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The beat goes on at Music Street

Longtime Marshall business changes ownership

Zach Haltvick recently made the change from being the manager of Music Street in Marshall, to the business owner. Music Street founder Lon Wright said he had been thinking about retiring, and offered the business to Haltvick. Wright is still working part-time, visiting area school band directors and students.

MARSHALL — Zach Haltvick’s not a new face at Music Street – he’s managed the Marshall music store for years now. But Haltvick has stepped into a new role, as the business’ new owner.

Haltvick took over from Music Street founder Lon Wright at the beginning of the year.

“I’ve enjoyed being part of the Marshall business community, and I’m excited to be part of it,” Haltvick said.

“Zach has been store manager for several years, and he’s done an excellent job,” Wright said.

The transition means that a Marshall business with more than 30 years of history will keep going.

Wright started Music Street in 1985, but his background in music goes back farther.

“I started out as a band director,” Wright said. After several years of that, he said, “I wanted to make a change.”

Wright got a job as a “road man” for The Music Store, visiting schools and working with band directors and students interested in learning to play musical instruments. Those experiences taught him that band instrument rentals were both profitable, and provided a real service, he said.

The first location for Music Street was in the Market Street Mall, connected to a stereo equipment business called Sound Avenue, Wright said. Sound Avenue later went out of business, and Music Street moved to downtown Marshall in 1987. Today, Music Street still offers instruments and sheet music, instrument repairs and band instrument rentals.

Haltvick and Wright have worked together since 2016.

“My wife and I moved to town about seven years ago,” Haltvick said. He said his background in music is in recording and sound, but he accepted an offer to work as a bookkeeper and manager at Music Street. It was definitely a new experience.

“I had dreamed of owning my own recording studio. It’s a lot different than retail,” Haltvick said. However, the experience of working at Music Street was a good one.

“I enjoyed working every day with musicians, or kids who wanted to be musicians,” he said.

Both Wright and Haltvick said it’s fun to get to know area band directors and students, and to see band and orchestra students grow.

“It’s the part of the business I really enjoy – working with area directors, and also with families,” Wright said.

It’s fun to see a fifth-grade student just starting to learn an instrument, Haltvick said. “They’re so excited.”

Haltvick helps with the Marshall High School marching band, and he’s also gotten to know a lot of students that way. “Some of the kids, I remember when they got their first instrument,” he said.

Wright said he had thought about retiring, and thought Haltvick would be a good choice to offer the business to.

“We started talking about it last summer,” Haltvick said. It wasn’t a difficult decision to take over for Wright, he said. The ownership change at Music Street officially happened at the beginning of the year, although Wright is still working part-time.

“For me, it’s kind of a good way for me to retire,” Wright said. He still assists with instrument repairs, and travels routes to visit area schools a couple of days a week

Haltvick said it’s been good to have Wright help with the transition.

“It’s always been so clear he has such a love of music,” Haltvick said of Wright. “He’s very passionate about what he does.”

Wright and Haltvick said Music Street helps fill an important niche for supporting music in schools in southwest Minnesota.

“You don’t see many mom-and-pop music stores anymore,” Haltvick said. Without local stores, renting or repairing a band instrument means traveling a long way, to bigger communities.

“It’s a business that needs specialized people, who really want to promote music,” Wright said. “I do feel it’s a very important part of the school curriculum, to have music in the schools.”

Haltvick said there are some things he hopes to be able to add or expand at Music Street. He’s been working on expanding the store’s website, with the goal of making it possible to set up instrument rentals online. He also hopes to expand Music Street’s offerings for music lessons.

“I’d love to expand and get into a bigger building,” he said.

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