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93-Year-Old Sheet Music Store Closes

Believed to be the oldest sheet music store in Oregon, 93-year-old Sheet Music Service closed its doors as of May 21.

Denton, Texas-based Pender’s Music purchased the Portland, Ore., sheet music dealer in 2005. According Pender’s Music President Richard Gore, decreased sales due to school budget cuts and greater online competition led to the store’s closure.

“School music programs in Oregon have less money each year to purchase needed supplies, such as sheet music,” Gore said. “Many resort to borrowing music from other schools, which encourages further cuts down the road by administrators.”

According to an article in The Oregonian, at its peak, the store earned more than $1 million a year and employed 18 workers. At its closing, six employees remained. Most of the employees through the years had college degrees in music.

“The business model for selling sheet music continues to evolve with a higher level of sales attributed to our online Web site and competitors’ sites,” Gore said. “This leaves sheet music retailers in survival-of-the-fittest mode, and many others will close in the next few years.”

Gore added that Pender’s operations in Texas and Oklahoma remain strong due to greater support for music education in the region.

“School programs are supported by the local school districts and the culture of creating active music makers is encouraged,” Gore said. “NAMM initiatives and support continue to aid everyone as we remind our communities of the value of school music.”