Music and art direction – A local business owner combines talents

| July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments


Aria Uttamchandani

Flip through any Larchmont Chronicle of the past few years with a Rhodes School of Music ad in it, and you will be met with a creative photo treatment featuring a child holding his or her instrument. The ads struck me during a recent flip- through (for research purposes) of past issues of the paper. Simple yet polished, and many in full-page format, the ads apparently feature actual (and likely local) students. I commenced an investigation and learned that David Rhodes, owner of the school, is creative in more ways than just music, and he is a community champion to boot.

When I spoke to Rhodes, I first wanted to confirm that the children featured in the ads are indeed pupils of Rhodes School of Music and not model stand-ins.

“Yes they are, and, being situated here on Larchmont, most are hyper-local,” Rhodes shared.

My next question, “was such a great idea the work of an advertising or creative agency?” was quickly answered. Rhodes himself came up with the idea. So the piano instructor, composer and owner of the school is also a creative director and marketing talent.

Halle Benincasa

“No, I didn’t use a marketing firm or ad agency or anything like that,” Rhodes told me. “I like to be hands-on and design things myself. I played around with a couple of ideas before settling on the concept of the kids with their instruments. Seeing the kids looking so happy seemed to lend a certain potency. It also conveys a real sense of community when you see the community reflected back from the ad.”

To execute the idea, Rhodes uses photos captured on recital day and obtains permission from parents for usage across all marketing channels.

“I always hire a professional photographer to cover our recitals, and I rent out a cool art space for the occasion, so there’s all sorts of fanfare around the actual concert and the photo shoot,” says Rhodes. “I offer free family photos in addition to the student portraits. The whole atmosphere on that day is celebratory and, again, really touches on the community aspect of the school.”

Luke Villalpando

Speaking of community, Rhodes, in addition to featuring locals who patronize his school, also is an active board member of the Larchmont Boulevard Association (LBA). He is a major asset to the group, according to fellow LBA board member Vivian Gueler.“David is always willing to help out and is a technical wizard,” Gueler remarked. “He is the first person to solve any technological issue we have whether it be with new media we’re using or the website or digitizing something. He’s just great to work with, always pleasant and a true advocate for business on Larchmont.”

Here at the paper, it’s been a delight chronicling the Rhodes story. Also, now I know who to call whenever I have a musical, creative or technological emergency.

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Category: People

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