Alex Spainhour has been in music retail business for more than 20 years. His extensive musical background is unique among music retailers. Alex began the study of the violin in the fifth grade in the public school orchestra program and studied privately with the late Dr. Robert Snyder. In 1969, Mr. Spainhour received a BA in music from Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College), studying with Thomas and Eleanor Briccetti; in 1972, he received an M.M. in performance from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), again studying with Dr. Robert Snyder.
He moved to Anderson, SC in January, 1970, to teach public school orchestra with Michael Donavan in Anderson School District Number Five, a post he held until 1984. His orchestras and ensembles performed at numerous educational functions in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and even Western Europe. Many of his students have pursued studies in music and music education. He has conducted All-State, Region and All-County and Honor Orchestras in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and has been called on to adjudicate orchestral festivals throughout the Southeast.
Alex has been a member of the Greenville Symphony (42 years), Charlotte Symphony, St. Petersburg Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Anderson Symphony (40 years), Asheville Symphony (10 years), Brevard Chamber Orchestra (12 years), and Hendersonville Symphony, which he conducted in June, 1992. He was co-conductor and co-founder of the Anderson Symphony, and co-founder and violinist with the Anderson String Quartet beginning in 1972, with whom he still performs. He performs as a free-lance violinist and soloist throughout much of the Southeast.
Alex has served as a Charter Member, Artistic Director and Executive Director of the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium (GAMAC). He conducted the GAMAC Orchestra for 25 years, and returned as the conductor of the Anderson Symphony after it became a part of GAMAC for ten years. He retired from both orchestras in 2016. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Anderson. In 1998, Mr. Spainhour was listed in the Who’s Who of Business and Arts. In 2005, he was honored as the Non-Profit Executive Director of the Year by the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce. He has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by his fellow Rotarians.
In 1982, Alex partnered with Wesley Edwards to form Edwards String Instruments, which later became a part of Draisen Edwards Music. With stores in Anderson, SC, and Marietta, GA, he developed the string instrument department at Draisen Edwards to be one of the most extensive in the Southeast, making contacts all over the world. He created the Spainhour line of string instruments, made exclusively for Alex Spainhour by the Franz Sandner Co. in Nauheim, Germany, in 1985. The Spainhour model 604 violin and viola became the rental instrument that still is the primary rental instrument for Bernhardt House of Violins. With the contacts that have been made by Alex, Bernhardt House of Violins has instruments being made in North America, Asia, and Europe exclusively for our clients.