Music World connects community with music

The music shop was originally founded in 1994 by band director Don Cammack

Music World
Music World currently has two locations – one in Battle Ground (pictured) and one in Hazel Dell. Courtesy of Brooke Strickland

Music World has brought song to Clark County one note and one relationship at a time.

The music shop was originally founded in 1994 by a band director named Don Cammack, then Jim Detchman purchased the company in 2000, where he devoted himself until his passing in 2012. The newest owners, Joyce Detchman and Matt and Jodi Gohlke, have continued in Detchman and Cammack’s footsteps.

When the business first opened, there were approximately four regular employees and now, there are two locations in Battle Ground and Hazel Dell, with an average of 20 employees. The stores sell musical instruments in addition to offering rentals, repairs and music lessons. They are one of the largest Breedlove guitar dealers in the Northwest, providing unique trips to the Breedlove factory in Bend, Ore., where people can learn to build their own custom guitars.

But at the heart of their business is community. Music World has always been about investing and instilling music within individuals around Clark County. The company’s leadership and staff focus on building strong relationships with each customer that comes through their door – especially with local schools and music directors in the area.

“Our connection to the community remains a vital key to the business,” Gohlke said. “Staying ‘in touch’ with our community via local school services, event coordination with district festivals, and relationship to customers makes our store have a personal feel in a world of retail that has been often dominated by online algorithms and ‘automated chat assistance’ that can leave customers feeling like a number rather than a person. Jim [Detchman] taught us all that being an upstanding citizen who cares about community involvement was a priority in running a business, especially one that requires good customer service. The commitment to this principal helped us grow a strong and healthy business.”

The Gohlkes have developed close relationships with many of the music directors in local schools and are also personally involved in spending class time with students in band programs, where they help with sectionals, camps or other events that provide focused music practice or instruction.

“We also have multiple school representatives that service all of Clark County and some Oregon schools,” Gohlke said. “We believe the personal care and time spent with these directors has an impact in the classroom and helps assist in excellent music education for our schools.”

Music World plans to continue making music by looking at a possible expansion for the Hazel Dell location. They are also considering how they can grow their service offerings and will likely be adding additional employees and school representatives to keep up with the demand.

“We treat musicians as real people, not as a dollar sign or another sale,” Gohlke said. “In the music industry, musicians still want to connect with other musicians on a personal level – and that’s what we love to do at Music World.”