For nearly 25 years, Mountain Music served the community as Tehachapi’s downtown music store. Even with the pandemic, it kept a presence downtown with a booth in the Treasure Trove, which is now the Arts Center.
“I couldn’t leave the community without a place to buy reeds, strings, capos and other musical necessities,” said owner and founder Deborah Hand, who sat out the lockdown by writing books (available at the Arts Center) and plays.
Now, the store at 206 E. F St. will be back in time for Christmas. The “elves” have been working hard the last few months to get it ready, with a new look and daily arrivals of new merchandise include ukuleles, mandolins, student acoustic guitars and other instruments and accessories. A group of “pre-loved” instruments on consignment include some older violins that would be perfect for those players ready for a more advanced instrument. An assortment of used sheet music and books has been gathered together to be sold at 50 cents per inch.
The building also housed Fiddlers Crossing for 10 years. The venue offered outstanding concerts by touring musicians from all over the world, as well as a weekly open mic and First Friday free event. It also fell victim to the pandemic lockdown, but has morphed into “Fiddlers Crossing Concerts,” producing a series of outdoor "house concerts" during the months of June through October. These concerts are by invitation only and are donation-based, rather than by ticket sales. There may be concerts at other times of the year in the future. For further information on these events and to be added to the email list for updates, visit fiddlerscrossing.com.
The former Fiddlers Crossing concert space at 206 E. F St. is now the home of Calliope Music Studios, owned by Sarah McFarland. Calliope Music Studios is a music education center offering individual and group lessons in piano, ukulele, guitar, drums, voice and more to musicians of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Calliope Music is a partner in the new Mountain Music venture, sharing lesson space and staff. Amy Rodriguez (former Mountain Music staff and now multi-instrumental teacher at Calliope) and Jeromy Siracusa (technical help and guitar teacher at Calliope), among others, are working diligently to prepare for the store's reopening next week. The booth in the Arts Center will remain as a place to fill the needs of musicians when the store is closed.
Also affected by the lockdown was the popular orchestra, TPOPS, which was an ensemble for students and teachers to play together and had its roots at Mountain Music. TPOPS is also back, and welcomes new members of all ages who play orchestral instruments. (contact: TPOPSmembers@gmail.com)
Mountain Music will open on Nov. 26 for Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday. Hours through Dec. 24 will be noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
A Grand Reopening is planned for Feb. 14, 2023, the 25th anniversary of the original Mountain Music opening.
Peter Cutler is with Mountain Music.