A Different Kind of Beginning

The year was 1945. World War II was near its end, but still raging in Europe and in the Pacific. A couple of young music educators and parents, upon the urging of their famous mentor, Peter Dykema, Professor and Chair of Music at Columbia University Teachers College, decided to turn their talents toward making instruments for music education in elementary schools.

Sylvia and Mack Perry named their fledgling business "Peripole." Their first product was their signature "Tymptone" drum which was made in the living room of their apartment in Brooklyn, NY, from recycled and salvaged materials. No new materials were available because of the war effort, to which the entire country and its resources were marshalled. Each drum was hand-painted by Sylvia with small figurines.

The Perrys were soon delighted to receive an order from the famous Macy's department store in New York City, and being the "cottage" industry that they were, they had no choice but to deliver the order in the only freight carrier available to them — a baby carriage.

The years that followed saw Sylvia and Mack take Peripole out of their living room and into a storefront building. There was no one else making musical instruments for general music education at the time, and the Perrys saw rapid growth in Peripole. They took over the store next door, then the one next to that, and finally moved into a commercial factory building.

In the early 1960s, established leaders in their field, the Perrys forged an alliance with the Orff-Schulwerk movement in Europe and made history by becoming the first company to import Orff instruments into the United States for sale to schools. The Perrys were also charter members of AOSA. In 1974, after launching two famous brands of Orff instruments in the United States, the Perrys made a new partnership with the Bergerault company in France, having finally found a company whose Orff instrument quality matched their own high standards of manufacture.

In 1992 company founder, Sylvia Perry, seven years after Mack’s death, moved to Salem, Oregon, to join forces with her son, now company president, Dr. Andrew Perry, then a practicing physician, who had been involved with the company and music education throughout his life. Andrew welcomed the return of the company into his life and, together with the added partnership of the Bergerault Company, Peripole-Bergerault was established in Salem.

Since 1992 the following keynote events have occurred:

  • Continued enhancements to the already top quality of Bergerault® Orff instruments
  • Development of the Peripole® Angel Halo® Recorder line with record-breaking demand and sales.
  • Establishment of the historic partnership with Toca® percussion to create the innovative line, Peripole® Percussion by Toca®, co-designed for optimal classroom use.
  • Veteran music teacher, Cak Marshall joins Peripole as Educational Director.
  • Percussionist and music educator, Kalani joins Peripole as Percussion Education Coordinator.
  • Development of new Peripole® lines of products for classroom and multicultural music education. Ryan Camara joins as West African consultant to develop Mandé Ensemble.
  • Establishment of the Peripole "Partners In Music Education" program to support music education.
  • Peripole-Bergerault shortens its name to Peripole, Inc.

Also, mostly since 1992, the efforts of Peripole and/ or its principals have been recognized by the granting of distinguished industry service awards by the following music education associations:

  • Music Educators National Conference (now NAƒME)
  • American Orff-Schulwerk Association
  • California Music Educators Association
  • Florida Music Educators Association
  • Oregon Music Educators Association
  • Tennessee Music Educators Association
  • Texas Music Educators Association
  • Wisconsin Music Educators Association