Luke Zyla purchased the Soft Stand business from Eric Lundberg, the inventor of Soft Stands, in January 2016. After attending a workshop presented by the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, he spent several days in training with Eric to learn the art of making the best horn stand on the market.
Luke retired from public school teaching in 2010 after 31 years in the Wood County, WV school system. His most recent position was director of bands at Parkersburg South High School.
He has been very active as a professional horn player since his graduation from West Virginia University in 1978. He joined the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra as second horn in 1979 and also performed with the Ohio Valley Symphony Orchestra (Gallipolis, Ohio) and the River Cities Orchestra in Parkersburg and is a founding member of the Eastlawn Brass Quintet. He is also the artistic director and conductor of the Parkersburg Choral Society.
Luke has commissioned two works that include horn: Trio for Horn, Trombone, and Piano by David Williams, premiered by Marc Zyla, horn, Mark Buckingham, trombone, and Jan Corrothers, piano, and Zylamander for horn and computer by Russell Pinkston. A portion of the commissioning fee for Zylamander was provided by the Mier Rimon Commisioning Fund of the International Horn Society. It was premiered by Luke and his Mac at the International Horn Society Symposium in San Francisco in 2011.
Luke earned his bachelor and masters degree in music education from West Virginia University and has also received training as a machinist at WVU-Parkersburg.
Luke and his wife, Melani, reside in Parkersburg, WV and have two grown sons: Paul and Marc.