July 4, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Strumming Along 40 Years On At Santa Monica Music Center:

Santa Monica Music Center celebrates its 40th anniversary this Sunday with an open house event featuring live music performances from the owners, a free barbeque, mini lessons, giveaways, raffle prizes, and up to 60 percent off selected items.

Professional drummer Paul (Chico) Fernandez was involved in the music industry when he went into business on Jan. 1, 1972 with a teaching studio, but it quickly evolved.

“I was playing six nights a week with a popular band and people wanted us to play all these gigs and we couldn’t do all the gigs everyone wanted us to do, so I started putting together bands and booking them,” Fernandez said.

“At the same time, I was teaching drums and booking bands. I added a piano teacher and then a voice teacher and then I changed the name to the Chico Fernandez School of Music. It was located upstairs of a music store, which at that time was called Cunningham’s Music Store at 1247 Lincoln in Santa Monica across from the Santa Monica Boys & Girls Club.”

His business continued to grow and he incorporated the company in 1974 – the same year his brother Victor Fernandez joined the business.

The brothers created a recording studio and photography studio that constituted their talent management business as part of incorporating the business.

“We would record their demos, take their pictures, and I’m a graphic designer too so I would design all their materials, and I would book them,” he said.

“At one time I had five groups working such as the Charlie Brown’s, The Red Onions, and I put on all the entertainment in the Miramar for a while.”

In 1979, the business decided to add a retail music store element to its operation and discontinue the recording studio operation.

“We closed up the recording studio operation and I moved the photography studio to another area and we opened it up into a music store like it had been since the late 1940s and called it the Santa Monica Music Center. That was by 1980. But the school operation has been running since January of 1972, which started with one drum student.”

In February 2000, the business moved to its present location at 1901 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Since then, the music store and its music studios have been providing the music community, schools, and local families with quality band and orchestra instrument sales, rentals, and repairs, and private and group music lessons and studio rentals.

Fernandez said they expanded and opened its Culver City Music Center in 2004.

He said quality teachers were why the business has been so successful over the past four decades.

“I started off as a drum teacher and I was well known as a drummer and people sought me out as a drum teacher,” he said. “The other teachers I got were all good and we became well known and recommended by all these other stores as the place to go to have lessons.”

He said people enjoyed their old school style of operation.

“People have always liked that,” he said. “Nowadays with things changing the way they are with less personal contact with more digital this and that, a lot of people really appreciate our place.”

Victor Fernandez said both he and his brother live in Santa Monica.

“Our kids have grown up here and gone to local schools,” Victor said. “We’ve been involved with the community organizations like the Chamber of Commerce. It’s a real family business and we’re both very involved in the community.”

The business offers individual private lessons on all the band and orchestra instruments.

They offer lessons on oboe, flute, French horn, trombone, clarinet, and saxophone, among others. There are also classes for piano and guitar and a performance class is available for children to learn how to play in a band situation.

Fernandez said most students started renting instruments for lessons, but the first three months of rent payments can go towards the purchase of the instrument.

Fernandez and his daughter Lana also operate a nonprofit called Outreach Through the Arts, which helps at-risk youth and visually impaired communities overcome the challenges in their lives through the performing arts.

Sunday’s 40th anniversary celebration on Aug. 26 will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its 1901 Santa Monica Boulevard location.

For more information, call 310.453.1928 or visit www.santamonicamusic.com.

in News
Related Posts

Landscaping 50 Percent Complete for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon

July 3, 2022

July 3, 2022

Officials provide update for park under construction By Dolores Quintana A recent update from the City of Los Angeles’ Department...

John McEnroe and Patty Smyth Sell Malibu Home for $29 Million

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

Malibu Colony home sold to unknown buyer in private sale By Dolores Quintana John McEnroe, a retired former tennis star,...

SMa.r.t. Column: A Tale of Two Cities

July 2, 2022

July 2, 2022

The City of Santa Monica is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, while the jurisdictions...

Santa Monica City Council Approves Ballot Measure That Would Increase Hotel Bed Tax

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Santa Monica’s bed tax has been raised since 2004 By Dolores Quintana In a vote on June 28, the Santa...

PETA Attempts to Stop the Beach Club From Holding Annual Fireworks Display

July 1, 2022

July 1, 2022

Parking lot where display is held is on City of LA land, not Santa Monica, allowing Club to obtain permit...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Prepares for SMASH/Muir Campus Mold Removal

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Exact costs for repairs still unknown By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro  It is unknown exactly how much the total...

Watering Restrictions for Santa Monica Residents Take Effect Soon

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

New restrictions will go into effect on July 5, limiting watering to twice a week By Sam Catanzaro New restrictions...

Daily Harvest Recalls Meal Kits Handed out at Venice Event Following 470 Cases of Mysterious Illness

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Direct-to-consumer meal kit company under fire for handling of outbreak tied to lentil and leek meal kit By Sam Catanzaro...

Central Coast Brewery Makes Westside Acquisitions

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Figueroa Mountain Brewing acquires Broxton Brewery, The Stalking Horse and more. Staff, current beer taps to remain on board at...

Mexican Restaurant Possibly Expanding Into Former Swingers Space

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Bar Hermanito applies for an alcohol exemption sales permit for space at 802 Broadway in Santa Monica By Dolores Quintana...

Six Family-Fun Westside Fourth of July Events

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Fireworks, parades, runs and more taking place across the Westside  By Ashley Sloan  Pacific Palisades  The Pacific Palisades will be...

California Credit Union Awards Grant to Santa Monica Teacher

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Building electric circuit friendship detectors and applying engineering principles to solve real world problems are Westside school projects receiving funding...

Santa Monica’s Building Bridges Art Exchange Presents: J.J. Martin’s “Role Models”

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

A traveling exhibit in partnership with Indianilla Cultural Center, Mexico City and Real de Catorce Cultural Center, Real de Catorce,...

Santa Monica City Council Approves New Rules to Streamline Meetings

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Pilot program will run through end of year By Dolores Quintana At the Santa Monica City Council meeting on June...

Banning Construction of New Gas Stations in Los Angeles?

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

Motion from LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz calls for banning the building of any new gas pumping facilities By Sam...