Meet Pepper: Southern California


When tourists visit southern California, their itinerary will more than likely include must-see sights and trips to Disneyland, Hollywood and one of the many beaches that typify Los Angeles.  However, there is growing speculation that making a trip to Pepper Southern California may be trending positively within that list, probably somewhere in between Rodeo Drive and any MTV celebrity home.

Kidding aside, J.W. Pepper has had a presence in southern California since the early 1980s, with previous locations in the cities of Gardena and Santa Fe Springs.  Currently, our store is located in the beautiful city of Norwalk, about 15 miles away from Disneyland and 25 minutes from the beach.  The store also functions as a Regional Marketing Center, where we proudly serve southern California, Arizona and Hawaii.

Our team realizes that when it comes to our customers and their expectations, the little things mean everything.  We make every effort possible to ensure that our customers leave our store knowing that they can always depend on Pepper for all of their sheet music needs.  Our staff of four provides a wide spectrum of services for our customers, including organizing and implementing annual choral workshops and copyright presentations.  Other times, we play host on district in-service days to assist neighboring school districts in choosing their curricula for the year.  For the most part, the store acts as a musical treasure vault, where amateur and professional musicians browse for hours looking for updates to their musical repertoire.

The newest addition to the team is Gloria Zurita, who joined Pepper in 2010.  Gloria is a former clarinet player with an appetite for writing and photography.  Her favorite musical activity at the moment is “listening to and dissecting Eric Whitacre chords” in her car while she sits in L.A. traffic.

Kristina Real joined Pepper in late 2005.  She played the accordion early in her childhood, as well as percussion in the school band. She is a bona fide music aficionado of nearly every genre.  If a customer is unsure about a song title, once they start to sing a measure or two, Kristina will almost always successfully “name that tune.”

Valdemar Zamora has been with Pepper for over 20 years.  A proud family man and keyboard player, he once toured professionally with a Mexican pop group.  Presently, he shares his talents with his local church worship group as their keyboardist.

The manager of J.W. Pepper SoCal is Pepper Vice President Sam DeRenzis.  Sam earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Gettysburg College.  His involvement with the industry spans over three decades, and he has been with Pepper for over 20 years.  He is an accomplished saxophone player and a passionate fan of Major League Baseball.

Feel free to stop by whenever you’re in the area.  We would love to see you!

Visit Pepper SoCal’s website.

Hang out with us on Facebook.


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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.

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