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Off The Wall adds music ministry

Andrew Harper is the manager at Off The Wall Music, a new music store that recently opened in New Philadelphia.

Scott Daniels

Off The Wall Music in New Philadelphia celebrated a busy grand opening with a store packed with people on Nov. 17. The new store is a part of Off The Wall Ministry and is at 138 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia, next to City Hall.
 
Andrew Harper, manager of Off The Wall Music, is a young man who is clearly excited and passionate about the new venture and its future in the community. He seemed to be everywhere at once in the spacious, well-lit store lined with guitars, preparing for an afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony.
 
Later he reflected on the success of the grand opening. “The crowd just grew all day, and we really didn’t expect that,” Harper said. “There were well over 100 people jammed in here by 6 p.m.”
 
The store will make music instruction the centerpiece of its focus while offering acoustic and electric guitars and sound systems. “We offer just a few instrument lines at a really good value,” Harper said.
 
Harper was previously associated with Hummingbird Music in Sugarcreek. “Rick Troyer at Hummingbird was an important part of this process. We wanted to start the store in New Philadelphia, and he has been very supportive. We’re so pleased that he will continue there and be able to concentrate on parts of the business he most enjoys. It continues to be an invaluable relationship.”
 
Harper said Off The Wall Music grew under the umbrella of Off The Wall Ministry, which focuses on educating young adults in discipleship.
 
“We had the idea of putting together a music store and equipping and advising churches musically with an eye toward excellence," Harper said. "We have an amazingly talented staff of music instructors with plenty of real-world experience in performance and in the unique needs of church facilities. Students will learn music theory along with practical instruction. A part of what we do is assist churches of any size, especially smaller congregations, with putting together the highest quality musical program we can help them build.”
 
Don Stubbs leads the overall Off The Wall Ministry. “I began with an inner-city Chicago ministry more than 10 years ago,” Stubbs said.
 
When the chance to create a place for educating disciples to send into the community arose, Stubbs said he knew he wanted it to be based away from a large-city setting, and New Philadelphia fit the bill.
 
“We needed to be associated with a church, and Countryside Chapel of Baltic and New Philadelphia filled that need. We wanted a place with a low cost of living where students could find work while they studied.”
 
Cost of the discipleship program at Off The Wall is $4,000 per student, which includes room and board.
 
“The first year, 2008, we had four students. In 2017 we have 46 students,” Stubbs said. “Classes are Tuesday through Thursday, and the students must also have jobs or attend part-time university studies. They must assist with services on Sundays. Students learn important life skills. We are all about creating disciples and sending them out into the community to serve as disciples of Christ.”
 
Stubbs said Off The Wall Music has about 80 scheduled lessons so far with a goal of 200.
 
“We’re not exclusively a worship-based music studio,” Harper said. “Though that is our focus, we also offer instrument and amplifier repairs and have a very well-qualified set of people to handle that.”
 
Harper said instruction is available for drums and stringed instruments. “Guitar, ukulele, piano, violin, viola, cello and bass.” The store also features straps, picks and other supplies.
 
“The sound systems we offer are in a very popular and good-quality range,” Harper said. “We do sound system and lighting rentals, system design and installation, and just about everything associated with music. We’re a team of passionate musicians and educators, sharing our love of music with the students we teach and with the community. None of us got into this thinking we were going to make a lot of money. The mission is the thing here.”
 
Off The Wall Music is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed Sundays. Their website is at www.otwmusic.com. Call 330-365-9726.
 

Published: November 22, 2017
New Article ID: 2017171129984