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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Palen Music replaces Senseney music, aims to support community musicians

Palen Music Center, just off of I-135, recently opened in Wichita and hopes to support local musicians. 

While Palen Music Center has a long history of helping provide musical materials to students and adults alike, this particular Palen location has a vibrant history tied to Wichita. 

The store, formerly known as Senseney Music, was owned by Lori Supinie before it became a Palen location. Senseney, founded by music educator Denny Senseney, was in operation for nearly 40 years before becoming Palen Music Wichita. For 15 years, Senseney was under the direction of Supinie.

After Supinie died, those at the new Palen Music Center named their Lori Supinie Recital Hall for her. The recital hall often hosts the Senseney Community Band, as it did before becoming Palen Music Center.

Those in charge of the music center hope to live up to the reputation of Palen’s 61 years of service alongside honoring the former owner

“We want our store to be the happiest spot in our city,” Marla Ritchie, sales floor manager at Palen Music Wichita, said. “We want to create new ways for students to experience music … for our lessons program to develop world-class musicians … and to put instruments in the hands of the less fortunate. We want to be a destination for people.”

While the common perception of Palen Music is to rent musical instruments and tools to elementary and high school kids, it also provides resources for musicians of all ages, including instrument accessories, method books, how-to’s, lessons, instrument maintenance, and new or used instruments for purchase. The store’s instrument selection also expands beyond just band or orchestra instruments, with guitar, bass, and keyboard also being available options.

“We have people of all levels and age ranges,” Ritchie said. “We also have expanded guitar and gear sections.”

Palen Music Wichita has already begun helping Wichita State students with their music needs, including aiding audio engineering students with instrument rentals, and plans to do more. 

“We will be involved with WSU,” Ritchie said. “We already have things in the works with the band department.”

Palen Music Wichita managers also plan to host monthly events for the community. While they’re still working on a calendar to be posted on their website, they recommend following their Facebook page to keep up with any upcoming events. One of their upcoming events is an open mic night, happening on March 1. 

“We’re excited for the future,” Ritchie said. ‘“And we’re just getting started.”

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About the Contributor
Shelby DuVall, Reporter
Shelby DuVall is a sophomore reporter, designer and photographer majoring in graphic design. This is her first year on the Sunflower staff, and at WSU. She's from Altamont, Kansas, and enjoys rollerskating and gaming. DuVall's pronouns are she/her.

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