Making music has just become a little easier in the Rim country.
Payson's Shaker Music in the Swiss Village Shops is now an official rental outlet for Milano Music of Mesa. According to Shaker owner Joe Harless, that means a lot more convenience for elementary, middle and high school music students in the Rim country.
"Over 100 kids up here rent their musical instruments from Milano," Harless said. "We can now handle every aspect of that transaction so they don't have to go down to the Valley or wait for a Milano representative to come up here."
Specifically, Shaker carries a large selection of rental instruments, a complete line of band accessories and supplies including the special supply kits Milano makes up for its rental customers, and can perform minor instrument repairs.
"And, if we can't do it, we will shuttle the instruments back and forth to Milano for our customers," Harless said.
Another advantage to the new relationship, he said, is that students waiting for an instrument to be repaired can borrow a replacement instrument.
"It never fails," Harless said. "An instrument always breaks at the worst possible time, the day of a concert or a football game."
Finally, Harless said, Shaker will show students how to maintain their instruments properly.
The school district provides unrentable instruments like baritones and tubas, but most others are either purchased or rented by students, Payson High School music teacher Larry Potvin said.
Milano, which was founded in 1954, rents more musical instruments than any other store in Arizona. Milano's office manager Matt Mildebrandt explained that Payson was previously serviced by a road representative, but that Shaker's addition to the Milano's family will greatly improve service for its Payson customers.
"Payson is growing, and we felt it was time we had a full-time presence up there," Mildebrandt said. "We've known Joe for a long time, we carry his Shaker harmonica microphones in our Valley stores, and we're confident he'll do a great job for Payson musicians."
Payson music students also can rent instruments from Payson Music Center at 612 S. Beeline Highway. Owner Wes Hathaway said his company also is a full-service sales and rental outlet.