FAQs About the Transition to Long & McQuade

March 11, 2020

The following is a list of commonly asked questions regarding the transition from the existing Leading Note music store to Long & McQuade at the end of April. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


The COVID-19 Crisis

  1. How does the current situation affect your planned transition to Long & McQuade?
    • The current situation has led to a postponement in our transition to Long & McQuade. We have had good talks with L&M and they are still committed to the transition. However, no one really knows when things will be safe enough for this to take place. We will keep you informed of any developments.
  2. What will happen to your website in the interim?
    • Our website will remain active until L&M eventually takes it over. However, because our physical store will be shut down as of April 30, the online store will essentially be run out of the McMillen homestead. Due to this scaled-down operation, we will not be making any new orders to suppliers and will only be selling items that we have in stock.


March and April at The Leading Note

  1. When is your last day of business?
    • The Leading Note on Elgin Street will close its doors at the end of the day on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Immediately after that date, we will be working towards a smooth transition of our stock (and expertise!) to Long & McQuade on Hunt Club Road. Online, email and phone orders will be responded to on an ongoing basis, but it will take a bit of time before you will be able to browse our collection with Sheilah and her team at the new location.
  2. What about current orders I’ve placed with you?
    • If you have an order in with us that has been filled, we would appreciate it if it was picked up on or before April 18. However, feel free to reach out to us to work out alternate arrangements if you need to pick up the order at Long & McQuade after that date. Orders that have not arrived as of April 18 will need to be picked up at the Hunt Club location. Please refer to our ordering deadlines below for any new requests you may have.
  3. What if I have an order to place with you for an item that is not in stock?
    • We are operating as usual for the next few weeks, but please note the following deadlines for orders that are to be picked up at the existing Leading Note store by April 18:

      Publisher Deadline To Order
      Barenreiter, Breitkopf & Carus March 26
      Other Euopean publishers Contact Us
      Publishers in Canada & USA April 6

      Please note that orders made after these deadlines will have to be picked up at the Hunt Club location. If you have any urgent requests, feel free to contact us any time. If we are not able to fulfill your order before closing, we will refer you to the print department from Long & McQuade in Vancouver.

  4. What if I have a Leading Note gift certificate?
    • We encourage you to make use of any Leading Note gift certificate you have before we close on April 18. Unfortunately, Long & McQuade will not be able to honour our gift certificates. Remember, special orders are still possible, so please reach out to us about anything you would like to purchase with your gift certificate or contact us with any concerns.
  5. What if I have consignment CDs or gifts with you?
    • We have emailed all those who have consignment items with us to reconcile with you before we close. If you have not received an email from us, please feel free to reach out to us about this, since some of the contact information we have for certain items may be out of date.
  6. What is the last day that I can book a studio?
    • All of our regular teachers have cancelled their studio times now. Regrettably, we will no longer be accepting studio bookings from now until our store closes at the end of April.
  7. Will the closing of The Leading Note have any impact on OrKidstra (formerly the Leading Note Foundation)?
    • No, OrKidstra is now run independently of The Leading Note music store, so it will be unaffected by this transition. Tina Fedeski will continue in her leadership role as OrKidstra’s CEO and Artistic Director.


Life at Long & McQuade

  1. Where will I get my choral music/teaching material/performance material/etc. now?
    • Our commitment to our customers will continue, even after The Leading Note closes its doors in April. Sheilah, our General Manager and print music expert, as well as Kevin and Vicente (adding a combined 6 years of experience to Sheilah’s 20 years), will be joining the Long & McQuade team at the Hunt Club location in Ottawa’s south end. They will ensure that your orders are handled with the same care and efficiency you’ve come to expect from The Leading Note! Our existing email address and phone numbers may continue to be used to contact Sheilah and her team.
  2. What stock will you have at Long & McQuade?
    • We are pleased to report that The Leading Note’s collection of classical and choral music will be moving to Long & McQuade on Hunt Club Road, serving to greatly expand the current selection at that store. There are also plans to augment what is kept in stock at the Orleans and Kanata locations. If you live closer to Orleans or Kanata and plan to shop there, please let Sheilah and her team know what music you would like to see available there.
  3. It is important to me to support a Canadian company. Is Long & McQuade Canadian-owned?
    • Yes! This was an important factor for us and we are pleased that L&M is 100% Canadian-owned and still a family-run business – just a hugely successful one! It began as a small music store on Carlton Street in Toronto in 1956 and has expanded from there to now encompass more than 80 stores from coast to coast.
  4. I love shopping on The Leading Note’s website – it is an amazing resource for classical and choral print music! What will happen to it?
    • Thanks, we’re very proud of the website and database that we have developed over our 20-year history. L&M plans to maintain The Leading Note’s website until its functionality and data are eventually incorporated into their site (no one really knows how long this may take). So, you’ll be able to continue shopping at www.leadingnote.com throughout the transition and well beyond. There should be no interruption in the use of the web site, with your orders now being supplied by L&M.
  5. Long & McQuade has a location closer to me (in Ottawa or beyond). Can I have music delivered to a different L&M location?
    • Yes! This is a big benefit for our customers in the Ottawa area and across Canada. L&M has over 80 locations across all 10 provinces and transfer between stores can be easily arranged. Within Ottawa, we will work to build up the inventory at all three locations (although Hunt Club will be the main hub). As above, if you live in Orleans or Kanata and would like to see certain material there for your students or yourself, please give this feedback to Sheilah and her team.
  6. Will you still be able to ship orders to my home?
    • Yes! L&M has a vast distribution system in place, so your orders will still arrive promptly, delivered to your home if requested.
  7. Will you still sell tickets for community concerts?
    • Unfortunately, this is one part of The Leading Note’s community service that will not be transferring to L&M. However, with most groups now handling tickets sales online and through ensemble members, we hope this will have minimal impact on these community groups.
  8. Will you still offer a list of teachers and choirs/bands/orchestras on your website?
    • The lists of teachers and choirs will be maintained on our web site, as long as it is being used. However, they will not make the transition to the L&M web site (timeline of this TBD). We recommend that music teachers consider registering with ORMTA Ottawa, who also offer a list of music teachers in the area. For a list of local ensembles, CAMMAC Ottawa-Gatineau also maintains a list at this link.
  9. What are the overall benefits of this merger with Long & McQuade?
    • Extensive distribution network across Canada.
    • Higher discounts for teachers, choirs, orchestras, bands – please inquire for more details.
    • Faster ordering times, in many cases – no more than 1-2 weeks for most publishers.
    • Choral and band reading session opportunities and curated scores to review.
    • Access to a whole team of print music experts.
    • Ample free parking, good access to public transit.
    • Fully accessible location.


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