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Couple celebrate 30 years of running Norwich music shop

PUBLISHED: 18:12 10 November 2017

Anne and Chris Duarte at the St George's Music Shop which they have been running for 30 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Anne and Chris Duarte at the St George's Music Shop which they have been running for 30 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

A couple with a lifelong love of music are celebrating 30 years of running Norwich’s St George’s Music Shop.

The St George's Music Shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY The St George's Music Shop. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chris and Anne Duarte, both 57, took over St George’s Music Shop in November 1987 after moving to the city from London where Mrs Duarte worked for a record shop and Mr Duarte worked for the BBC.

And three decades later the couple, who first met at Dartington College of Arts, are still enjoying being at the helm of the St George’s Street store which sells all kinds of printed music as well as accessories for instruments.

When asked about their highlights over the years, Mrs Duarte, who plays the piano as well as the church organ at St George Colegate, said: “It’s being part of Norwich’s musical life. We meet all sorts of people and our whole life is music. Norwich is such a vibrant city for music and it’s lovely to be a part of it.”

Mr Duarte, who conducts Keswick Hall Choir and used to play the cello, added: “Every day is different, every person who comes in is different. Some just want information, some want help with starting an instrument, some want help with the instrument they are playing, some want to buy new music and to see what different styles we have got here.

Anne and Chris Duarte at the St George's Music Shop which they have been running for 30 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Anne and Chris Duarte at the St George's Music Shop which they have been running for 30 years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It’s just really helping people to get on and enjoy playing music and to get better at playing music. That’s quite important - some people think, ‘I’ll never get to that standard,’ but if you practice every day, just a little bit, even 10 minutes, you will be surprised how quickly you can improve.”

St George’s Music Shop is now the only sheet music shop in the city, and the couple believe it has stood the test of time because they have adapted the business to the changing times. They were also one of the first music shops to have a website, and last month launched a new website for the store.

Alongside stocking classical music, they are also well versed on popular music trends, with songbooks for shows such as Hamilton and popstars such as Ed Sheeran and Adele being among the most in demand currently.

When asked about their own musical tastes, Mr and Mrs Duarte said they especially liked classical music but it was too difficult to pick a favourite work or composer.

“We like whatever we are playing right now or about to play,” said Mrs Duarte.

For more about St George’s Music Shop, which also sells tickets for Sewell Barn, visit www.stgeorgesmusic.co.uk

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