Totally Music Dubbo, closes its doors after 33 years in business

CLOSING SHOP: Stephen Ney, Doug McMahon, Lorraine McMahon and Sharen McMahon are preparing to close Totally Music. Photo: BEN WALKER
CLOSING SHOP: Stephen Ney, Doug McMahon, Lorraine McMahon and Sharen McMahon are preparing to close Totally Music. Photo: BEN WALKER

It’s the end of an era for Dubbo’s well known music store, Totally Music. 

After 33 years in the industry, serving the community and wider region, Totally Music will shut its doors for the final time on Saturday, November 25. 

It was Doug McMahon’s love of music that saw him first open the music store in 1984 with his wife, Lorraine. While there were five other music shops operating in the area at that time, Doug and Lorraine were determined to grow Totally Music. 

The announcement of the closure of the well-known music shop came as a shock to many of their loyal customers when it was announced on the Totally Music Facebook page. 

“Our decision to close the store has been a long and difficult one,” Doug said. 

“Originally instigated by the fact we have to move from our existing premises we began considering our future.

“The cost of repositioning the business was one factor that we took into consideration plus the fact that there are now large national retailers in Dubbo selling musical instruments at discounted prices.

“Internet purchasing has had a very large effect on many small businesses including Totally Music,” he said. 

“As most people are aware, Amazon, probably the world’s largest Internet retailer are currently setting up here in Australia. Again another major threat to small retailers.” 

When Totally Music opened it was at the same period when the Electronic Organ lost its popularity and piano sales escalated. 

“We have fond memories of many pianos of various colours lined up in our warehouse awaiting delivery to customers,” Doug said. 

Many residents would also have know Totally Music as the location of the Orana School of Music until the school grew too large and had to move. Between 1989 and December 1993 seven rooms in the back of the store were used by the music school.

For a period of 13 years ending in 2012 Natalie McMahon conducted group piano tuition specialising in young students aged from four to 10 years.

“Many are much more than just customers, they have become good friends,”

Doug McMahon

The store is currently managed by Doug and Lorraine’s daughter Sharen and her partner Stephen Ney.

Sharen has been managing the store since March 1998, while Stephen joined in June 2012. 

For Stephen and his love of music it has been a ‘dream job’. Since he started they have introduced a number of well known brands into the Dubbo market including Gibson, Fender and Marshall. 

While working and rehearsing at the store had been a dream for Stephen, he said he could see how hard it was for smaller stores to be competitive in the market

The couple said they were looking forward to the future. 

“We think there will be a couple of weeks break, and then a few new ventures are being discussed at the moment,” Sharen said. 

“I’m both excited and sad to leave. Excited for something new, but sad when I talk to our customers or the wholesalers I see on a regular basis about the history. We have been here for a long time.”

“The community response (to the announcement of the closure) has been unbelievable. On Facebook and in store, people have been so supportive,” Sharen said. 

Doug said they wished to sincerely thank all of the customers they have served over many years. 

“Many are much more than just customers, they have become good friends,”

“Myself and Lorraine, Sharen and Stephen sincerely thank all of you for your loyal support. Many of which go back very many years.”