In four years, McKibben Music’s presence in Newton County has grown, thanks to owner Mack McKibben’s passion for music and active participation with the city.
Since high school, McKibben has been a working musician, performing with many local artists over the years. He felt that opening a business to provide lessons for budding musicians was essential to the community.
“Choosing the square was the ideal location, a safe location,” said McKibben. “Parents can feel safe when they drop their children off for lessons.”
McKibben Music boasts a staff of 10 teachers and offers lessons in a range of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, violin, drums and piano. The business sees 250 students a week from Newton and surrounding counties.
The store also brand-name instruments and accessories for both professional and amateur musicians. McKibben, who is also a piano purist, tunes, moves and repairs pianos at affordable prices.
McKibben regularly takes part in and supports events in the area. He was an essential part in planning Covington’s Fourth of July celebration last year, the first in a couple of years. According to McKibben, he approached the city manager to see if he could get some help to bring some bands to play on the Square. With the support of the city council, they were able to hold a celebration, one that enticed the council to do it again this year.
“The city has not had fireworks in a few years … I felt that the county deserved to celebrate the Fourth,” said McKibben, who also credits Main Street Covington’s Josephine Kelly for her dedication to the event this year. “It was really amazing how it all came into place … to look out there and see a sea of people having a good time. It was our community coming together.”
McKibben will be involved in a number of community events in the coming months. In October, he plans to host a fundraising concert for the Breast Cancer Association. The event is personal to McKibben, whose wife, Deborah, beat breast cancer three years ago.
“For me, it’s all about being a part of the community,” said McKibben. “We want to be here for a long time, right here on the Square.”
Mack McKibben is joined by his son Micah at the family business. McKibben Music has 10 teachers and offers lessons in multiple instruments. The business also has instruments for sale and offers piano tuning.