Every member of the Midbell Music team has a passion for music – both in our careers and our extracurricular activities. We understand the needs of musicians, instructors, students and families and provide unparalleled service for musicians and their instruments. Through our active involvement in the Siouxland community, Ray's Midbell Music has become a trusted friend, partner, and resource in the local music scene.   



About Mike: After a four year tour with the Strategic Air Command Band, Mike went on to the University of Northern Iowa, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Mike began working at the Storm Lake Midbell, managing the repair department for 15 years before being moved to his Educational Service Representative position. After the closing of the Storm Lake Midbell, Mike transferred to our Sioux City store and continues as an Educational Service Rep serving Storm Lake and surrounding areas with weekly service calls. Mike continues to remain active as a musician performing with a wide variety of local and regional ensembles.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext. 23 | Email:

About Chris: Chris Sawyer has been an Educational Service Representative at Ray's Midbell Music since 2007. With 5 years of band instructing experience, a degree in music education and years of experience as an accomplished brass player, Chris is perfectly suited to work closely with music educators throughout Siouxland and to act as a valued resource for the schools he serves. Chris works closely with schools in western Iowa, such as Le Mars and Sioux Center, eastern Nebraska, including Wayne and Pender, and southeast South Dakota, in Yankton, Vermillion and other nearby towns. A native of Sioux City and Morningside College graduate, Chris and his wife Kara are the proud parents of Hannah, Nicolas, and Maddalynne. When he isn't working or playing with the kids, Chris spends time perfecting his grilling and barbecuing skills.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext. 25 | Email:

About Jason: Jason Kramper has had a lifelong love for all kinds of music, and played alto saxophone all throughout high school and college. While in high school band, Jason performed with various concert, marching and pep bands throughout his schooling and attended honor bands and camps to further his musical experience. Jason started his retail sales & service career in 1999 in home improvement, catering to the needs of the do-it-yourself individual and was focused on developing strong relationships with construction contractors. Jason was known for his expert knowledge and had good relationships with many customers who would ask specifically for him. Jason has held management positions throughout his career and most recently was the Assistant Store Manager at Walmart, overseeing every facet and detail of the business. Jason is no stranger to working hard to deliver excellent service. Jason has been with Ray's Midbell since April '16, and has already established himself as a favorite with band and orchestra customers. He's a real stand-out for going above and beyond to serve educators, parents, and students. Jason attended college in Dublin, Ireland and has a Bachelor's degree in Theology. Jason grew up on a farm in Dakota City, NE and lived in the area most of his life. He now lives in Sioux City with his wife Jennifer and three children. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing saxophone, cars, and traveling.



Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext. 22 | Email:

About Josh: Josh Tackett has been serving the customers of Midbell Music since 2002. In addition to assisting in sales and rentals at our Sioux City store, Josh serves as an Educational Service Representative in local schools and handles our eBay sales activities. He has a degree in Commercial Music & Recording from Missouri Western State College. Josh currently is a piano player with his worship band at church and his musical background also includes trumpet and other brass instruments, bass guitar and sound board work. Away from work Josh enjoys cooking and spending time with his wife and two children. 


About Phil: Phil Carlin provides sales and customer assistance, as well as guitar repair work at Ray's Midbell Music. Phil's been a part of the Midbell team since 2007. His career highlights also include repair shop ownership, guitar manufacturer sales rep, and 15 years as a guitar teacher. Phil has played in local bands Stinger, Leafy Spurge, Family, Benny Barnes & Tradition, Celebrate, as well as others - but his nickname in local music circles is "Phil-in," so you never know what band he might show up with. Phil's been building his own guitars for nearly 40 years, enjoys baseball almost as much as guitar playing and also spends time with son Jonathan, daughter Brittani and pursuing his hobbies of art, drawing, sports and songwriting.


