About Us

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In early 1976, Michael Mitchell opened the doors to The Magic Flute for the first time at its original location by Lococo’s Pizzaria and Scotty’s Market in Terra Linda.  In 1978, the store moved to the Northgate One shopping center, and there it thrived, ultimately growing to serve thousands of musicians through its sales, rentals, and service of a wide range of instruments.  The store also developed what continues to be the largest selection of printed music in the Bay Area.  Michael Mitchell created an enduring and cherished community institution.

On April 1st, 2010, Michael Mitchell turned the keys to the store over to Christian Dean, a long-time member of The Magic Flute Family.  Christian started at the store as a high school student in 1980, and over the years he performed a variety of functions, including guitar repairman and manager.  While providing strategic leadership to an excellent staff, Christian continues to repair guitars at the store.

Today, The Magic Flute has a staff of more than a dozen individuals, some of whom have been with the store for decades, and all of whom are dedicated to the life of music:

“Professor” Christian Dean (Guitar, Loud Voice)
Owner/Guitar Repair

Loren “Spike” Klein (Drums)
General Manager (Bookkeeping, Accounts Receivable/Payable, Ordering)

Will Meyer (Voice, Guitar, Drums)
Sales Manager

“Dame” Linda Paplow (Violin, Voice, Acting)
Sheet Music Manager

Michael “The Fiend” Creamer (Guitar)
Assistant Manager, Sales

Marilyn Creamer (Flute)
Sheet Music, Sales

“Funky” Joe Nemzer (Bass)
Shipping/Receiving, Sales

Alan “Big Al” Schechner (Drums)

Andrei Gorchov (Flute)
Sales (Flute Sales Extraordinaire)

Jack Ketcham (Guitar)
Sales/Shop Assistant

Patrick Kelly (Bass, Viola)

Joanna Hansen (Clarinet)

Ivan “El Supremo” Rondon (Flute)
Brass & Woodwind Repair

Mark “Big Noise” Culbertson (Bass)
Orchestral Strings Repair

Kevin “Moneyball” Hansen (Clarinet)
Back Office Support

Avery Okamura (Guitar)

Elke “The Elke” Dean (Harmonica)
Seasonal Decorating/Displays