The Mollard Story

More than 40 years ago, Bob Mollard was a graduate conducting student at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. His conducting teacher suggested he buy a light-weight, well-balanced baton. Bob searched high and low, but was dissatisfied with the quality of what he found. He decided to fashion a baton himself, using materials gathered from the local hardware store and a really cool-looking bottle of Italian Chianti. The effort proved to be a great success, and he went back to school and showed everyone his handiwork.

That’s when the trouble started.

Now everyone else at school wanted one like his, so he promised to make more batons, which meant buying more supplies and more bottles of Chianti! Then everyone at school showed their friends, who wanted Bob to make batons for them, hence more hardware, more wine, etc. This chaos went on for several years, and it got to the point where Bob hated to answer the phone, fearing that it was yet another person wanting a baton, or that it was his mom pestering him to come visit more often, now that she was retired and had nothing to do!

Then it occurred to him……pesky customers on one hand, and a bored mom on the other…….maybe, just maybe this could work….

And so, Mollard Conducting Batons was born! Mother (Audrey) Mollard organized the business, and customers called HER to place their orders. All Bob had to do was figure out how to make the things without consuming so much Chianti! And so he did. As a result, Mollard Conducting Batons has become the world-wide leader of baton makers. You can find Mollard batons in better music stores world-wide.

Audrey retired from the business, and cherished the many wonderful memories of all the people she met selling batons over the years. She lived to age 94. Bob is still active in the company, even as he keeps up with his demanding performance schedule. His wife Connie has been active in the business over 20 years, and was responsible for inventing/developing the “Brite Stix” line. His son Patrick is now active in the business, and keeps busy pointing out to his dad just how utterly not-with-it he is.

Robert Dye has been a member of the Mollard family for 15 years now. No detail escapes the man! While we are dreaming up new ideas and messing up the shop, he is busy tending to the myriad details of daily operations and cleaning up after us! Kelly Kennedy has been with us 13 years. She keeps the books, processes retail orders, apologizes to the people Bob forgets to call back, smooths out the bumps that occur in business, and she is the friendly voice you hear if you call us. Larry and Linda Patterson are the friendly faces many of you see at music educator meetings and conventions. They have been faithfully plying the roads and airways for over 10 years now, introducing countless teachers and students to Mollard Batons. And of course there are the wonderful “Baton Elves” that hand-craft our products. We have have indeed been blessed with dedicated associates!

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