About Logan: Logan has been providing sales help and customer service with Ray's Midbell Music since 2013, and merchandising responsibilities since 2015. He specializes in guitars, basses, percussion, and pro audio. Outside of Midbell, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jessica and son Carson. Logan also participates in the Siouxland music scene as one of the guitarists/vocalists for local band Calling Grace.



Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext. 11 | Email:

About Michael: Michael is a graduate of Briar Cliff University with a degree in Music and Art. Michael participated in the jazz ensemble on tenor saxophone, sang in the Briar Cliff Chamber Choir and Cliff Singers and studied piano with Dr. Richard Steinbach and voice with Mrs. Shannon Salyards-Burton. In his spare time, Michael enjoys hiking and spending time with his husband and two dogs, Elsie and Benny.



Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 19 | Email:

About Whitney: Whitney Turner is the Service Manager at Midbell Music. She has a degree in Band Instrument Repair and has intermediate playing proficiency on guitar and all wind instruments. Whitney's been a part of the organization since 2001 and uses her professional training and personal playing experience to provide Midbell and our customers with valuable service. Whitney has a passion for figuring out how things work and solving mechanical issues, which has proven to be an asset in the field of repair. She is a member of the National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians and enjoys staying knowledgeable on the latest techniques available. A native of Corinth, Mississippi, Whitney enjoys many hobbies including biking, hiking, snowshoeing, disc golf, geocaching, and kayaking.


About Jessica: Jessica Gillespie has been a Band Instrument Repair Technician at Ray's Midbell Music since 2001, and is technically the senior member of the shop staff (by 2 weeks over Whitney). She's developed as a technician and gained tons of experience here at Midbell over her nearly 2 decades of working here. A native of Aurelia, IA, she earned her AAS degree in Band Instrument Repair Technology from Western Iowa Tech. Although starting on clarinet as a child, her playing background resided mostly in low woodwinds with bass clarinet and baritone saxophone. However, her attention to detail drove her to excel in the meticulous repairing of flutes. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys reading, golfing, fishing, and spending time with her family, friends, and new husband, Patrick.


About Blair: Blair Dake has been a Midbell Music team member since 2007. She has an AAS degree in Band Instrument Repair Technology from Western Iowa Tech, and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Iowa's Northwestern College. She has traveled with the Northwestern Symphonic Band to Cuba to perform emergency repairs for the college band as well as the Cuban National Band. Blair's musical focus is on the flute and voice, but she has also been known to dabble with the ukulele and concertina. She performs with the Central Baptist worship band on occasion. Among Blair's outside interests are reading and writing. She is also known for making crocheted figures for her friends and family.


About Kaiti: Kaitlin Koel puts her AAS Degree in Band Instrument Repair Technology from Western Iowa Tech to good use every day, as a Ray's Midbell Music Band Instrument Repair Technician. She continues her training as a member of the National Association of band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT). Kaiti grew up in Rock Rapids, Iowa and has been a part of the Midbell family since 2009. Her musical performance skills include guitar, bass, and piano. She regularly participates in her church music group and attends jam sessions with friends. In her spare time she enjoys running, reading, gaming, creating costumes, and is currently training to become a modern shieldmaiden.


About Ronja: Ronja Jung has been a band and orchestra technician at Ray's Midbell Music since 2014. She holds an AAS degree in Band Instrument Repair from Western Iowa Tech, as well as a Bachelor of Music in Performance and Master of Music Studies degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Her primary instruments are the oboe and violin. She enjoys performing with the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra and various other community groups. She is an active member of the National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT). In her free time, Ronja can be found traveling, spelunking, or enjoying her aquarium hobby.


About Justin: Originally from Sioux Rapids, Iowa, Justin holds an AAS degree from Western Iowa Tech in Band Instrument Repair Technology, and is an active member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT). Justin plays the saxophone, on which he performs locally at churches and with bands across the area. His leisurely activities include playing the accordion, fixing computers, baking, and spending time with friends and family.


