Roland Fretz was a 1943 graduate of Sell-Perk High School and a 1951 graduate of the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. He was a United States Army veteran of World War II, serving from November 1943 to February 1946 and was awarded the Purple Heart with a Bronze Star after being wounded in Merton, France in 1944.
Roland taught his first student when he was 14 years old; however, he didn't begin teaching full-time until his graduation from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music in 1951 and continued teaching until his death. Mr. Fretz also performed professionally from the age of 14. Early in his career he performed extensively with various ensembles and groups, including the Sell-Perk High School Band, The Sellersville Symphony, the U.S. Youth Orchestra, the Ralph Moyer Dance Band of Quakertown, the Hal Dailey Band of Philadelphia, the Bud Rader Band of Allentown, the Jerry Williams Quintet and for 13 years, led the 4 Plus One Quartet. The latter part of his career was spent as a solo artist playing regular gigs at local restaurants as well as many parties, weddings, anniversaries and community functions. He also sang in his church choir and often performed in churches throughout the area.
Fretz Music Center began in 1955 when Roland and his wife Eleanor purchased the former Souderton Music Center on Main Street in Souderton. Primarily a teaching institution, the business very quickly outgrew the available space. Mr. Fretz, with much foresight, moved the business to its current location in 1958. Four more teaching studios were added in 1968 as well as expansion of the store itself. With this expansion came the addition of instruments and accessories, and what has become the area's largest selection of sheet music, books and teaching materials. In 1973, Bill Sharrow was hired as a Guitar/Bass teacher and later that year he was promoted to store manager.
Upon his retirement in 1988, Mr. Fretz sold the business to Bill and his wife, Marcy who then ran the store for 28 years. In 2016 the business was taken over by the current owner, Gene Lazowicki. Gene has been, and continues to be, the percussion instructor at Fretz. He has been recognized as one of the best in the area for school jazz, band and orchestra with several of his students reaching honor status, all County and all State band and Orchestra. Gene continues to operate the business on the principles instilled by Mr. Fretz - great products, great service, great prices, great instructors and great atmosphere.