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/Fretted Instrument Technician

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/Sales

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

Marilyn Creamer (Flute)
Assistant Sheet Music Manager/Sales

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

Alan “Big Al” Schechner (Drums)
Sales/Rental Contract Processing

Andrei Gorchov (Flute)
Sales (Flute Sales Extraordinaire)

Jack Ketcham (Guitar)
Sales/Fretted Instruments, Brass & Woodwind Apprentice

Joanna Hansen (Clarinet)

Ivan “El Supremo” Rondon (Clarinet, Flute, Voice)
Shop Manager/Brass & Woodwind Technician

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

Kevin “Moneyball” Hansen (Clarinet)
Back Office Support

Avery Okamura (Guitar)
Sales/Fretted Instrument Apprentice

Brendan Wilhelmsen (Trumpet)
Sales/Brass & Woodwind Apprentice

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