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Music & Arts Buys Alta Loma Music, Enters California

School music chain Music & Arts has purchased Alta Loma Music, which is based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The deal was finalized for an undisclosed amount on March 23 and marks Music & Arts' official entry into the California market. (Previously, the company only had affiliate dealers in the state.)

Founded in 1978, Alta Loma Music specializes in music lessons and full-line retail. The company has a second location in Corona, Calif. Owner Pete Gamber is a regular columnist for Music Inc. and writes about managing and marketing music lesson programs. He and his wife, Genett, will continue working for Music & Arts. Pete will serve as an educational sales representative, and at press time, Genett's role remained undetermined.

"We're delighted to have Pete and Genett as teammates, and I think we're going to kick some butt in Southern California and beyond," said Ron Beaudoin, executive vice president of Music & Arts. "We're going to leverage Pete's deep experience in the lesson business and layer the Music & Arts detail engine on top of that in both his stores, so that all the kids who come in for lessons are going to have even more product and solutions to chose from." Beaudoin added that the acquisition will help Music & Arts get into the institutional business.

Alta Loma Music hosts several nationally recognized student music programs, including Rock Project. "Pete is also going to help our company get better," Beaudoin said. "We're going to study those [programs] and, with Pete's help, find those initiatives that are scalable and leverage them across all our stores. Pete is definitely going to be a resource."