Former journalist, owner of Monroe music store, dies

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WESTPORT – Elizabeth Count Reisman, award-winning former journalist and owner of the Creative Music Center in Monroe, died on Wednesday at the age of 55.

She was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in August 2016, according to her husband, Michael Reisman.

Her friends and family remembered her as a tireless supporter of music education who supported a litany of local organizations and music groups, in addition to offering scholarships to local youth for classes and music. rental of instruments.

“Her personality is such that she would walk into a room and just light up that room,” said Kate Rich, who now runs the store. “There was a luminosity and a frankness about her that made her very accessible.”


Reisman has served on the boards of the National Association of School Music Dealers and the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), which ranked the Creative Music Center among its list of the top 100 nationwide music dealers in during seven of the last eight years. .

Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, said Reisman’s dedication to music education went beyond the Monroe area, attending the group’s “fly-in” in Washington, DC, to make pressure on lawmakers to commit more federal funds to music education.

“As a community music store, it really set the tone for what a local business could be,” Lamond said.

Rick Sadlon, director of music at Darien Public Schools, said Reisman received the Connecticut Arts Administrators Association Advocacy Award for his “exemplary service to the music education community.”

“We have always believed that she was a strong advocate for us and that she was a member of our team to promote music education across our state,” Sadlon said. “She will be sadly missed by many of us.”

Prior to running the Route 25 music store in Monroe, Reisman worked as a reporter, initially reporting on the sports industry for publications such as The Sporting News and The National Sports Daily.

She went on to work for Forbes and Smart Money magazines, where she won three National Magazine Awards, and Golf Digest, where she led the launch of Golf Digest Women and served as its editor.

Reisman left journalism in 2002 to return to his first love – music – after playing flute with the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Bay Area Wind Symphony while growing up in California.

As her husband, Michael, recalled Thursday, their daughter, Samantha, was taking piano lessons at Monroe when they learned the store would close in 2002.

“About an hour later (Elizabeth) said ‘You know what? I think we should buy the store, ”Michael said. “She was a very determined woman when she made a decision on something.”

Under Reisman’s ownership, the store has grown from a 500 square foot space at the back of a shopping complex to a new 5,000 square foot building that now has 10 studios and dozens of employees.

Rich said Reisman was a dear friend besides being his boss.

“I cannot express my gratitude to you for having had the chance to have our time together,” she said.

Michael Reisman echoed the sentiment.

“It’s a real loss, but she’s had a busy life in 55 years,” he said.


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