In most Five Minutes With stories, we zero-in on a manufacturer in the music products space, talking to an executive about the company’s history, strategic positioning in the market, new product releases and so forth. This month, we have something a little bit different—but equally valuable—for you. Bach to Rock is an innovative, passion-fueled music school that suits students of all ages and musical tastes. We go in-depth with Brian Gross, President & CEO, about its aggressive expansion plans, core beliefs, unique offerings and more. I, for one, can’t wait to revisit this article in a few years to see just how much Bach to Rock has grown…and how many music-makers it’s brought into the fold.
The Music & Sound Retailer: To start, give me an overview of your history—both personal and professional—and the journey you took on the way to becoming President of Bach to Rock. Do you come from the world of music and performance? Are you more from the business side? Tell me about the path you’ve taken.
Brian Gross: I definitely come from the business side. My background is fairly diverse. I’ve had roles in everything from banking to consumer marketing, with companies like Bank of America, Procter & Gamble and Kraft, and started my own company that my wife now operates. We design, manufacture and wholesale children’s shoes. I also spent time in franchising with Sylvan Learning Centers. All of my past experience has come together to serve me well in my role at Bach to Rock. We are a start-up, franchise system, service retail business in the education space. Each of the skill sets—from banking to marketing to running my own business, and certainly franchising with Sylvan—has enabled me to take on this challenge of getting Bach to Rock off the ground and growing toward a national brand and business.
On the personal side, an interesting note: I was the exact type of student whom we aim to help at Bach to Rock. As a child, my parents thought it would be of great value for me to take music lessons. For color and background, it was the early ’80s and I was into heavy metal. The teacher who came to my house was into folk music, so I had to play the acoustic guitar out of a John Denver songbook. Needless to say, after a year of hating music lessons, I was finally able to get my parents to let me quit. When we start to talk about how Bach to Rock approaches music, you’ll see why I wish this had been available to me when I was a kid. I probably would be a musician today.