In 1967 Harold Gore, a band director from Texas, bought a college shop that specialized in school, art and music supplies. The small shop also housed a soda fountain, where the student art and music community would congregate and spend time. Mr. Gore’s skills were not in food service and art, however, and the soda fountain and art supplies soon faded away. Instead, Gore’s love for music and education paved the way for the development of a full-service sheet music store, creating a convenient environment for both educators and students alike, to access a large, in-stock inventory of music.
As years passed, Gore broadened the store’s music offerings, and in the process managed to create several industry standards. In the early 1970’s, he saw an opportunity to increase customer service, by taking large quantities of music to conventions. By setting up shop there, he allowed customers to buy directly from the booth. Now, large publishers and other retailers routinely set up print music displays and sale tables at conventions.
In the 1970s and ’80s, Pender’s further departmentalized its stock, creating specialty sections dedicated to jazz, its related materials, and choral music. During this time, Gore continued to broaden his own interest in the industry by arranging marches and other music for concert band. This passion for marches eventually led to the formation of Harold Gore Publishing Company, and the revision of hundreds of marches and overtures for band. Today, HGP Company continues to publish works by numerous composers and arrangers.
Then, in 1985, Gore turned the day-to-day operations of the retail store over to his son, Richard, in order to concentrate fully on the publishing aspects of the business. This was a period of expansion for the company, resulting in the store outgrowing its facilities several times. Finally, in 1989, Pender’s Music Company moved to an 11,000 square foot building, which it still occupies, at 314 S. Elm St. in Denton. The additional space allowed for still more expansion, as Pender’s increased its breadth and depth of print music offerings.
In the summer of 1993 Pender’s Music Company opened a branch store in Oklahoma City, OK, and in the summer of 2000, purchased Wadler-Kaplan Music Shop in Houston, TX. In 2005, Sheet Music Service of Portland, OR was added to the Pender’s family of stores, and in the late summer of 2007, Pender’s opened a brand new location in Carrollton (Dallas), TX. The Pender’s Music Company locations, now in Denton, Oklahoma City, Portland, and Carrollton, allow area musicians to browse music and make selections in well-stocked, professionally managed stores. All four stores share an integrated inventory database, so customers can easily find what music is available and whether it is in stock at any of the four locations, and orders are shipped daily from all locations, providing timely delivery to a national clientele.
Pender’s Music continues to look for innovative ways to serve its customers. Through efficient delivery of print music and related products, Pender’s hopes to increase the number of active music-makers in our world, for many years to come.