Summit Studios has been a staple on Main Street in Manchester since its opening more than a decade ago, but the local music studio recently expanded to include a new retail music center where to also sell instruments.
Tom Deffenbaugh, owner of Summit Studios, said the new retail center, dubbed Summit Music Center, was a logical extension of the studio's mission to both increase its presence and popularity in the Manchester area, but also to help with the revitalization of the Main Street section of town. Summit Music Center offers instrument sales, rentals, repairs and consignment services, as well as an assortment of other musical supplies and accessories.
"One of the things we're really emphasizing is service, whether it's somebody with a drum that needs a couple of parts or a guitar that's not properly set up," Deffenbaugh said. "What we're finding is a lot of people are reluctant to maybe buy that guitar online nowadays because they had a bad experience in the past."
In addition to expanding Summit's presence within the Manchester community, Deffenbaugh said he hopes the new retail music store will also help strengthen the arts community in Manchester and add to the revitalization of Main Street and the downtown area, which is a goal Deffenbaugh has been heavily invested in since first moving the studio from his home on Summit Street to 421 Main St. in the fall of 2000. Deffenbaugh has served as a member of the town's Economic Development Commission, the Manchester Arts Commission and the Imagine Main Street organization, and he also rents the apartments above the studio out to music teachers who teach at the school for a reduced rate.
"One might say this is the forgotten zone of Main Street, so my mission is sort of to make sure that it's not forgotten," Deffenbaugh said. "I'm optimistic about people coming back to Main Street."
Deffenbaugh said he is excited about the new retail store within the studio because it will cater to both students and potential new students alike but will also offer professional instruments to experienced musicians who might not be in the market for music lessons but want a quality instrument anyway.
"We offer a little bit more of that personal, mom-and-pop shop kind of treatment," Deffenbaugh said. "You're building a relationship that's going to go on longer than it takes to buy a guitar."