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Pacific Music in downtown Redmond closes after 26 years of business | SLIDESHOW
Pacific Music in Redmond has provided music lessons for students of all ages since it opened its doors in 1987.
With a background in the wholesale side of the music industry, owners Gary and Kathy Weyand had made connections throughout the Pacific Northwest at many of the local stores, so when Pacific Music opened, Gary said a music teacher he'd met through his previous job contacted him to see if he could give his private music lessons at the store. And things just went from there.
"The thing that we're most proud of is over the 26 years, we've taught over a third of a million music lessons," Gary said. "We've sort of taught Redmond how to play."
But now after more than a quarter century of serving the community, Pacific Music will be closing its doors at the end of this month.
He said there are a number of reasons why they are closing, including the economy, the increase in online shopping and the store's new location at 15935 Redmond Way. The store had been previously located at the corner of Cleveland Street and Leary Way but Gary said they had to move about five years ago because the city tore down the building to put up condos.
"Progress is a double-edged sword," he said. "Our previous location was a better location."
One customer who was in the store Monday morning agreed.
"It was a lot easier to turn into," he said, referring to the fact that drivers can't turn left into the Pacific Music parking lot and would have to find a way to turn around on Redmond Way if they were coming from the northeast.
Gary said since they announced their closing, they have many customers coming in to express their sadness and wish them luck.
"It's really nice," he said.
Nicole Arriaga, a 31-year-old Seattle resident, has been taking violin lessons at Pacific Music for a little more than a year and said she was sad when she heard about the store's closing.
"I love it here," she said. "Everyone's so nice and my teacher's really great."
Arriaga said one of the reasons she makes the drive from Seattle to Redmond once a week for her lessons is because she feels very comfortable at the store.
"It's worth it," she said.
Gary said Pacific Music teachers give lessons in a variety of instruments including guitar, drums, piano, clarinet, flute and ukulele. They also offer voice lessons. The number of teachers at the store has fluctuated over the years, but they usually have around eight and provide lessons for 300-500 students per week.
After the store closes, the music teachers will move on and teach at other places. They will also be taking their students with them, Gary said.
Both he and Kathy, who does all the paperwork and bookkeeping for Pacific Music while he works the sales floor, said they will miss the people — customers and music teachers — they have met in the last 26 years.
Kathy added that they work in a wonderful business and they are not sure what they will be doing next.
"I won't retire," the 65-year-old said.
Gary, who is 66, added with a laugh, "I don't think Kathy and I will ever retire. We'll die with our boots on."