“Hofman Music Celebrate 50 Years of Service"

Staff Report. The Times, 12 Mar. 2008.

The journey of Hofman Music began with the vision of Ted Hoffmann's brother, Lindy, back in 1958. Along with partner Bill Martin, Lindy Hoffmann started the business at its first site in Thibodaux. Because Martin and Lindy Hoffmann were both school teachers, the early Hofman Music store was only open part-time from 4:30-6 in the afternoon.

As the store's popularity grew, customers would come to Martin's home, which was next door to the store, and ask his wife to open the business. With demand increasing, Lindy asked Ted to lend a hand. "Lindy asked me if I would be interested in running the store for him because he was still teaching, and I said sure," said Ted Hoffmann. "I've been here ever since."

It was a perfect fit. Ted Hoffmann not only had a knack for running the family business, but also a lifelong passion for music. "My brother played in big bands and when I was a little boy, my mother and father would take me to the dances to listen to him," he said. "I guess that's how my interest in music began." Ted Hoffmann's love for the art directly translates into his commitment to music in his community. He has served as director of the Bayou Community Band in Thibodaux for 22 years. Although two years ago Ted Hoffmann said he would retire and turn the business over to his son Scott, he's still around. Scott Hoffmann is now a joint owner in the business.

Currently, Hofman Music offers local schoolchildren free aptitude testing to find which instruments students are best suited for. "We not only sell instruments, but we promote music," Hoffmann said. "We're not only interested in selling, but we do a lot for the community." Ted Hoffman said not only schoolchildren, but anyone looking to immerse himself or herself in the joy of music are welcome at Hofman Music. "We see what their interest is and we can give them an aptitude test to see what best suits for them and we'll steer them to the teacher who arranges the lessons," Hoffmann said. Another way in which Hofman's promotes music in the community is through an award program for outstanding young musicians. If a student makes honor band for seven straight years, Hofman's recognizes that student with the Hofman Music Achievement Award, which is a $150 commemorative watch. "The award program has inspired some of the kids to really practice and get better and become better musicians, and that was the sole purpose for it," Hoffmann said.

This summer, Hofman's will be instituting a rock 'n' roll summer camp geared toward teaching children aspects of putting on a musical production. "We want to encourage them to do musical performances with a full band and create their own music," said Troy Percle, one of the store managers and drum instructors. "We are also going to show them how to manage a band and how to copyright their music." The summer camp is open to children ages 10 and up. Hofman's has also started a youth band that will play with the Bayou Community Band. "This is for students who excel in music and who are interested in doing a little extracurricular playing," Percle said.

For the past two years, Hofman's has worked hand in hand with several non-profit organizations trying to replace many of the musical instruments that were destroyed in the Ninth Ward area of New Orleans during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The first being Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, an organization geared toward providing musical instruments to the New Orleans Recovery School Districts. Most recently, McDonough #15 School in New Orleans received brand new instruments after its band director Kevin Harrison was named the Mr. Holland's Opus Teacher of the Year. The other is the Gibson Foundation, in conjunction with the All Congregations Together Foundation, which distributes and donates musical instruments to needy churches in the lower Ninth Ward area. Percle said Hofman's has distributed nearly 20 Hammond organs in the area.

Hofman's offers a lot of instruments and accessories from woodwinds and brass instruments, guitars and amplifiers, to public address systems, and each is selected for quality, Ted said. Some of the brands the store carries are Fender, Peavey, Gretsch, Pearl, Yamaha, and many others. Whether it's a drum set, a piano, a horn, guitar strings, or lessons you need, Hofman Music have it.

Ted said, "I find myself very fortunate because you have to like what you do. It's an ideal thing for me because I like music and having a music store and running it falls hand in hand."