Music & Arts: Changing lives through music, the language of the soul

Beside the Point

Chris Dunn

Music & Arts, one of the largest musical instrumental rental companies in the United States, remains passionate about musical adventure and success and is dedicated to serving schools across the community. Chris Dunn, store manager of Music & Arts Yorktown, is a creative and enthusiastic individual who aspires to create a company culture through his zealous attitude. With a passion for designing a welcoming environment, where both employees and customers feel inspired daily, Dunn is also known for using his creativity to holistically evaluate and judge obstacles, often proposing a unique solution, one truly “out of the box,” says Dunn. “Our mission is ‘to spread the power of the band and orchestra experience to transform lives, enrich communities and stir the soul.’” 

As a thriving and heartfelt musician, Dunn enjoys playing numerous instruments, which include guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano, synthesizers, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, Dunn even plays the theremin, an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. “I love going to local concerts and open mic events. Aside from musical activities, I also enjoy spending time with my amazing girlfriend of 10 years and our dog, Tycho, and cat, Lola. I am also fortunate to have several family members who live local to Hampton Roads,” Dunn says. 

With a brisk start to his day at Music & Arts Yorktown, Dunn often begins by looking over the student lesson schedule to ensure that everything goes according to plan for all students and teachers. “I am the main point of contact for store customers and students throughout the day, so I always try to personally speak to and make a connection with each person who enters the store. My goal is to make sure that everyone leaves satisfied with everything they need,” Dunn says. 

Dunn also regularly participates in community engagement, working with the local school systems’ music programs throughout the year. “It has been a thrilling and rewarding ride to see the consistent growth of this store over the past 18 months. Company-wide, we regularly place in the top 5 percent for overall sales goals out of more than 250 locations nationwide,” Dunn shares excitedly. Dunn says he envisions Music & Arts Yorktown being the number-one destination and go-to resource for all musical-related education and inquiries in Hampton Roads within the next decade. “I believe we have the opportunity to strengthen our existing relationships and foster new ones, helping to grow the market with new players year after year. There is great potential for future growth, without question,” he says. 

With social networking done primarily by word-of-mouth, Music & Arts promotes instrument sales, lessons, repairs and rentals at local schools through dedicated educational representatives. With the creation of unique programs for music education such as Be Part of the Music, the business is able to provide a comprehensive range of free content that assists with recruitment and student retention. It also participates in grassroots marketing at local public events, promoting music education at farmer’s markets and visiting local businesses regularly. 

Though COVID-19 posed a tremendous threat to thousands of businesses, Music & Arts Yorktown managed to implement creative ways to maintain student engagement and business services throughout the pandemic, offering online lessons so students could learn remotely. Additionally, by instituting curbside pickup, customers were able to purchase and repair instruments, never denying musical adventure and creativity.

“What I love about my profession is being able to connect with so many unique people of different backgrounds and various connections with music. I get to share my life passion with my employees, teachers, customers and students every day, which is wonderful,” Dunn says. 

With a desire to inspire others with music, Dunn wishes to expand outreach throughout the community to enhance community connections and musical engagement, making the world a better place. 

Music & Arts Yorktown
Address: 209 Village Ave., Ste. I, Yorktown, VA 23693
Contact: Chris Dunn, store manager
Phone: 757-988-3970

About Kayla Brundick 24 Articles
Kayla Brundick is a senior at Christopher Newport University (CNU) in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in English with a writing concentration. Alongside her academic course work, Kayla is also a social media promoter for the CNU Writing Center, gaining substantial social media marketing and writing skills. Outside of academics, she enjoys reading, writing, spending time with friends and family and traveling to new places. After graduation, Kayla will pursue a career in public relations as well as obtaining a master’s degree in English writing.