Troll Music Gets a New Owner
If you’ve wandered into Troll Music anytime over the last 7-8 years, it’s a good bet that you have met Billy Day. A local keyboard wizard and musical aficionado, he has served the store in several capacities over the years and started as a part-timer. It wasn’t long after Billy came onboard that the store changed hands and the new owner promoted him to store Manager. Since those early days, Billy has become a point of contact and a trusted advisor for nearly every professional and aspiring musician in the area. But who is Billy Day? Where did he come from, and how did he get here? Let’s turn the clock back to a cold, Indiana day in September of 1967.
As part of a musical family, Billy came into the world and basically crawled right over to the piano. His Father, a professional musician and avid songwriter, made sure that music was a constant in their home. His Mother, an accomplished vocalist, sang alongside his father in a very popular wedding band. One fateful evening, the band’s keyboard player came down with an injury and could not play his parts. Billy, at the ripe old age of 13, coyly volunteered to fill the spot. Not only did Billy fill the spot – he took the job! Thus, began a long run of regular pro gigs alongside his Mom and Dad.

By High School, Billy was eager to explore the new wave of 80’s music, so he joined forces with a few school mates and formed the now legendary super-group, Digital Hair. Valparaiso High School adopted them as their own and they played for several events. They have even returned to play at reunions. Following high school, Billy headed off for the American Conservatory of Music where he graduated in 1991 with a degree in Jazz Piano.

The next years were filled with trying times for Billy. He fell captive to drugs and alcohol, had a few startup businesses that failed, and a host of other things that kept him from his true love of music. On the road to recovery, while living in a Sarasota halfway home, Billy accepted a part time job at Troll Music where his love of music brought him back to life.

In the next few years, he became the keyboard player for the Lisa Ridings Band, RPM, Billy Rice and an arena rock tribute group called Maiden Cane. In addition, he also became the worship leader and recovery minister at First Christian Church of Venice. 

In the midst of the Great Pandemic of 2020, Billy became the owner of Troll Music. “Troll Music is near to my heart and becoming the owner was a decision that just made sense to me. It’s not about it being a great business opportunity, because it’s a tough business to be in. It’s about the musical community here in Venice, and the family that has grown up around me in my time at Troll Music. It’s where my heart is,” said Billy. There are great plans as Troll Music becomes the Troll Music Center and Music School with a new emphasis on promotion of music and musicians in the area. Billy will be available, as always, to guide you with your musical goals while exploring and implementing new ways for an independent music store to stay strong in today’s world.
A New Home for Troll

Troll Music is now the proud owner of the former A’s Rental building at 628 E Venice Ave. The new building is wide-open, with 4200 square feet of space. By way of comparison, the current Troll Music store is 1800 square feet and the lesson studio is 1200. “The new building will allow us to put lessons and retail in the same building, and this place is so big, we will have room for a stage which will be the performance and learning center,” said Lesson Program Manager, Cliff Randi.

“The new location is essentially being cleared and rebuilt from the inside out to be an extraordinary music center. We will have a very comfortable and attractive retail space, filled with all of the great products we currently carry. Plus, there will be room to add a few things like vintage vinyl records and unique instruments,” said store owner, Billy Day. “We will have 8-10 lesson rooms, all professionally sound proofed and adequately sized. Also, the lesson and performance centers will be separated from the retail store so teaching and events can occur beyond the store’s hours.”

Renovations on the new location are already underway but there is much to do. It’s still too early to make a call as to when the grand opening might be, but the excitement is already brewing. Prepare yourself as Troll Music becomes the Troll Music Center and Performance space. We’ll keep you posted!
Returning to Learning

When the COVID pandemic hit music lessons at Troll, we suffered along with everyone else. Now as restrictions are lifting, the love of learning about music in our community is returning.

In the last month students are returning, and we have three new teachers. The wonderful Kate Schwitz brings a youthful energy and high level of skill to piano teaching. The incredible Amber Williams shines with the ability to teach violin, piano, voice and flute. Lastly, the incomparable Abby Torres-Workinger doubles as a new store employee and a guitar and ukulele teacher.

At Troll Music, we have always believed that the key to providing a great lesson program is bringing on experienced, professional instructors who love teaching and excel at it. That is why we carefully interview and research all potential instructors, and even take a lesson or two ourselves just to make sure. We take great care with them and they take great care of our students.

Maybe you are trying out homeschooling and want to add music lessons to your curriculum. Maybe your student needs a little help with the instrument he or she is learning in school. Maybe you just always wanted to learn an instrument and have been putting it off.  We offer lessons in guitar, piano, voice, ukulele, drums, bass, banjo, all band and orchestral instruments, harp as well as general music and audio production. Maybe it’s time to stop tripping over that saxophone or guitar case and get in here for some lessons.    

The New Guitar on the Block
If you asked us what our top selling line is, we would have to say that the trophy goes to a little known, upstart company named Tagima. They arrived on the scene just before the 2019 holiday season and changed the retail rules in our humble store. When our rep, Lonnie, sauntered in touting a pristine, new Tagima acoustic, we proceeded with trepidation, but then we played it. It carried features found in much more expensive guitars like built in tuners and onboard electronics (so you can amplify it). It was made of wood blends that you would never find in a guitar in its price class. It played like a $4-500 guitar, but was priced at just $239. It spent all of two days on the shelf before it was bought up. We quickly got more, and to this day, they continue to be the fastest moving product in the store.

Then, Lonnie tempted us with one of Tagima’s electric Stratocaster copies. At the time, we were seeing a lull in electric guitar purchases. So, we initially refused his advances, but trooper that Lonnie is, he let us put one in the store. A regular customer came by the next day and played the Tagima. He gave it a rave review, comparing its play-ability to that of any Mexican-made Fender Strat, which retail for around $500. When we told him the Tagima Strat was only $219, he purchased it on the spot!
Tagima’s guitars are designed by world-famous, Brazilian luthier Marcio Zaganin. The models that we carry are designed in Brazil and manufactured in China. There are many special-order models that are both designed and manufactured in Brazil. Come by the store and check out the affordable, impressive line of Tagima acoustics and electrics. Your next guitar could be waiting here for you!