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Paul "Chico" Fernandez

Chico started the school in 1972 and is a drummer/percussionist of the highest caliber.  After ten years of playing in bands and orchestras in his home town of Toronto, Canada, he toured the U.S. with many name big bands, show groups and recording artists.  Finally settling in L.A. in the mid sixties he taught drums and freelanced, working in T.V., motion pictures and clubs, as well as playing many show group gigs in L.A. and Las Vegas.  During the seventies Chico divided his time between teaching, talent management and record production. 

Chico’s varied experience has included serving on the examination and education boards of Local 47 Musician’s Union and the board of directors of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.  He currently is a member of the Performing Arts Committee of the Santa Monica Arts Commission.

Victor Fernandez
Vice President

Victor, the business administrator and CFO of the Music Centers, received his B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from McMaster University in Canada.  He also studied music theory and piano, which has given him a greater insight into business.  Vic oversees the daily operations of the two facilities, and is a born organizer and a natural problem solver, enabling management of operations of the two studio facilities from the Santa Monica office.

Vic has given of his time and talent over the years in Santa Monica to social service organizations and volunteer work through his involvement in St. Monica’s Parish and the Knights of Columbus.

Company Goals and Mission Statement
The Santa Monica Music Center (SMMC) was established not only for the commercial purpose of marketing goods and services to its customers, but more so for the greater goal of the creation of a powerful venue for Santa Monica youth to effectively learn and appreciate music.

It is a known fact that music is a tremendous tool of expression that goes beyond the complexities of culture, language and other human idiosyncrasies.  With the alarming rise in juvenile crime statistics, it is of utmost importance that the youth of Santa Monica find an outlet to vent such negative emotions as anger and depression and move toward a more positive direction.

To achieve this goal, we are committed to provide the best music instruction program to the youth -- most of our teachers are working professional musicians, ensuring up-to-date, practical information and teaching methods.

We at the Santa Monica Music Center are dedicated to the belief that music is a defining key to the future of our youth.

Company Background
One of the oldest surviving, family owned music businesses in the area.

Established in January of 1972 by professional drummer Paul (Chico) Fernandez as a teaching studio and talent management office, the business grew to include a recording studio and photography studio to support the development and promotion of the signed talent.  1974 saw the addition of Victor Fernandez, Paul’s brother, to the business and the two brothers have been partners since.  In 1979 the business partners decided to add the retail music store to its operation and discontinue the recording studio operation.

From 1972 until January 2000 (28yrs) the business was located at 1247 Lincoln Blvd. (across from the S.M. Boys Club).  In February of 2000 the business moved to its present location, 1901 Santa Monica Blvd. (on the NE corner of 19th).

The music store and music studios have been providing the music community, schools, and local families with quality band and orchestra instrument sales, rentals, repair, private and group lessons and studio rentals for the past 36 years.  The community minded business supports the public and private schools in the area with donations of lessons and instruments for their auctions and fundraisers.

Among the many loyal customers are major movie studios and producers who rent instruments for their productions, as well as local celebrities and their families who study in the studios.  One of the unique attributes of the business is they respect the privacy of the industry people and do not display their photographs for promotional purposes.  Another reason for the long-term success of the business is the warm friendly atmosphere, combined with good old-fashioned customer service, quality products and experienced, qualified music teachers.  Sales manager Craig Spendlove and the store staff are knowledgeable and available for help and advice to novices and pro’s alike.  Celeste Capaldo-Smith is the music school coordinator.

In January of 2004 the Culver City Music Center was opened as a second location to serve the Culver City and surrounding communities.  Chico’s son Raymond Fernandez manages the store and Vic’s wife, Kathy Fernandez, is the music school coordinator.

Over the years the two locations have employed several of the Fernandez children including Rhonda, Lana, Jennifer, and Michael.

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