experience in management of business operations, plus a devoted interest in supporting music educators. Since 2011, Lawson has also served as executive director of Technology in Music Education (TI:ME), helping produce countless professional development sessions, and intends to continue in that role.

Previously, he launched MixBooks in 1996, acquiring it with partner Brad Burkhart and forming artistpro Publishing in 2000, then led its sale to Thomson Learning in 2004. When Thomson abandoned the brand name, trademark, and URL, then exited the music reference book business, Lawson formed a new entity as artistpro, LLC in Tennessee in 2016, helping former authors regain their rights to the vast catalog they published together.

“I am grateful to Terry Lowe. We have had a long and enduring friendship since meeting at SXSW in 1992 when we had booths next to each other. It’s magnificent to be reentering the publishing business with artistpro branded owner of these magazines” said Mike Lawson, “I’m a musician. I’m a lifelong music retail customer. I own over 50 guitars, a home studio, and all that goes with it. I still gig and record. I’ve hung around music stores since I was 10-years old. Though I’m not a former band or choral director, I was their student. Everything I have in life I owe in part to teachers inspiring me to pursue a lifetime of making music, and music retailers getting me the right gear. From serving the Grammy organization as a governor and trustee, to recording and performing with rock stars I admired growing up, every amazing break I had started with my music teachers, and the music stores that helped me along the way. My strength in publishing has been identifying experts, providing a vehicle for them to share their expertise. I love working with TI:ME for that reason, and love publishing these magazines, where retailers and teachers alike can publish articles, and can we profile and honor them. I’ve personally experienced the impact music has on a person’s life.”

The magazines will continue uninterrupted, with artistpro retaining the same editorial, art, sales, and fulfillment services that have long produced the publications.

All publications will continue at their URLs of:

artistpro, LLC can be reached at

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