Nate began taking guitar lessons at Downtown Music three years ago. The owner, Gabe Stalnaker, and him became good friends. He began spending more time there, longer lessons, drop by visits, recording songs, setting up for summer concerts, and more lessons. About a year and a half ago, he was feeling something. He couldn't explain it to me, but the best I could understand was that he wanted a ministry opportunity with youth and music. He met with several people, prayed for understanding, and waited. And waited. At the same time, Gabe had been feeling called to ministry and was praying for a church to open their doors for him to pastor. One thing led to another, several months of tossing ideas around, waking up in the night, and prayers, we all took a big step of faith. Gabe accepted a ministry opportunity in Tennessee and Nate accepted the keys to Downtown Music. We, okay I, have weak knees and a weaker stomach. I don't know what the next year, even the next month is going to bring, but, for now, we are managing a music store in downtown Rocky Mount, Virginia and I fully believe and trust that God opened that door for Nate. We could never replace Gabe Stalnaker, we aren't looking for anything else but that God can be glorified at Downtown Music and we can keep the doors open for all of the music students to continue their lessons. There are six amazing teachers, you name the instrument and one of them can teach it. Banjo, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, piano, drums, etc. There is a small recording studio, four classrooms, and a lot of love for music. There is a stage outside for the summer concerts when the students showcase their talent. We have some new ideas hidden in our heart and we'll just keep praying and see what God allows to happen. We are taking it slooow but it's been pretty exciting to add our own small touches to the shop.
Our first big event is Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas this Friday night, December 7, from 5:30 to 9. Drew will be marching in a small parade with the middle school band at 5:30 and then Cable 12 will be filming the students at Downtown Music playing Christmas music. They amp the music out to the street so you can stand outside the window to watch. The downtown is full of vendors, horse and buggy rides, all of the stores are open, and lots of craft vendors. I will be inside selling cinnamon rolls and brewing Starbucks coffee. (Homemade creme de menthe syrup, whipping cream, and candy canes for a peppermint mocha if you so desire.) Proceeds to benefit We Care of Franklin County.
One of my favorite things about the store and its location? It is located along The Crooked Road, which is the Virginia heritage music trail.