By Debbie Adams
Donnie and Rhonda Wray (the “D” and “R”) of D.R. Music have been in business in Vinton for about 36 years. Most of that time was spent in the historic building at the corner of South Pollard Street and East Lee Avenue. That building (constructed in 1915) was heartbreakingly destroyed in the catastrophic fire in downtown Vinton on July 2, with D. R. Music displaced.
Turns out that was only temporary. The Wrays have now reopened their business just a block down the street, at 128 North Pollard. Donnie says they have moved to the quieter, uncongested end of Pollard in a building which provides ample parking for customers and students on the street and behind the building. It was important to them to stay in Vinton.
D.R. Music is a “full line music store.” They have rebuilt their inventory and continue to sell guitars and other stringed instruments and a full line of band accessories; they have drums and keyboards and music books; they rent school, band, and orchestra instruments as well; and they have returned to teaching music lessons (guitar, bass, and others) and repairing instruments—all to the relief of band students and parents and the community at large.
Donnie started out playing music—especially the banjo—but then turned to the retail music business. The Wrays established the Vinton Old Time Bluegrass Festival in the 1980’s which drew large crowds to the Vinton Farmers’ Market for 20 years. In fact, Donnie says the festival is the reason there is a stage at the Farmers’ Market—designed by then Assistant Town Manager Bob Benninger and built for the free concerts.
D.R. Music is open from 11 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 to 2 on Saturdays.