Dean Tower has just fulfilled one of his long-term dreams: He has a room full of instruments.
Having just opened his first music store, Dean’s Strings and Music Supplies, Tower grins from ear to ear as he talks about his new endeavour: “My whole life I wanted a whole room full of instruments and now I get to sit in a room full of instruments,” says Tower.
Tower is also a lover of music. Sipping out of the largest take-out cup I’ve ever seen, Tower’s eyes light up as he talks about the violin. Having played for over 30 years, the violin is his instrument.
“I have been playing my whole life, it’s the one (instrument) I’m best at. My mother still shakes her head that I make a living playing violin. I was a terrible practiser,” he says smiling.
Tower has been teaching in the territory since moving up here eight years ago and he really likes it.
It wasn’t a dream for Tower to have his own music store, but the opportunity presented itself when Steve’s Music closed its doors, leaving only Unitech. Seeing what was needed, he purchased violins to rent out.
Going to music festivals with his purchases and selling them there, it quickly became obvious that Tower was on to a good thing. “It was not something I always wanted to do but it was an opportunity, so why not take it,” he says.
Opening his shop in February alongside Bear Paw Music (they have a shared space) has given Tower a great space to teach his students (he has a huge rehearsal space in his basement) and he gets to talk music all day.
“It’s nice to be able to talk music on a higher level, when you’re teaching it’s very basic,” says Tower, “plus I get to hear the best players around come in and try out my guitars, my instruments.”
Tower hasn’t done much in the way of advertising, but he’s not worried, knowing that through word of mouth people will eventually find out about his store.
This also gives Tower a chance to expand his lines and order in more merchandise such as more band instruments like trumpets, trombones and flutes. “People always want more, more brands and more selection. It’ll come, most things I can order, I have a whole shwack of catalogues, if it’s not here, we’ll find it,” he says.
With his love of music and instruments, it’s no wonder he’s super relaxed when talking about his new venture.
Because Tower makes his money teaching violin, the money he makes from the store goes right back into the store, keeping his room full of instruments. It’s just a music store, I don’t think there’s anything exceptional,” says Tower, “as long as it provides to the needs of the community.”
Dean’s Strings and Music Supplies’ is located at 3123 3rd Avenue right beside the Java Connection. You can call 633-5999 for more information.
PHOTO: RICK MASSIE [email protected]