"Whilst I am in good health, I feel that now is the right time to end what has been a wonderful music legacy." - Geoff McCann, September 2023
A History of McCann’s Music Centre
In 1881 the late James Robert McCann founded McCann’s School of Music and Musical Instruments Showrooms. He was also a former organist and conductor of St Mary’s Cathedral Choir.
Upon his death in 1916 his sons carried on the business with one Bernard Aloysius McCann becoming the Managing Director and establishing McCann Bros Music Warehouse in 1923. By 1932 they employed no less than 25 staff and operated out of the premises 180-184 Elizabeth St, between Brisbane and Patrick Streets. Around 1935 Bernard purchased the building on the corner of Elizabeth and Melville Streets which is the home of McCann’s Music to this very day.
Since 1935 they expanded into sales of electrical goods, furniture and floor coverings, bedding and vinyl records. Bernard also founded the former 7HT radio station and purchased the Hobart Theatre Royal when it was threatened with conversion into business premises, later selling it to the National Theatre and Fine Arts Society. Bernard died in 1961 and his younger brother Leonard took the position of Manager until 1974 when he passed away.
Bernard’s son Geoffrey Bernard McCann joined McCann Bros in June 1965, managing the vinyl record department. When Leonard died, Geoff was appointed Managing Director in 1974. On 27th March 1984, Geoff changed the name from McCann Bros to McCann’s Music Centre, acquiring sole ownership of the company.
Geoff set about closing all the other departments and focused solely on musical instruments, print music and tuition; a move which consolidated the business to this very day. Geoff retired from working in the business in 2011 and then Robert Daft his assistant manager became Manager. Robert Daft retired March 31st 2020 and then guitar salesman William Harris was appointed Manager on 1st of April 2020.
On 11th September 2023 Geoff announced his decision to close the business down as there were no other family members wanting to continue it. A huge thank you goes out not only to our loyal customers over the last 142 years, but also to the Tasmanian public for supporting us every step of the way in our goal of providing musicians with the service and tools they need to perform their magic on stages around the world.