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MILWAUKEE--6/26/19--Hal Leonard, the world's largest publisher of music performance and instructional materials, has announced that Keith Mardak is stepping down as its CEO and Larry Morton will become President and CEO. Keith will remain with Hal Leonard as Chairman of the Board and act in a consultant role for the foreseeable future. Mardak got his start in the music industry as an accordion and organ teacher. He worked in music retail and then entered the world of publishing in 1965 when his boss Zeb Billings, who was a creative, entrepreneurial organ salesman, had him write instructional manuals for the biggest organ manufacturers of the day. In 1970, Mardak left Billings and co-founded Learning Unlimited which launched innovative cassette band and guitar courses. He first started working with Hal Leonard in 1970 with the Learning Unlimited joint venture which then revitalized Hal Leonard's hold on the lucrative organ bench pack business. Hal Leonard annual sales at that time were $960K. In just two years, the sales of Learning Unlimited products outsold the rest of the offerings from Hal Leonard. Negotiations with the Hal Leonard ownership ensued, and Mardak and the rest of the Learning Unlimited owners became minority shareholders in the Hal Leonard Publishing/Pointer System companies. Mardak led the company through extensive growth in the 1970s and by the end of the decade, Mardak became Executive Vice President of Hal Leonard. In 1985, Mardak purchased the company --whose annual sales were now at $16 million-- and he has been its CEO ever since. Under Mardak's leadership, the company has become a world-wide leader in educational methods and repertoire. In addition to its own publishing of iconic methods such as the Hal Leonard Guitar Method and Essential Elements Band and Strings Methods; publishing agreements with the biggest names in music, including the Beatles, Disney, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and hundreds more; acquisitions of many print and digital companies including G. Schirmer, Rubank, WIllis Piano, Shawnee Press, Music Sales, Noteflight, and Groove3; and distribution deals with many other publishers and musical gear producers, Hal Leonard sales have grown to over $250 million. In addition, the company has expanded around the world with offices in Australia, England, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and more. The company now has nearly 800 employees. Morton joined Hal Leonard in 1990 and quickly worked his way up to National Sales Manager then Vice President of Sales. Mardak appointed Morton as President of Hal Leonard in 1999. When Mardak started thinking about his estate planning and how to ensure the long-term strength, stability, and growth of Hal Leonard, he began looking at potential investors to buy the business. In 2016, after years of research and discussions, Hal Leonard announced that private investment firm Seidler Equity Partners had acquired a majority interest in the company. As part of that agreement, Keith stayed on for three years to help with the transition. Mardak stated, "I am proud of the work I've done with Hal Leonard and happy that I've been able to spend the majority of my days working in the music industry. Over the years I've had the honor of working with amazing people with the common goal of sharing the joy of making music. It doesn't get any better than that." The new roles for both Mardak and Morton take effect August 1.
Licensing Publishers Hal Leonard proudly represents the following catalogs in print and digital media. For specific publishing names and artists, skip to the Alphabetical Listing. ASSOCIATED PUBLISHERS Acuff-Rose Addax Adria K Almo Amerita Arc Atlantic Atlas Barton Bicycle Big Deal Black Bull Black River Blue Mountain BMG BMG Blue BMG Bumblebee BMG Firefly BMG Gold BMG Monarch BMG Platinum BMG Rights Management BMG Ruby BMG Sapphire Bruin Bug Can't Stop Careers Chariscourt Cherio Cherry Lane Chrysalis Colgems EMI Combine Concord Conrad Creeping Death Criterion Cross Keys Dixie Stars Downtown Dwarf E.B. Marks (educational titles) E.H. Morris E.O. Smith Eastman Emerald Forest EMI April EMI Blackwood Ensign Entertainment Co. Evergreen Experience Hendrix Famous Fantasy Fox Film Frank Music Corp. Gear Publishing Co. Gene Autry Music Group Genevieve Gibb Brothers Gimbel Gladys Glocca Morra Golden West Melodies Gone Gator Goodman Group Grey Dog Haapala Harrisongs Harwin HoriPro Ice Nine Imagem Irving Jewel Jobete Jondora Jowcol Kobalt Larry Spier Lee Mendelson Film Lehsem Leiber & Stoller Lenono Llee Magic Dog Malaco MCA Melody Ranch Memory Lane MGB Milene MJQ Moebetoblame Mood Morley Mosaic Mowgli MPCA MPL Communications Music & Media International Music Sales New Hidden Valley Northridge Notable Ole Media Ole Red Cape Orpheum Painted Desert Paramount Pastorius Peer International Peermusic Penny Farthing Pic Pixar PolyGram Prestige Primary Wave Princess PSO Limited Pulse Pure Songs Quartet Raleigh Ray Vaughan Music Razor & Tie Really Useful Group Regatta Regent Reservoir Media Ridgeway Rilting Rondor Rytvoc S.A. Music Sailor Scarsdale Screen Gems EMI Seven Summits Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Shawnee Press Silva Sixteen Stars Skidmore Songs Songs of Universal Sony/ATV Harmony Sony/ATV Melody Sony/ATV Music Publishing Sony/ATV Songs Sony/ATV Tunes Southern Music Special Rider Spirit Stage Three Stevie Ray Songs Straitjacket Sudgee 2 Sunflower Sy Vy Tauripin Tunes TCF Thelonious Music Corp. Touchstone Tree Trio Ultra Unison Universal Music - Careers Universal Music - MGB Songs Universal Music - Z Songs Universal Music - Z Tunes Universal Music Corp. Vector Velvet Apple Volta Walt Disney Warock Western Williamson Willis Windswept Wonderland Words West Zomba WRITERS / ARTISTS / SHOWS Addams Family Adler, Richard / Ross, Jerry Arlen, Harold Autry, Gene Bacharach, Burt Band's Visit, The Beatles Bee Gees Berlin, Irving Bock, Jerry/ Harnick, Sheldon Boston Boublil, Alain Brown, Jason Robert Cash, Johnny Clapton, Eric Coleman, Cy Coltrane, John Damn Yankees David, Hal Dear Evan Hansen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Dylan, Bob Fain, Sammy Full Monty, The Gershwin, George Grateful Dead Greatest Showman, The Guaraldi, Vince Hairspray Harrison, George Hendrix, Jimi Johnson, Eric Kenny G King's Singers, The Knopfler, Mark Lennon, John Les Miserables Lloyd Webber, Andrew Mancini, Henry Marley, Bob Matthews, Dave McCartney, Paul McDonald, Michael Metallica Miller, Steve Miss Saigon Modern Jazz Quartet Monk, Thelonious Motown Records Mraz, Jason Orbison, Roy Parton, Dolly Pastorius, Jaco Songs from "Peanuts" Petty, Tom Phish Presley, Elvis Red Hot Chili Peppers Rodgers, Richard / Hammerstein II, Oscar Schonberg, Claude-Michel Schwartz, Stephen Seger, Bob Simon, Paul Sondheim, Stephen Starr, Ringo Stills, Stephen Sting / Police, The Vai, Steve Vaughan, Stevie Ray Village People, The Weezer Wicked Willson, Meredith Wonder, Stevie Yazbek, David Young, Neil