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Photo by Theo Tate
Omega Music manager Jonathan Vorce helps out a customer Friday.
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Photo by Theo Tate
Omega Music on State Street has been in business since September 2009.
For 27 years, Jonathan Vorce has been involved in music.
“I did the band program all through high school and through middle school and through grade school,” Vorce said. “In college, I was going to be a band director. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a music teacher.”
The 32-year-old Vorce is now the manager of Omega Music, a music store at 2035 State St. This month, Omega Music is celebrating its sixth year in business.
“What we like to do is keep doing what we’ve been doing and that’s continuing to be a nice place for people to come and buy instruments,” said Vorce, who graduated from Granite City High School in 2001. “We would like to expand on what we have. I’ve got a few hundred guitars in here. I’ve got all kinds of stuff, but I just like to fill it up. Whenever I looked at pictures of when we first opened up here, it was embarrassing. Compared to what we have now, we had maybe a dozen of guitars on the wall. We sell guitars and we put them right back into the business. We’re always putting the money back into the business with our facade and signage and stuff like that. We’re always trying to improve.”
Omega Music sells guitars, pianos, drums and banjos, among other instruments, and offers music lessons.
“As much as we can do, we try to do,” Vorce said. “We rent to schools. We do not have too much luck with that, but it’s something we try to do nonetheless.”
This month, the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Madison County is recognizing businesses that specialize in recreation and arts and Omega Music is one of them. The others are the Granite City Park District, Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, the Tourism Bureau IllinoiSouth, Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville, Alfresco Productions, Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville, Days Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn and Magnuson Camelot Hotel in Pontoon Beach and Super 8 Motel.
Omega Music opened in September 2009 and it’s now part of a revitalized downtown Granite City district.
“This was originally my brother’s (Brian) building,” Vorce said. “My brother bought this building. He was trying to open a record store down here. He brought all of Vintage Vinyl’s old stock and pretty much everything they left with him went out of business or moved or whatever they did. He bought all of that up and he had grand designs to open a store down here. But it never really got off the ground. We had the idea of bringing it down here and giving it a go and see what happens. The downtown area is doing well. Getting more people down here all of the time always helps. The theater has helped and all of the different businesses down here like the restaurants especially have helped people come down here.”
Vorce has been the store manager all six years. His father, Mike, is the owner and founder.
“Hudson Music was going out of business on Johnson Road,” Jonathan Vorce said. “We’ve always been really big into music and we wanted to make sure that we had a nice music store in Granite City so we didn’t want lose something that was really important.”
Vorce said the store has been getting help from Todd Jones, who is a working musician.
“He’s really excellent,” Vorce said. “I have him teach lessons for me and he does some sales and stuff and kind of helps me out here and there. Whenever we first opened up, I was doing all of the repairs. I was doing all of the lessons and doing all of the sales and you just can’t be everything at once. So now I do most lessons, all of the repairs and most of the sales. But it’s a business which I can’t afford more help than what I’ve got.”
Vorce said he hopes the music store will continue to be successful.
“After five years passed, we’ve seen a real uptake on how much volume that we’ve done and how many sales that we have done,” the manager said. “It’s enough to keep the lights on. We’re not losing any money here. We’re doing all right.”
For more information, call Omega Music at (618) 709-7787.