By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter
MOUNT VERNON - Marcus Brandenburg wants to bring music back to town.
"Music is my love," he said. "Apart from my children, I don't think there is anything that has brought me more joy."
Brandenburg, a Mount Vernon native, opened Brandenburg Guitar on May 15 at 37 Public Square, formerly the location of a smoke shop.
Visitors to the store will encounter drum kits, keyboards, as well as many kinds of acoustic and electric guitars lining the wall.
While he had an initial focus on guitars, Brandenburg said, the store offers "all things musical." He said he offers DJ services; he cleans and strings guitars; he gives a couple of free lessons to anyone who buys a guitar.
"I'm trying to get a feel for what the community wants. The store will become what they want." he said. "We welcome people to come in and play the instruments. Hang out and play. You don't have to come to buy."
Marcus Brandenburg plays his favorite guitar: an Oregon Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. Brandenburg recently opened Brandenburg Guitar at 37 Public Square KP photo
Brandenburg said that he would like to see his store become something of a community center for music: a place for bands and a place for bands to find musicians. He said he had been a customer of the two musical mainstays in Mount Vernon: Jet Music and Flynn's Guitar Store.
Flynn's closed in 2015 after more than 30 years in business; Jet Music closed in 2016 after more than 50 years in business.
"That's part of my inspiration," he said, "I would have to drive to Newark or Westerville for just about anything music-related."
Brandenburg said that much of his focus lies in offering afforable instruments to aspiring musicians who are just getting started. However, he added, he can offer an $1,000 dollar guitar to the right person and will also track down more expensive, rare guitars to those who are interested.
"Growing up here, I knew that for a lot of the musicians in this community, and it just seemed like something that the community needed," he said. "There's been a great response. People seem very happy."
Brandenburg said that he hopes to form a musician's co-op in Mount Vernon and find a local space for local musicians to come to practice.
"A while ago. I made a personal commitment to pursue music," he said. "It's part of personal reaching out to the community."
Brandenburg said he comes from a musical family in which learning classical piano was required from an early age. He played trombone in middle and high school. He studied Jazz at Kenyon College for a time. Over the years, an interest in acoustic guitar led to an interest in rock music. He said that, in recent years, he has developed an interest in electric guitar.
"I have wide musical tastes," Brandenburg said. "I'm not pretentious."
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