Family-owned music stores keep Spokane sounding good

  Fri., Feb. 14, 2020

Proprietor and luthier Eben Cole carefully levels the fretboard of a vintage electric guitar at Cole Music Co. at 816 W. Garland Ave. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Proprietor and luthier Eben Cole carefully levels the fretboard of a vintage electric guitar at Cole Music Co. at 816 W. Garland Ave. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

By Johnathan Curley

There’s something about the charm and personality of a family-owned music store. Here’s a quick tour of some of the local shops around town who keep Spokane sounding so good.

Robin Amend, of Amend Music Center, with a 1950s-era tuba. Instrument repair requires one to be a perfectionist, he said, “particularly if you’re working with professional musicians’ instruments.” (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Robin Amend, of Amend Music Center, with a 1950s-era tuba. Instrument repair requires one to be a perfectionist, he said, “particularly if you’re working with professional musicians’ instruments.” (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Amend Music Center

South Hill: 1305 W. 14th Ave.Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. SaturdaysNorth Side: 6301 N. Regal St.Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays

The Amend Music Center, with locations on the South Hill and North Side, offers band and orchestra instrument rentals, sales, sheet music, repairs and private lessons.

Owner Robin Amend, an instrument repairman since 1976, started the shop with his wife, Debbie, in 1980 and has since enlisted the help of sons Paul and Mark.

Continue reading “Family-owned music stores keep Spokane sounding good”

Front & Center: The music is more important than money for the owners of Amend Music Center

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Robin Amend, of Amend Music Center, with a 1950s-era tuba. Instrument repair requires one to be a perfectionist, he said, “particularly if you’re working with professional musicians’ instruments.” (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

 

By Michael Guilfoil

For The Spokesman-Review

Business at Amend Music Center was brisk one afternoon when co-owner Robin Amend noticed a man seemingly entranced by the shop’s classic marching-band uniforms, vintage posters and photos, wooden files and all manner of musical instruments.

When Amend asked if he could help, the man said he was from Seattle visiting his mother, and that every time he came to Spokane he made a pilgrimage to 1305 W. 14th Ave.

“I didn’t realize places like this still existed,” he told Amend. “It feels different than anywhere else I’ve ever been.”

Continue reading “Front & Center: The music is more important than money for the owners of Amend Music Center”

Wired For Music

Whitworthians Lukas Bratcher, ’10, and Robin Amend orchestrate instrument innovation

Whitworth Today : Fall 2008
by Julie Riddle, ’92


Robin Amend’s grandfather, Bert Amend (far right) with his trio, circa 1906.
(Photo courtesy of Robin Amend)

It’s quite possible that Lukas Bratcher and Robin Amend have never uttered the words “I can’t.” Bratcher, a junior speech-communication major, was born with a non-progressive condition called amnyoplasia arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, which causes stiff joints and weak or missing muscles in all four limbs. Bratcher is largely confined to a wheelchair, yet he is an accomplished brass musician who has performed throughout the country. Continue reading “Wired For Music”

INVENTOR HELPS 14-YEAR-OLD BARITONE PLAYER MAKE MUSIC

— THE IDAHO STATESMAN

LUKAS BRATCHER PLAYS INSTRUMENT BY USING A JOYSTICK

By David Johnson

Thanks to his innate desire to excel, the genius of a Spokane inventor and the impromptu stage presence of his mother, 14-year-old Lukas Bratcher was able to play in what he called his jazz ensemble’s “best ever” performance.

Spokane’s Northwood Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Lee Shook, won the junior high school instrumental competition at the University of Idaho’s 35th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last month.

And in the process, the group’s baritone player offered a clinic in determination.

“If I was to sit at home and feel sorry for myself,” Bratcher said, “I would have no life.”

Born in Saudi Arabia, where his parents worked before moving to Spokane about two years ago, Bratcher is the victim of a birth defect that left him a quadriplegic. Continue reading “INVENTOR HELPS 14-YEAR-OLD BARITONE PLAYER MAKE MUSIC”

Music District

Cannon’s Addition music shop offers repairs, supplies and lessons

by Mike Prager

Robin Johson’s dream, at 13, is like that of a lot of teenagers. He wants to play in a rock band. Two of his South Hill buddies are into it, too. They’ve been jamming. Robin’s on bass.

“At this age, it’s so important to keep your kids busy,” said his mother, Dianne Johnson, who supports her son’s aspirations.

“This summer, he’ll have some purpose.” Continue reading “Music District”