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Music & Arts Rings in
2012 With New Format

Following a banner year in 2011, school music retail chain Music & Arts recently rolled out a new store format and made several key personnel changes.

The new store model, which debuted at the company's Arundel Mills, Md., location, is designed to improve the customer experience and create a community atmosphere. Features include a dedicated performance stage with a professional lighting and sound system, as well as seating for 50 people; a workshop room; 12 music lesson studios; expanded group lesson offerings; a parent lounge; a climate-controlled, soundproofed acoustic guitar room; and an ongoing series of free classes and clinics. Music & Arts also recently added four new retail locations.

Additionally, the company has hired Anjan Shah as director of marketing and promoted David Fuhr to vice president of retail and education sales. Shah has more than 18 years of experience in entertainment and retail marketing with an emphasis on the music industry. Fuhr began his career with Music & Arts in 2001 and, in his most recent role, led a team of sales managers that doubled the profitability of the lesson program, grew overall store profitability by 25 percent and maintained positive lesson enrollment growth.

"2011 was a banner year for Music & Arts, and we're thrilled to begin 2012 with such great momentum," said Kenny O'Brien, president of Music & Arts, which is based in Frederick, Md. "When my father opened the store six decades ago out of our family home, he never could have imagined the success of our music shop today. We're excited to begin 2012 on a high note and look to greater success in the future as we continue to introduce and encourage the importance of music education into the lives of families across the country."

That message got an extra push, with the company's launch of Pass the Music On! last year. The non-profit partnership with Music 4 More collects and refurbishes donated used instruments and redistributes them to underprivileged kids. Music & Arts also supports the Mark Wood Electrify Your Strings school tour, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids Program and El Sistema programs.

Music & Arts' Kenny O'Brien