By Emily G. Peters
Sierra Madre Music is making a mighty musical impact with the help of its owners, award-winning musicians Almer Imamovic and Dr. Jessica Pierce. Founded as an extension of the duo’s heart for music, the couple elevated the offerings of a small-town music shop with their impressive musical background. Imamovic, a classical guitar professor at Occidental College, obtained degrees in music from Royal Welsh College, USC and Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where he and Pierce met. Pierce is a skilled flutist and chamber musician, holding her doctorate in musical arts from USC. With their ensemble duo AlmaNova, the pair has traveled everywhere from Mexico to Wales showcasing their musical mastery. Yet their desire to raise a family and establish an outlet for their shared love of music education led them to launch Sierra Madre Music in 2012, paving the way for a new musical movement in the city.
The shop is more than just a place to purchase, rent or repair an instrument. It’s a harmonic hotspot for the city and surrounding neighborhoods. “Sierra Madre is special—an intrinsically artistic community,” said Pierce. “People living here care about their kids, their education, and they’re proud of where they live. Giving them access to world-class music education and supplies without having to travel or deal with big stores—it was something that was needed.”
That respect for artistry helped Pierce and Imamovic focus on providing the highest-quality of musical instruction while still remaining flexible to the needs of their clients, stocking musical necessities as well as fulfilling special requests. Their gifted staff, most of whom posses at minimum a Master’s degree, offer classes in guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, drums, saxophone, violin, flute, clarinet, trumpet, voice, music theory, rock band and more. Students as young as three all the way to octogenarians have joined the Sierra Madre Music family, proving you’re never too young or too old to learn.
The Sierra Madre Music team is also busy developing the music scene in the city. Their new collaboration with Sierra Madre Playhouse begins Dec. 18, bringing world-class concert performances to the local stage, with more events slated throughout the year. Students in their musical outreach program host monthly recitals at nearby Kensington Assisted Living Residence, while student bands showcase their artistry at gigs in town and in the city’s “Concert in the Park” summer series. What’s more, Sierra Madre Music’s curriculum will soon expand beyond performance with offerings in music appreciation, music history, and even a course on the Beatles.
Ultimately, it’s the camaraderie of performance that Pierce finds to be the heartbeat of their organization. “That’s what keeps it exciting for the students—not just the practice, but to create and play music with others,” she said. And as Sierra Madre Music moves into its fifth year, it’s an exciting time for anyone to become a part of this musical movement: one chord progression at a time.
Sierra Madre Music is located at 280 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre. Learn more about their services at Sierra Madre Music or call (626)316-7017 or go to email@example.com and follow them via Facebook and AlmaNova Duo’s YouTube channel.