We were starry-eyed 20-somethings when we opened Arizona Music Pro,” said Meg Roederer from the full-service musical instrument company in downtown Flagstaff. “We had the entrepreneurial spirit. And here we are 25 years later – we are so grateful.”
In 1994, Lance and Meg Roederer opened Arizona Music Pro (AMP) shortly after they both graduated from Northern Arizona University. Each brought different strengths to the business: Lance possessed the music background and business experience while Meg’s communications and marketing degree helped establish and promote the mission and goals. But, as the couple set out, they did not envision what would be one of their major challenges as young entrepreneurs. “The biggest challenge we had was managing the growth,” said Lance Roederer during the 25th anniversary celebration on Oct. 4 at the one-stop music shop. The business owner, whose music talents earned him an NAU scholarship and chair in the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, hired staff and added managers to handle the unexpected growth.
Within two years, the couple moved the business into a larger building just one block west of the original AMP location on Route 66. AMP still resides at the second location and has become a landmark on “The Mother Road” in the sizeable building that was once the Flagstaff Greyhound Bus Depot and later a NAPA Auto Parts store.
Today, Lance attributes much of AMP’s success to the supportive staff, including General Manager Rich Neville, Store Manager Vince Abeyta and others. The team of trained experts with more than 75 years of collective industry experience offers advice for instrument rentals and lessons as well as musical instrument sales to clients throughout Northern Arizona.
“Music education was a core component of what we wanted to do,” said Meg. “We continue to strive to do that with our many educational services.”
AMP supports music education with donations to schools, organizations and festivals, recognition of young music students through its annual trophy program and lessons, studio time and helping to make instruments affordable for schoolchildren. The business also arranges workshops to inspire and motivate adult musicians.
“We’ve given away $4,000 worth of prizes,” Lance said at the anniversary event, where those gathered enjoyed live music by local band Naughty Bits. “I’m pleasantly surprised that our manufacturers stepped up to provide the prizes for our 25th anniversary celebration.”
Winners took home a Taylor GS mini acoustic guitar, a Fender Stratocaster guitar, Kala Ukuleles, a Mackie Freeplay PA System, PreSonus studio monitors and more. Industry manufacturing representatives from Roland, Boss, Shure, Mackie and PreSonus were on site to provide demonstrations and offer advice during the event. At the same time, musicians could recycle and replace old instrument strings with D’Addario NYXL or Nickel Bronze Acoustic strings. Old strings collected were recycled through Playback, the world’s first instrument string recycling program sponsored by D’Addario and TerraCycle, the international recycler of hard-to-recycle waste.
“We’ve been searching for a solution for old string reuse after installing a new set on a guitar, so it’s great that D’Addario and TerraCycle are helping dealers confront this issue,” Lance explained. “Recycling these strings, regardless of brand name, will help to greatly minimize our store’s landfill contribution.”
Arizona Music Pro serves Flagstaff’s diverse music scene, from rockers to classical and everything in between, said Lance. “We love what we do and are excited to celebrate 25 years of doing business as Flagstaff’s music store – thank you, Flagstaff!” FBN
By Stacey Wittig, FBN