Meet Pepper: Indiana


J.W. Pepper acquired the print music division of Paige’s Music in April of 1990.  Incidentally, both companies were established in the 1870s and have been family owned throughout their history.

We were the first “satellite” Pepper location connected to an instrument dealer and are still located in the Paige’s building where customers have access to instruments, repairs and accessories as well as print music.  This is also the only Pepper location where the host dealer’s district managers deliver our product to our mutual customers.

Russ Bullis, Vice President and Regional Marketing Manager, has been in the print music business since 1980.  He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and taught band in southern Illinois for six years.  He began working in the music industry in March of 1980 at Paige’s Music and became active in the Retail Print Music Dealers Association, serving as its president in 1988.  When Pepper acquired the print music division of Paige’s in 1990, Russ and his wife Betsy were hired to launch this office.  He currently coordinates many live events locally as well as nationally, such as The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Showchoir Camps of America, the National Association of  Pastoral Musicians Convention and the Conn-Selmer Institute.

The Indianapolis staff consists of four other employees.  Betsy Bullis started with Paige’s Music in 1981 and was a school choral music teacher before working in music retail.  She taught private voice and piano for 30 years while working part-time at Pepper.  Now a full-time Pepper employee, she remains active in the music community, singing in church and doing community theatre.

Debbie Gallagher has been with Pepper since June of 2001.  She is a former elementary school teacher and serves as our local credit expert.  She is a flutist and singer, currently singing with her church choir and the extension chorus, Melody Makers.

Heather Pechin holds a degree in Music Business from Indiana State University and came to Pepper through the internship program with ISU.  She loves singing karaoke and directs her church choir as well as the Indy Adult Show Choir.  Heather is our show choir expert and is actively involved in our participation in Showchoir Camps of America every summer in Illinois and Ohio.

Janice Smith didn’t have a music background when she came to us in 2000, but you would never know it.  She has learned a great deal about our product and our customers appreciate her open, friendly attitude toward customer service.

Our store provides a home for many customers to visit with us;  we occasionally host up to 100 customers on a Saturday!  We know many of them by name and they often spend hours perusing our reference center and browsing through our bins of music.  We sometimes host group meetings in our store, providing coffee, doughnuts and a place to listen to and read through new music.  Outside of the office, we attend many live events in the states of Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.

Visit Pepper Indiana’s website.

Hang out with us on Facebook.



Jen Tolnay
Jen Tolnay has been working for J.W. Pepper since 1991. She previously worked in customer service, and now spends her time on Pepper’s social media efforts. Jen has a degree in music theory from Temple University, and spent many years as musical director and accompanist for a variety of musical theatre productions She also works as the choir director/pianist/organist at a local church.


  1. I frequent your website looking first at Editors Choice selections on my email. Invariably when I hit the initial web page I don’t get what the email specifically says its about. For instance, the email advertised editors choice for advance choirs. For the past 10 minutes I’ve been reading interesting articles but still haven’t seen a heading for advanced choirs. I would like to see a web page immediately for what the email says when it arrives in my mailbox. Can you fix this? Thanks for your friendly presence in the lives of music lovers.

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