By Danielle Horvath
Few would guess that Frankfort would be home to what is most likely Northern Michigans most international music store: Miranda Music.
Thats based on the experience of its owners: Bogar Guzman and his wife Elizabeth Shrake.
Bogar is an internationally-known musician, conductor, professional oboe and English horn player, while Elizabeth is a professional singer, choral conductor and music educator with a degree from DePaul University.
Their combined music experiences have taken them from Guzmans native Venezuela where he was a founding member of the Venezuelan Youth Symphony Orchestra to touring Europe and playing professionally with the Lyric Opera in Chicago, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conductor Leonard Bernstein, and opera greats Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
A NEW HOME
The couple met in Key West during a performance in 2002 where he was performing on oboe and she on viola.
They settled in Frankfort seven years ago to be closer to Shrakes parents. With no music store in town, it was a natural progression for them to open one. Named after their daughter, Miranda Music opened in 2005 when the pair began offering music lessons, piano tuning, instrument sales and repair. Theyve seen their business grow each year and recently moved to a larger location.
With the ability to teach just about every instrument, including piano, violin, guitar, bass, even didgeridoo they offer lessons to over 50 students with the hope that some will become professional musicians.
Music is our life, said Guzman. We enjoy seeing our students grow and our customers enjoying their instruments and hope they inspire others to do the same.
Guzman plays no less than 27 instruments, including guitar and any wind instrument, and has done repairs on vintage instruments, including an 1860 and 1940 Martin guitar.
They sell over 30 different instruments, including Martin and Fender guitars, specialty hard-body Giannini guitars made in Brazil, Marigauz oboes, English horns, bassoons, clarinets, flutes, Palatino violins, violas, cellos and basses, brasses, percussion, printed music, tools and accessories.
I can set up any instrument so it is ready to play, Guzman said, adding that for every instrument sold, the store offers a complimentary set-up and free first class for adults, two classes for children under 14, and three classes for children under nine.
Oozing with a passion for music, the couple have quickly earned a loyal customer base by bringing high quality, professional musical expertise to the area. They are active in the community, performing for the Wild Rose Society, and are the driving force behind two successful summer music benefits. The all-day free events, Hot Fun in the Summertime in 2009 and this years Betsie Bay Boogie Days raise awareness of autism.
With a clientele that reaches across the country, the business recently relocated to larger quarters at 1286 Frankfort Hwy., Suite 2, at the top of the hill by the gateway arch in Frankfort. The new space allows more room for private lessons, repair and their ever-increasing line of quality instruments. Check them out online at mirandamusiconline.com, or at 231-352-9988.