Since our first days in 1975, Westmark has focused on providing top-quality recording, post-production services and finished media to music programs and ensembles engaged in the performance of current and historic fine arts literature. The ensembles we most often work with include
- Bands and Wind Ensembles
- Vocal and instrumental chamber ensembles
- Jazz ensembles and combos
- Vocal and instrumental soloists
The business began as an avocation for DuWayne (Dewey) Kloos. Dewey was a public school music director and audiophile. His work in music and interest in high-fidelity audio led him to experiment with making his own recordings. He purchased microphones and a recorder and in 1973 began recording music groups in his school district. Colleagues asked him to do other recording jobs and what began as a hobby became a business in 1975. In addition to his teaching duties, Dewey began operating a professional recording service that catered to the school, church, and community music group market with vinyl LP records produced from the recordings. He joined a consortium of individuals with similar businesses that existed to get volume-buying discounts for vinyl record mastering and pressing. This association, known then as Mark Custom Records, had grown out of the Century Custom Recording organization. When the Minnesota affiliates of Mark Custom Records broke ties with the central office in New York they chose the name Westmark Records as a way to both maintain name recognition and underscore their mutual location west of the Mississippi. Other members of the original Westmark consortium were Don Geiken in Moorhead, Al Opland in Pipestone, and Herb Streitz in Waseca.
In time the vinyl LP was replaced by the audio cassette as the medium of choice for clients served by the business. Cassettes, unlike vinyl records, could be duplicated locally and the need for the consortium faded away. With the retirements of the other Minnesota associates Dewey's business became the sole remaining bearer of the Westmark name. The name was updated to Westmark Productions as the business moved away from vinyl records to audio and video cassettes, compact discs and DVDs.
In 1993, Dewey retired from teaching and devoted full time to Westmark Productions. The business had been growing steadily, and with the added time available to take on work, the rate of growth increased. In 1997 Dewey began to investigate the sale of the business in anticipation of his retirement. In January of 1999 he entered into an agreement with Doug Geston to sell the business. After a six-month apprenticeship Doug assumed ownership on September 15, 1999.
We continue to provide our clients with high quality audio and video recording and production services with a staff of experienced recording, post-production and support personnel. Over the years we have expanded our offerings to include multi-track audio recording, video recording and editing and DVD production, all with the same quality and attention to detail that has made Westmark the largest recording and production service of its kind in Minnesota.