Retail stores open every day; many never catch your eye. However, a store opened this past weekend in McKinney, Texas which sets a new bar for servicing guitarists and musicians. It’s called The Guitar Sanctuary, with Quinten Hope, Caron Hope, Maylee Thomas and George Fuller (Geo) as founders. What’s interesting about this store is that its name has multiple meanings that might not be caught by those who don’t know the principals. Yes, it is definitely a sanctuary for those guitarists who aspire to be the best. Not only does the store carry some of the finest guitars and amps in the business (like PRS and Collings guitars as well as PRS and Mesa Boogie amps), it also offers educational opportunities for students who want to perfect their skill levels on the instrument. This is a store run by musicians who themselves demonstrate the finest in music performance.
But The Guitar Sanctuary as a name highlights much more about these folks. Each has a strong faith which permeates their lives. You see this reflected not only in their music, but also in the way they interact with people on a day-to-day basis. They bring a freshness and life to their music that stems from having that strong base of faith. Musicians who work with the team at The Guitar Sanctuary will find caring and dedicated instructors.
When one walks in the store, one is taken aback by the beauty of the establishment (check out their website for a shot of the breathtaking entrance to the facility). The store evokes two emotions: one of peace and relaxation (like walking into a friend’s living room); the second of the excitement that you may have had walking into your first candy store. It’s hard to imagine how these two emotions can display themselves at the same time, but, in the store, you’ll see what I mean.
I visited the store during the Grand Opening. Okay, actually that is really underplaying the event; it was more of Grand Celebration. The place was packed with people. Now you say, “It was a Grand Opening. A lot of people will show up if you’re giving away a PRS guitar and Mesa Boogie amp.” However, on a day when squalls and tornado warnings (with an actual citing southeast of McKinney) were present most of the afternoon, it is impressive that the event was literally packed to the rafters (see picture). Being great musicians, the team at The Guitar Sanctuary felt the best way to celebrate the opening was with music. The lineup was fantastic. Originally planned to be outdoors, with the terrible weather, imagine the luck to have an immense, empty facility available right next door to The Guitar Sanctuary where the celebration could be held (remember that faith thing I talked about above).
What a celebration of music! The opening set was Quinten Hope and his band (www.quintenhope.com). I have been following Quinten for some time now, and to say that this was the opening set should tell you how high the bar was raised for the day. These guys are the epitome of Texas music. The ease with which they work together as a team makes their music superb.
But, wait… the second set, Maylee Thomas and George Fuller (www.maylee.com), took the stage with their band. Folks, if you have heard Maylee sing with Geo highlighting his mastery of the guitar, you’ll understand what I’m about to say. The performance was so incredible that I was lost in the moment with visions of some great singers of the past. People, it was like watching Janis Joplin in her prime (sans the heroin). I was actually stunned (in a nice way) at Maylee’s performance. She captivated the crowd and took them on a musical journey that none will forget.
Okay, so who could possibly raise the bar even further after the performances of Quinten, Maylee and Geo? Andy Timmons (www.andytimmons.com). Yup, folks, it only got better. The facility that Andy has with the instrument belies the difficulty of the work that he performs. Quoting a friend, “Andy is a monster!” He took the emotion built up from the performances of Quinten, Maylee and Geo and drove the audience even further. Andy played fantastic riffs that built the fabric of a musical story that thrilled even the youngest in that audience. By the time he finished, the audience had experienced one of the finest celebrations of the opening of a retail store.
Stop by the store or visit the website (www.theguitarsanctuary.com). You will find that the folks there are more than musicians and certainly more than store owners. They are people who truly believe that there should be a place of sanctuary for those who want to excel.
The Guitar Sanctuary is located at 6851 Virginia Parkway, Suite 101, McKinney, Texas. They can be reached on the web at www.theguitarsanctuary.com or at 972-540-6420.
Posted by: John South
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