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About Us

The Sweetwater Band & Orchestra Story

Our story begins in 1933, when Milt Mynett, who was known around town for his band and orchestra instrument expertise, decided to open his own music store. Many successful years passed for Mynett Music, first under Milt’s leadership and later under that of his son Chuck, carrying on the tradition of excellent repairs and service and providing quality rental instruments to students throughout the Northeast Indiana region.

Our business has become what it is today through the support and generosity of our loyal customers. Take Chuck Surack, an accomplished saxophone player and local entrepreneur who had long been a customer of Mynett Music. When it looked as though Mynett Music might close in 2016, the founder of Sweetwater, the largest online music retailer in the nation, stepped in. Chuck Surack recognized our commitment to providing the best experience to our customers, and his mission to always do the right thing for our community compelled him to keep the only locally owned band and orchestra retailer running.

In June of 2021, Mynett Music became Sweetwater Band & Orchestra. This change brought about a move to Sweetwater’s main campus to better serve the local music community and to support music education in the Fort Wayne area and beyond. The new location brought about a dramatically larger selection of instruments and accessories, an expanded service-and-repair department, one-of-a-kind demo rooms with acoustic enhancement, and easy access to Sweetwater’s Academy for private lessons along with all the amenities of the Sweetwater campus.

Giving Back

The staff at Sweetwater Band & Orchestra understand the value of music education, and we aim to ensure that all students have an opportunity to participate in school music programs. Today we serve over 60 area schools, helping out with marching band and jazz band invitationals and bringing in guest clinicians for middle school, high school, and university students. We also support programs such as b Instrumental, a local initiative to get band and orchestra instruments in the hands of more local students, and Little Kids Rock, a US charity devoted to restoring, expanding, and innovating school music programs across the country.

FWCS Foundation B-Intrumental logo
Litte Kids Rock logo

Meet Our Talented and Dedicated Staff

Terry FisherEducational Specialist

Terry Fisher

Terry has over 31 years of music education experience. He performs regularly with the New Millennium Jazz Orchestra, Old Crown Brass Band, and several other brass ensembles in the area. Terry earned degrees from Ball State University (BME) and Bowling Green State University (master’s in music).

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Jesse EvansEducational Service Representative

Jesse Evans

Before coming to Sweetwater Band & Orchestra, Jesse taught music for 12 years as a band, orchestra, percussion, and guitar instructor. He received his bachelor of music education from Valparaiso University and his M.Mus.Ed from Boston University. Jesse studied saxophone with Stacy Maugans and loves to play guitar as well as various other woodwinds in his Irish rock band.

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Pat NashHead Repair Technician/Woodwind Specialist

Patrick Nash

Pat is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and a trumpet player. He has been working at Sweetwater Band & Orchestra (formerly Mynett Music) since 1983 and is well respected by professional musicians throughout the Fort Wayne area.

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Deb LahrRepair Technician/Brass Specialist

Deb Lahr

Deb is a graduate of the Red Wing band instrument repair program at Minnesota State College and an Iowa native. She has been with Sweetwater Band & Orchestra (formerly Mynett Music) since 1991. Deb loves to work on all brass instruments, especially tubas.

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Tammy SilowskyRepair Technician/Strings Specialist

Tammy Silowsky

Tammy is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she learned violin making, restoration, and repair. She received additional training and experience with Wetzel Violins in Evansville before setting up shop in Fort Wayne. She has a passion for violin restoration and loves to encourage young musicians to learn to care for their instruments. Tammy plays violin and cello and enjoys collecting unusual and unique instruments.

Email Tammy