Portman’s music turns 85
SAVANNAH, Georgia (WTOC) – In 1936, Savannah started to sound a lot better. It was around this time that Ben Portman opened his music store on Broughton Street and began teaching Savannah to play a variety of instruments.
Music education has been at the center of the business that Ben’s son Jerry Portman now operates, and this year is celebrating her 85th birthday.
Friday nights across the Coastal Empire might seem different if it weren’t for the Portman family.
“My parents started, and so did we, many of the school groups you know today,” said Jerry Portman, owner of Portman’s Music Superstore. “In Savannah, all public schools, in Beaufort County, South Carolina, to Statesboro and Brunswick and the various counties in the region.”
For 85 years, Portman’s Music has been responsible for much of the musical year in Savannah, providing private lessons and creating access to learning music in public schools.
“From the start, my parents were very interested in music education. We started selling guitars and acoustic instruments in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s some musical instrument companies came to my dad and said, “If I sent you horns in August, Would you rent them out to the kids in September and return any horns you don’t use? “
And the business grew, as well as the number of people playing, from a small store with a small inventory on Broughton Street to a 30,000-foot facility in downtown Savannah with flutes, clarinets, trumpets. , saxophones, violins, violas, cellos and basses. And then they have their guitar section.
“We added twice. We have a two story warehouse and we also have stores now in Augusta, Brunswick, and Albany, GA, ”said Portman.
And even after adding accessories, gear, and one of Georgia’s largest instrument repair shops, Jerry Portman has kept what his father taught him at the center of the business.
“My wife and I are proud to carry on the tradition that began. We believe in music education, we believe in teaching students how to play … by helping schools. We have more teachers than we have had in the history of the store. All of our teachers, even if they teach part-time, have a college, master’s or doctorate degree, and each of them makes a plan for the person who wants to take courses that are right for them. intended.
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