By Chris Conroy
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager
When a kid decides to learn an instrument and be in band there is a rite of passage. That first trip to the local music store is one that parents and students will never forget. It's filled with much hope and excitement. Everyone remembers the music store where they got their first instrument.
Growing up as a band kid in a small Florida town, that experience meant so much to me, that I eventually worked at Playground Music Center in Fort Walton Beach for the Rockwell family. Fast forward to modern day and my family is getting used to a new town. I passed a place called Shivelbine's Music on Broadway in Cape Girardeau. I listened to my inner band kid and went in. The memories came rushing back. There were band instruments everywhere and I could tell right away that I was in a place where thousands had that rite of passage.
This week The Heartland lost a legend. Leland "Freck" Shivelbine was born in Cape Girardeau in 1926. He attended Cape Central and later Southeast Missouri State University. Shivelbine's Music has been an anchor in downtown Cape Girardeau since 1947 when it began as M & S Music. On July 1, 1949, the store became Shivelbine's Music when, at age 23, Freck went into business with his father, William. A. Shivelbine.
Shivelbine's Music has provided affordable musical instruments to more than 100 schools each year in Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Northeast Arkansas. They've given that right of passage and helped enrich the musical lives of thousands of students over the past 70 years. So as the family lays Freck Shivelbine to rest let's celebrate his life. The impact he made on music education in the Heartland and beyond is truly an example of what it means to make this A Better Heartland.