Bob Coffey teaching trumpet to Matthew P. of Westminster.

by James Rada Jr., photography by Bill Ryan

Bob Coffey always knew that he wanted to do something involving music. He played in bands and orchestras. He attended Towson State to study music education. He just needed to figure out how he could turn his love of music into a career.

He was playing trumpet in a band when another band member, Claire Christy, asked him, “Would you like to manage my music store?”

Coffey took the job and embarked on a crash course in retail management for the next four years. “I learned a lot of what to do and not to do in running a store,” Coffey said.

Then on September 1, 1984, Coffey opened Coffey Music in an 800-square-foot store in Westminster. Since that time, the business has grown into a 12,000-square-foot store on East Main Street, making it the largest music store in Carroll County.

The store has 600 new and used guitars in stock that range in price from $80 to $5,000. They also offer a great selection on other instruments, too. Customers can come into the store and try them out.

“I don’t know how you buy an instrument without putting your hands on it. We have staff that will help you select the right instrument for you,” Coffey said.

Coffey says the reason for the growth is

Gabriel P. looks at new guitars while waiting for his lesson.

“We offer great customer service at a competitive price.”

Coffey Music also offers in-store repairs for band instruments, and they are the only place in Carroll County that does. Dominic Iacavone does all of the repairs, and he has over 30 years of experience in brass and woodwind instrument repair. Dominic’s son, David, handles all of the brass repairs. They repair instruments quickly and efficiently.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, Coffey Music offers private music lessons at your skill level with just about any instrument you might want to play, such a piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, flute, clarinet, drums, and more. Because the lessons are private, the instructors can zero in on the exact things your playing needs to improve.

Coffey Music’s support of music education in the schools has helped many beginning musicians learn about the store, and the store’s support of music-related community events has spread the name to many adults in the county. For instance, the store offered a free bass clinic with Joe Macre of Crack the Sky in July.

“Music is universal, and we want to help people enjoy it,” Coffey said.


  • Coffey Music supplies the instruments rented by students playing in orchestras and bands in many of the Carroll County Public Schools.
  •  Woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion instruments are all available on rent to purchase plans for students.
  • Coffey Music has more than 40 teachers who offer private music lessons through Coffey Music.
  • Coffey Music stocks all the necessary accessories and method books musicians need.
  • Coffey Music is entering their 34th year in the music business.
  • Although born in New York, Bob Coffey was raised in Carroll County and is a 1976 graduate of Westminster High School.
  • For students renting instruments from Coffey Music, an optional maintenance plan is available to keep the instrument in top playing condition.

Coffey Music  31 East Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157  •  •  410-876-1045