Closing of instrumental music – Santa Barbara News-Press

State Street monument closes to locals and music makers

RAFAEL MALDONADO / PHOTOS INFO-PRESS
Instrumental Music will close its Santa Barbara site in April. The store, whose walls are lined with guitars and ukuleles, will hold a final sale on April 10 to clear its inventory.

After 25 years of activity, Instrumental Music in Santa Barbara is retiring and moving forward with its plan to close in April.

With guitars and ukuleles lining the walls, the store has established itself as a State Street landmark over the years and struck a chord with locals literally and figuratively.

Despite the company’s loyal customer base, rising operating costs, increased consumer shopping online and the COVID-19 pandemic are all factors in the location’s closure, said Bryan McCann , owner and founder of the company, to News-Press Tuesday.

“It’s a regret to leave, but since our founding in 1979 we’ve made a lot of adjustments to changes in the market… The best way for us to maintain instrumental music is to consolidate locations and focus on offering. of a more meaningful experience. for the guitar buyer at our Thousand Oaks site, ”said McCann.

A “For Sale” sign hangs outside Instrumental Music on Upper State Street as the company plans to consolidate its inventory into one location in Thousand Oaks.

The State Street closure comes just a year after the company closed its Ventura site in January 2020. With only one store remaining, Instrumental Music will now showcase all of its inventory at the Thousand Oaks site with plans to expand its presence in line of business in the coming months.

For Dominic Pino, senior sales staff at the music store, closing the doors is a huge loss.

Even before joining the instrumental music team nearly ten years ago, Mr. Pino remembers spending his teenage years in the boutique and meeting the members of his first band.

“To me, I just feel a little bad for the musicians in Santa Barbara County just because it’s like one of the last real, visceral, physical music stores where you can come in and sit and play music. guitar and potentially meet other musicians, ”Pino told the State Street Store News-Press. “I mean, how I found my first band (was) walking into a music store and sitting down and just meeting kids.”

In addition to guitars and ukuleles, Instrumental Music has keyboards for sale until the store closes in February.

As a full-time staff member at the Thousand Oaks site, Mr. Pino will not lose his job, but instead he is saddened by the loss of opportunities for aspiring musicians in Santa Barbara.

“You can be a person on the street, but when you walk into a music store, you are a musician, and all of a sudden, you are someone,” Mr. Pino said. “That sort of thing is really hard to come by in an online experience. So for me I feel a kind of sense of loss for the people and the musicians in Santa Barbara because there is a certain experience that comes with being able to walk into a music store and play and talk and really be around people. sharing the same ideas. “

Since the announcement of the decision to close the State Street store, Mr. McCann and Mr. Pino have received numerous messages and farewells from loyal customers.

“We have received a tremendous amount of feedback from our long-time customers in the community,” said Mr. McCann. “Buying a musical instrument is a very unique experience because it is one of the few items that you could potentially have for the rest of your life… In the 25 years that we have been (in Santa Barbara), we’ve had people contacting bought their first guitar from us, and they still know what the case felt like and they still play that guitar.

Dominic Pino, a member of the senior sales team, said he was saddened to see the Santa Barbara site close. “To me, I just feel a little bad for the musicians in Santa Barbara County just because it’s like one of the last real, visceral, physical music stores where you can come in and sit and play music. guitar and potentially meet other musicians. “

Many loyal customers are mourning the loss of one of the city’s last remaining music stores, Pino said. He hopes, however, that they will make the trip to Thousand Oaks to continue visiting instrumental music in person.

“It’s not like instrumental music is going to go away,” Pino said. “I mean, the idea is to consolidate at Thousand Oaks and come back stronger than ever. But removing this physical presence from the Santa Barbara community has implications, especially for young musicians. “

The instrumental music plans to close to the public on April 3, but will reopen for a booming final sale at its 3328 State Street location on April 10.

For details, call the store at 805-569-5055.

e-mail: mhirneisen@newspress.com

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