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But one day as I was getting "into" some march music, I decided the time had come: I was ready to conduct my first ballet.

(Kids: buy my whole calendar! $7 at the Family Music Center, 4110 SW 9th, Des Moines Iowa!)

 Rental Plan

New Trumpets, Trombones, Flutes, Clarinets, Violins, Violas: $65 for 3 months. Saxophones: $140 for 3 months. Brands: Leblanc (Vito, Holton) & Antigua

Used instruments valued $400 or less, and new drum and bell kits: $40 for 3 months. Used instruments valued $450 and over: 10% of value, every 3 months.

Extras: No extra charge for "normal wear and tear" repairs. (Theft, loss, or obvious abuse not covered.. Check with your homeowner's policy for theft coverage.) 20% off if purchased within 30 days. 2 free lessons included. Usually while-U-wait repair service.

  A Musical Family ---- Genetically and Commercially

Genetically, Family Music Center is a 3rd generation family-owned music store. My grandfather founded Alonzo Leach Musical Instruments in 1923 while he was the Drake band director and while he was helping found the Iowa Bandmasters Association and lobbying the Iowa Band Law (which authorizes cities to fund outdoor band concerts). When Alonzo closed in 1968, Thelma Leach, my mother, worked for Dan Miller until she bought that store in 1972. When she suffered a stroke in 1996 and my father, Joe Leach, died the following January, I assumed management, and officially became sole owner in 1999. (Thelma celebrated her 81st Birthday March 31, 2002 AD.)


 The Rest of the Story

Commercially, there are "family" ties between most of Des Moines' band and orchestra instrument stores. Estey Wilkinson founded Wilkenson Music in 1922, which Dan Miller bought in 1951 and called Miller Music, which my mother bought in 1972. Frank Rieman worked for my grandfather until he left to start his own store in 1953, and Keith Nash worked for my mother until he left to start his own store in 1974. (Keith closed his store in 1999 and now repairs for Music Works.)

So if you ever pick up the scent of animosity between Des Moines' music stores that seems to exceed what might be accounted for by mere economic competition, now you know the rest of the story. We're "family".




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