MOUNT VERNON — Colonial Music has been a business icon in Mount Vernon for 45 years. Tom and Elaine Ostrander bought the old Tony’s Music shop in 1964, renaming it Colonial Music. The store was at the northeast corner of East Vine and South Mulberry streets until 1972, when the Ostranders bought a building on West Ohio Avenue and moved the store there.
“It was more space than we needed then,” said Elaine Ostrander. “But as the business grew, we were able to use all the space.”
Colonial Music had to make the move because the buildings along West Vine Street between South Main and South Mulberry streets were being torn down for a parking lot and drive-through window for First-Knox National Bank.
“Basically, we sold band and orchestral instruments,” she said. “We also sold big tape recorders, radios and stereos. And guitars. We had no real experience running a music store. Tom wanted to do that. I was teaching at Reynoldsburg and I really didn’t want to move back to Mount Vernon. But I’m glad we did. The business was great and it was a great place to raise a family.”
Ostrander said business was good over the years. Colonial did a brisk business in instrumental rental; mostly band instruments, but also a whole range of products, including guitars and accessories such as drum sticks, strings and a whole host of products. Colonial Music expanded to eight stores in Ohio and was the largest supplier of band instruments and accessories in the state.
But times change, and running the eight stores became a bit too much for Tom, Elaine and their daughter, Judy Kessler. In October 2006, Colonial Music was sold to Music & Art Corp.
“We had a lot of offers,” Ostrander said. “But we went with Music & Arts because of their commitment to education. They were one of the largest dealers in the country and very education minded. That was very important to us. For us it was a good and prudent business decision.”
Music & Arts closed three of the Colonial Music locations and kept five of the stores, including the Mount Vernon location. Now the Mount Vernon store will go through what Ostrander calls a partial closing.
“We will be open for band and orchestra accessories and rentals, music books and repairs. We will no longer carry guitars, drums or amplifiers,” she said.
The store will be open 22 hours each week, on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Elaine will remain the education representative and will make calls on schools using the store’s services. The last day of operation under the current model will be Saturday.
In a last-minute decision, Music & Arts decided the store will do business as JET Music. The store will remain at 20 W. Ohio Ave. For more information call 397-2020.