ⓘ Music & Arts Center. Music & Arts is a music retailer founded in 1952, specializing in band and orchestra instrument sales and rentals, guitars, keyboards, shee ..

Music & Arts Center

ⓘ Music & Arts Center

Music & Arts is a music retailer founded in 1952, specializing in band and orchestra instrument sales and rentals, guitars, keyboards, sheet music and books, musical accessories, repairs and private music lessons. In 2005, Music & Arts Center was acquired by Guitar Center, Inc. At the time of the purchase, Music & Arts Center had 60 retail locations, and 7 educational support centers throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The company has now grown to include over 200 retail locations, over 140 educational representatives, and over 100 affiliate locations.


1. History

The first Music & Arts Center was located in a small house in Bethesda, Maryland, and run by founder Benjamin OBrien. That first store offered music lessons, music and art supplies plus dance lessons - thus the name Music & Arts. Since its beginning in 1952, the company gradually expanded outside the MD/VA area, adding retail stores in Atlanta, the Philadelphia area, the Carolinas, Nashville, Denver and most recently, the Northeast. With 62 stores throughout the East Coast and Colorado, Music & Arts Center soon became one of the largest retail music store chains serving a huge network of school band and orchestra programs.

In 1998, the corporate headquarters moved from Rockville, Maryland, to Frederick, Maryland.

The company was family owned until 2005.

On February 9, 2005, Guitar Center announced the acquisition of Music & Arts Center and its plans to merge Music & Arts Center with its American Music Group division. The new company took on the name of Music & Arts Center, creating an 82 store retail music chain that spans from coast to coast. Employing 1.500 employees, 330 affiliate dealers, and annual instrument rentals of over 150.000, Music & Arts Center has become the largest school music dealer in the nation.

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