Coralville-based West Music Co. has acquired Kephart's Music Center, with stores in Decorah and Dubuque.
The Kephart-West Music Decorah store at 126 E. Water St. will be co-managed by Jim and Ann Kephart. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 pm. on Saturday.
A new store in Dubuque at 2255 John F Kennedy Rd. will be managed by Wendy Kephart. Hours will be 10 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Kephart-West association dates back 60 years to the fall of 1953 when Russ Kephart met and studied under Pearl West, co-founder of West Music, through an instrument repair program. Through the years, the Kephart and West families became friends and often enjoyed each other's company at music conventions, school music programs, and Iowa Hawkeye football games.
"True, we’ve been friendly competitors over the years, but we’ve always had great respect for each other and share the same business philosophy," said Lynne Kephart, Russ Kephart's wife. "We believe that our primary goal to serve our customers in strong support of music education can be better achieved with the combined resources of both companies."West Music, founded in 1941, specializes in pianos, guitars, drums and percussion, band and orchestra instruments, and print music as well as offers music instruction, repair and music therapy services. With the addition of the Kephart locations, West Music has eight retail stores in Iowa and western Illinois.