MARSHALL — Zach Haltvick isn’t a new face on Music Street — he’s been managing the Marshall Music Store for years now. But Haltvick has stepped into a new role, as the new owner of the business.
Haltvick took over from Music Street founder Lon Wright earlier this year.
“I have enjoyed being a part of the Marshall business community and am excited to be a part of it.” said Haltvick.
“Zach has been the store manager for several years and he has done a great job.” Wright said.
The transition means a Marshall business with more than 30 years of history will continue.
Wright started Music Street in 1985, but his background in music goes back further.
“I started as a band director,” Wright said. After a few years of this, he said: “I wanted to make a difference.”
Wright took a job as one “street man” for the Music Store, visiting schools and working with band leaders and students interested in learning to play musical instruments. Those experiences taught him that renting band instruments was 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 the city about seven years ago,” said Haltvick.
He said his background in music is in recording and sound, but he accepted an offer to work as an accountant and manager at Music Street. It was definitely a new experience.
“I had dreamed of having my own recording studio. It’s very different from retail,” said Haltvick.
However, the experience of working on Music Street was good.
“I loved working every day with musicians or kids who wanted to be musicians. he said.
Both Wright and Haltvick said it’s fun getting to know area band directors and students and seeing the growth of band and orchestra students.
“It’s the part of the business that I really enjoy – working with the area directors and also with the families.” Wright said.
It’s fun to see a fifth-grader just starting to learn an instrument, Haltvick said.
“They are very excited,” he said.
Haltvick helps with the Marshall High School marching band, and he’s also gotten to know many students that way.
“Some of the kids, I remember when they got their first instrument,” he said.
Wright said he had considered retiring and thought Haltvick would be a good choice to pitch the business to.
“We started talking about last summer,” said Haltvick.
It wasn’t a difficult decision to take on Wright, he said. The change of ownership at Music Street officially happened earlier this year, although Wright is still working part-time.
“For me, it’s a good way for me to retire.” Wright said.
He still helps with instrument repairs and travels the streets to visit area schools several days a week
Haltvick said it was good to have Wright’s help with the transition.
“It’s always been so obvious that he has such a love for 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 southwest Minnesota schools.
“You don’t see more mom-and-pop music stores,” said Haltvick.
Without local shops, renting or repairing a band instrument means traveling a long way to larger communities.
“It’s a business that needs specialized people who really want to promote music. Wright said. “I think it’s a very important part of the school curriculum, to have music in schools.”
Haltvick said there are a few things he hopes to be able to add or expand on Music Street. He is working on expanding the store’s website, with the goal of making it possible to place instrument rentals online. He also hopes to expand Music Street’s music lesson offerings.
“I would like to expand and get into a bigger building,” he said.