Haverhill Music Centre Closes Doors After 58 Years
The small downtown shop of Haverhill Music Centre, which opened in 1955, never got a lot of press throughout its near-60-year run, but it remained a steady presence in the Massachusetts town’s music community throughout. The store sold sheet music and accessories, as well as offering extensive instrument repairs and lessons to a clientele throughout the northeastern part of the state.
A recent announcement that the store would be closing at the end of this month changed that.
“It’s interesting that it generates this much press,” owner Brian Ross told MMR this week. “I had a former clarinet student call me from Pennsylvania, where they were sitting in a hotel room reading ‘USA Today’ and saw a story about [the closing]. I said, ‘You’re kidding me. A tiny music store like this?’”
Consider it a sign of the the shop’s enduring importance to the countless customers who have passed through its doors. It’s also an unpleasant reminder of the state of flux many in the music industry find themselves in lately.
“It’s sad times for the music industry, I think,” says Ross.
Haverhill Music Center occupies a stately brick building in the downtown section of the city, an area that Ross says has seen a fair share of its busi
nesses close their doors in recent years. The Music Centre was founded by Robert Killey, and Ross began working at the shop as an instrument repair technician in 1989. He later began teaching clarinet lessons and ultimately bought the business from Killey’s daughter, Pattie, in 2004.
Ross says he plans to continue repairing band instruments throughout the area under the company name The Reed Works, working with other area music instrument shops and schools. He currently services an area across a 20-mile radius, and notes that the repair business has been steady throughout his time in Haverhill. “As budgets get cut, I do work a lot of beat-up school horns,” he says.
The trouble with the rest of the business? Ross thinks it’s the Internet, an area of business that he’s mostly avoided so far.
For now, though, Ross has plenty on his plate. Outside of wrapping up brisk sales throughout this month’s closing sale, he’s got a full slate of band instrument repairs to look forward to.
“We’re headed into school opening and band season kicking into high gear,” he says. “So I suspect I’m still going to have a very busy fall.”