Music's the Medicine of the Mind

Music's The Medicine Of The Mind

Bronsteins Music
This favorite quote by John A. Logan pretty much sums up why these two co-owners of Bronstein Music, Don Edwards and Richard Welker, have been at Bronstein for 47 years. 

This month, Bronstein Music celebrates its 70th year in business. Milton & Celia Bronstein founded Bronstein Music on February 9, 1946, but long before then, music was in Milton’s soul.
Rich - Don
When World War II broke out, Milton joined the Army Band and was assigned to General Patton's Army Unit in North Africa Campaign, Anzio, and Monte Casino. Milton led the 6th Army Band, saving his cigarette and liquor allotment for the future.

That diligence in saving led to the eventual establishment of Bronstein Music when he returned home. Fast forward to the 1970s and the introduction of Don Edwards and Richard Welker.
Bronsteins Music
When do you two first come to Bronstein Music?

Don: We both started working in high school. Back then, the store certainly looked different. We had TVs, stereos, records (you know, those plastic things), ha, ha. We went to separate high schools, but both of us were in the music program at the high school, and Mr. Bronstein wanted to hire band and music students
Richard went to USF but stayed working at Bronstein. He thought he’d work in the medical field, but during his junior year, Mr. Bronstein asked him what he wanted to do with his life. Richard said at that time, Bronstein offered him a managerial position with the intent that he would own the store five years later. That was 1974. “I knew I didn’t want to ‘work’ for someone else. The only person I could work for was Mr. Bronstein, so I knew this was a great opportunity to be a part of something I love, which is music.”
Rich plays principal trumpet in several professional and community groups and plays both classical and jazz. In fact, he took time out from our meeting and played a little tune.

Meanwhile, Don joined the National Guard and played in the band. After the National Guard, he went to work for Western Electric. All the while, Don stayed in contact with Richard and Mr. Bronstein. He came back to Bronstein Music as an organ department manager in 1976. “It just so happened to be April Fools’ Day, ha, ha, ha.”

Bronsteins Music
When asked what it was like working together for 47 years, yes, we did say 47 years – Don and Richard both agreed it was a lot like a marriage. “We have our moments, but it has been a great working relationship,” said Richard. “I’m a conservative, and he’s a liberal, so you can imagine we may butt heads a time or two,” added Don.

Adjusting to the Changing Times
Both Don and Richard agree that many things have changed since Mr. Bronstein first started his store back in 1946. Especially when it comes to the internet. People can order online, 24/7, anywhere. The competition is greater because there are more options for people. So, they’ve had to adjust their business plan.  But they have a loyal customer base. “We’ve been in this for so long, we know what people want,” says Richard. “Now, our emphasis is centered around services, schools and knowledge,” added Don.

Bronsteins Music
One thing that hasn’t changed is their employment model. Every person that works there plays. Don, as you can imagine, is a highly regarded keyboard player, plays many musical styles, and performs in some local groups. So, of course, we had to ask Don to share his skills with us. Check out his video here.
Bronstein Music is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on February 9th. If you haven’t been to their store on 363 Grand Avenue, check it out, as it’s more than just a retail store. In addition to music instruments, supplies and sheet music, they do rentals of school band and orchestra instruments, private and group lessons and music instrument repair services. Remember – you’re never too old to start learning a new hobby!