William Knaus opened the doors to their Eugene-based instrument repair shop on March 15, 1987. At the time they were one of six area sops, but as the decades have passed, Pacific Winds Music remains as the only one of the original six still in business, thanks in no small part to the Knaus' ability to adapt and expand by adding reeds, print music and lesson books, accessories, and a wide selection of ukuleles--not to mention free uke lessons for beginners.
Today, band instruments and ukuleles share space and success at Pacific Winds Music. In 2004, Willie decided to add ukuleles to his school music business. Starting small, sales have grown ever since, even during the recession, and the display now includes more than 60 ukuleles representing noted brands like Kamaka, Kanile'a, KoAloha, LoPrinzi, Ohana, Kala, Kamoa, Cordoba, Moku, Islander, Magic Fluke . Local and nationally known ukulele artists present workshops and classes in the store. As a part of its commitment to music education, Pacific Winds Music maintains a classroom set of 15 ukuleles for school and community use, free of charge.
Pacific Winds Music continues to sponsor community music making groups and school music programs. Partners in music include Eugene Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene Symphonic Band, Springfield Community Band, City of Eugene Washburne Summer Park Series, One More Time Marching Band, Uketoberfest, and New Horizons Band.
Meet Our Team
Willie has the gift of hospitality, so creating a sense of community among the staff and customers at Pacific Winds Music is one of his strengths.
Willie graduated with an education degree from Mayville State College and taught physical education in Australia for 2 years. That’s where he met his lovely wife! On the weekends, you can find him on the golf course, singing in the church choir, tending to the garden, or enjoying time with his grandchildren.
Pat has worked in the business on and off since the early days, and joined the staff full time in 2011. She has been a music educator in the public schools, choral conductor, choreographer, and musical theater director. At the store, she heads up the ukulele department, and is enjoying learning to play ukulele. Since Coral retired she has taken on the job of business manager.
She also plays golf, gardens, quilts, and plays with grandsons.
Chris is a gear head with an interest in old cars and anything trumpet. He grew up in Springfield and attended the University of Oregon. He comes to Pacific Winds Music after a long and successful career as a music teacher in the Fern Ridge School District. He presently plays solo cornet in the Oregon Brass Society and is a member of the Central Lutheran Brass Quintet. He brings much experience as a teacher and trumpet player to his work at the store.
Brittany has just moved from Minneapolis and we are happy to have her join our team. When she is not working at Pacific Winds Music, she is a singer (soprano) and has a voice studio. She hasn't gotten used to the rain yet, so come in and help her feel welcome.
Tim never met a fish he didn’t like, or want to catch…when he’s not working, of course. At Pacific Winds, he uses his considerable experience and training to tame the wild instruments that cross his desk. He graduated from Renton Technical in 1983 and has worked in Tacoma and Reno before joining Pacific Winds Music in 2005.
Richard keeps his woodwind chops up playing in the Swing Shift Big Band, Scrambled Ape, and the Springfield Community Band. He attended Western Iowa Tech in Band Instrument Repair and has been at Pacific Winds since 2001.
Aaron aka "Ren", started the band repair trade with an intensive 2 1/2 year program at Western Iowa Technical College. 11 years later with 7 summers under his belt, he is armed with hammers and screwdrivers and a vat of knowledge to make your instrument hum! When not banging dents and burning pads he spends his time with his rockin' daughter, riding his bike, playing chess, and finding ways to be a better Earth Citizen.