About Paul: Paul is currently working in our repair shop part time while attending classes to earn his AAS degree in Band Instrument Repair Technology from Western Iowa Tech. He already holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR. He taught 6-12 band for 3 years in Arkansas before pursuing the repair degree. His primary instrument is the trombone, but he enjoys all brass instruments. His extensive history in construction helping out with the family business has served him well while joining the world of music and broken things. In his free time, Paul enjoys traveling with his wife and photography.



Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 17 | Email:

About Jane: Jane has been with Midbell since November 2013. She came to us with over 30 years of Accounting and Taxation experience. Jane holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta and earned a Master of Science in Business Administrative Sciences at Iowa State. Jane was an active band member through high school, playing clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe & bassoon. She also sang in various choirs throughout her undergraduate years. Jane and her husband Steve have two grown children who were both active in local school bands. She was a consumer at Midbell for many years before she became an employee. In her spare time, Jane and Steve enjoy spending time with the local corvette club and traveling with friends and family.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 15 | Email:

About Brenda: Brenda Smith has handled Accounts Receivable for Midbell Music since 2010. She received her training at Spencer School of Business and is a native of Salix, Iowa. Brenda's music background includes clarinet and piano, high school jazz and concert bands. Outside of work, Brenda enjoys walking with her dog & being with her 2 sons as much as she can.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 16 | Email:

About Karen: Karen Guntren has been a full-time part of the Midbell Music organization since 1995. As part owner of the business, she works in the accounting and payables department. Her musical background includes the piano and flute. Married to Ray, Karen has three children (Mike, Alissa & Jeff), five granddaughters (Sophia, Lily, Holly, Guila & Francesca) and a Havanese dog named Bella. In addition to family activities, Karen enjoys reading and participating in her book club.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 13 | Email:

About Tim: Tim Barrett has been with Midbell since the turn of the century and handles the company's marketing and internet duties. In his Internet & Marketing Manager role, Tim oversees the company website, marketing and advertising. Throughout the year, Tim also assists in rentals, sales, and customer support. He holds a degree in Business Marketing Management from WITCC and has a music background that includes playing the clarinet, saxophone and tuba. Tim has performed with Tuba Christmas in both Sioux City, IA and Omaha, NE and enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Tim's spare time interests include hockey, photography and home improvement. 


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 18 | Email:

About Cory: Cory Birch has been with Midbell since 2010 and is involved in our warehouse and purchasing/receiving departments as well as teaching drum set lessons. Cory has his bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University in Music Merchandising and is an accomplished percussionist. Much of Cory's musical interest comes from his father Bob Birch, who has played bass in many local bands. Cory has performed with multiple programs while in school and currently plays with Sioux City groups Canadian Stranger, Acoustic Duo Bankey + Birch, as well as Sioux Falls music group, Massive Brass Attack.  Cory's spare time interests include listening to music, watching Netflix, and playing video games.



About Noah: Noah is the newest member of the Midbell team and is involved in our warehouse and Ebay operations.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 20 | Email:

About Mike: Mike Guntren serves as President of Ray's Midbell Music. A native of Sioux City, Mike has worked at Midbell since the late 90s and holds a degree in music from Morningside College. He got his start at Midbell as an Educational Service Representative in 1997, assumed General Manager duties in 2003, and became President in 2016. Mike is married to LeAnn and they have 3 daughters; Sophia, Lily and Holly. He enjoys cycling, fishing, playing music and spending time with his family.


Phone: (712) 274-4600 ext . 14 | Email:

About Ray: Ray got his start in his hometown Storm Lake store as an apprentice technician, before advancing to the Branch Manager position when the new Sioux City store opened in 1972. Ray has served as an executive, workshop presenter and panelist for leading music organizations, such as the NAMM, NASMD, and IASMD.Ray's enjoyed playing guitar and bass guitar in numerous Siouxland groups over the years, spanning the musical spectrum from jazz, big band, and orchestras, to church ensembles and rock & roll duos. Karen is Ray's wife and business partner. They have 3 children and 5 granddaughters.