Senseney Music, the city’s largest provider of sheet music for local musicians, is largely getting out of the print music business.
This week, signs have been affixed to many of the sheet music bins at the store, 2300 E. Lincoln, advertising a 40-percent-off liquidation.
The store, which boasted it had the largest selection of printed music in the state, will discontinue selling much of its performance music, choral octavos, concert band, marching band, string orchestra and other large-ensemble sheet music.
Senseney will continue to stock music that local educators use for classes, and it will special-order sheet music that customers request. It will also carry a limited supply of popular music for piano and guitar, including Broadway musical books and pop-album books.
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According to Lori Supinie, owner and president of Senseney, the change came as a result of declining print-music sales.
“That’s not a secret to anybody,” Supinie said. “It’s a combination of more internet competition, web-only retailers as well as direct sales from publishers. All that has a factor, as well as school and church budgets are just smaller than they used to be.”
In addition to paring down the sheet-music department, the store has also cut six staffers in its sales and support departments, Supinie said.
Supinie said the store is “healthy – (cutting down on sheet music) is just a move to make us stronger.”
“It was a really hard decision to make – I personally love looking through music, too,” she said. “It wasn’t a decision that was easy to make, but it was the right time to do it.”
Senseney plans to shift its focus to “other areas of the business, primarily our band and orchestra instruments.”
“It just takes resources to do that,” Supinie said.
About a third of Senseney’s storefront was dedicated to shelves of music for piano, guitar, organ, bands, choirs and more. The store allowed musicians to peruse its collection and play through songs on its pianos before purchasing the music.
Supinie hopes to liquidate the store’s sheet music stock by spring.
Southeast High School's Marching Band will represent Kansas when they perform in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii. McClatchyWichita Public Schools/Facebook