Small Business Spotlight: Haymarket’s Contemporary Music Center
By Anna Parsons and Allison Brown
Not only is Contemporary Music Center (CMC) located in the heart of the town of Haymarket, but it is also in the heart of the people who live here. It offers music lessons, sells musical instruments, and frequently hosts events in their basement venue, @4410.
CMC was awarded the cover of Music Inc. Magazine in 2012 for the unique quality of the Rock Camp program, and in 2016, CMC won the music industry’s top honor: NAMM Dealer of the Year. That honor was recognized with two cover stories on CMC: NAMM Playback magazine, and MMR (Music Merchandise Review). CMC was also featured in CMT (Canadian Music Trade Magazine) in 2016.
Menzie Pittman is the owner and founder of the music center. When asked about his inspiration and background in music, he happily shared with us the reason as to why he opened the center: “The inspiration to open CMC in 1989 stemmed from the desire to provide the highest quality music education possible, along with retail and other services to our community. Music Education has always been the core value behind CMC and through the years we have grown into our second location in Haymarket (opening in 2004) and @4410 which we opened in 2014. We have 26 individual lesson rooms and our performance center, @4410.”
The venue @4410 hosts not only public open mics but is also home to Battlefield High School’s own open mic fundraiser that supports the journalism program at the school. All proceeds from the events go to publishing the school’s magazine, and if you ask the students participating, it is an opportunity to express our deepest thoughts and to show others our take on the world around us.
Menzie also divulged where his love for music started: “For me, personally, my father was a professional musician, so music was a language in our home, that impacted me tremendously. Add in Elvis, the Beatles, and James Brown, and as you can guess, I was hooked for life.”
He also has a message to the community: “CMC has one very simple want, that we hope the community knows! We want the music community to know there is one store like CMC in the world and it happens to be right here in VA. We help musicians of all levels advance. We want beginners and young musicians to get the best education experience so they stay with music. We want adults to rekindle their passion for learning and stay connected to the power of music. We want teens to learn stage performance at @4410 and be prepared for any university, or work opportunity, that may come their way. We want to help you find the best instrument choices and then show you the easiest path to succeed in learning how to play music. Lastly we want every teen and family to know they are always home when they are in CMC.”
Contemporary Music Center is not only a place where people have the opportunity to find themselves through music but they also can make lifelong memories with people who are just like them.
Our Student Spotlight series is a partnership between Piedmont Lifestyle Magazines and Battlefield High School’s journalism classes to publish students’ writing and artwork. We are enthusiastic about bringing students’ literary and artistic creations to the community and we look forward to more submissions!
About the authors
Anna Parsons is a senior at Battlefield High School. She is the business manager for journalism and the index editor for yearbook. She plays lacrosse and plans to study hospital administration in college.
Allison Brown is a senior and fourth year student in the journalism program. She manages girls varsity basketball and boys varsity soccer at Battlefield. She plans to attend Coastal Carolina University and study elementary education.
About the photographer:
Isabelle Barrett is a senior at Battlefield High School in Haymarket. She is the editor in chief of the yearbook, president of the Peer Diversity and Photography Clubs, photo editor for the literature magazine, and the webmaster of Key Club. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in media and communications.