Spotlight: DB Music and Sound in Hesperia, CA

As a musician, it was a real pleasure to spend some time with two music professionals like Don and Peggy Grant of DB Music and Sound in Hesperia, CA. Situated in the El Pueblo building across from Victor Valley College, the music store packs an enormous number of products and services into a relatively compact space.

According to Don, “The store has always been multidimensional, meeting the needs of students and their parents, local schools and local musicians.” The Grants are committed to providing reasonably priced, high quality rental instruments to band and orchestra students with a purchase option, as well as all the necessary accessories. They consider this an investment in the community and work closely with area band directors and parents.

The Grants also shared with understandable pride that there is a certified repair technician on staff. Certified through the famous Red Wing program, Frankie is on site 5 days a week and is the only person here in the High Desert certified like this. Don shared, “In all of Southern California there aren’t a lot of people with his skill level, even as young as he is. He is a huge asset up here.”

Beyond the thousands of items for instruments, DB Music and Sound also do sound system and lighting rentals, including speakers amplifiers, mics, lighting spots, trees, and wireless mics. They also rent karaoke supplies for parties with a machine, microphone and 200 songs. Share the Grants, “This is great for families!”

There are also many books of sheet music. There is a discount for piano teachers who buy method books or other materials from DB Music. They will also do music downloads for the general public. “Instead of a big rack of sheet music today, we go to the computer, find the song they want, put it into the key they need and we can print out custom music,” said Peggy. “It is a great service for customers!”

DB Music and Sound did not start out on the corner of Jacaranda and Bear Valley. The Grants started their music career in high school and met one another in an honor band. Eventually they began to perform with The Rovers, traveling with the USO, producing an album, giving concerts in Lake Tahoe and other locations. They also performed with The Sanborn Singers, a group that traveled the US doing corporate shows and conventions. Eventually health reasons led to retiring from performing on the road and they settled in Roseburg, Oregon. With friends from their touring days, they eventually opened a music store with friends in the early 1980s. Eventually both the Grants and their business partners decided to move to a place with more space and opportunity and they settled in the High Desert. DB Music and Sound re-opened in 1990 on Tao Road in Apple Valley, and then moved to the current location in 1994.

When the Grants moved here in 1990, the area was in a boom cycle. Since then they have seen the closing of the Air Force base, the upswing of the housing boom and the current challenges our economy is facing. Through it all they have continued to serve the musicians of the High Desert.

When I asked about their take on their position as opposed to big box stores, national chains and the internet, Don shared his perspective. “Brick and mortar stores are subject to a misperception of value. Customers can get things cheaper on the internet due to lower overhead. As a physical store, you are compared in your pricing to those kinds of operations, but still expected to give superior service. That also plays into the large box store operations some of which now have guitars for sale.” This is not the whole picture, though, as he continued to explain. “Someone is shopping for a trumpet and they find a low quality one for $199 at Walmart or a $1000 Yamaha at DB Music. We have to educate the customer about the quality of the instrument.”

As long time residents of the Victor Valley, Peggy and Don have seen many changes. “We’ve been here long enough that students we once served now come in with their own children.” As they explained, our community constantly evolves because people come and go. “City managers try to build a zone for community,” said Don, “and yet its all comes down to relationships. We are involved with our family, our church, our customers. We have long term relationships with schools and band teachers. Mom and pop stores have an advantage because you are talking to us, face to face with the owners. Costco is utilitarian.”

The day I met with Peggy and Don, the roof was being worked on and the hammering was noticeable, to say the least. Even with the constant distraction and the hustle to get the store open and ready for the day, I could tell that the Grants love what they do. Though they ended up in the High Desert by happenstance, as Peggy said, “We bloomed where we were planted.”

If you would like to see your locally-owned business highlighted on this blog, please contact Alyssa Penman by email at AlyssaPenman {at} RelyLocal {dot} com or call her at 760-246-5400. RelyLocal.com is a locally-owned business that connects local consumers to local businesses for a thriving, robust and vibrant local economy.

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