40th Annual NAPBIRT Conference
April 8-11, 2016


Updated: February 12, 2016

Shop Management, Layout and Work Flow
John Blythe

This clinic is a PowerPoint presentation overflowing with valuable concepts for managing a productive shop plus on-hand examples of Music & Arts proprietary tooling ideas for wet room setup. We will cover topics to get the most out of a one-person to multi-tech shop with ideas and concepts that are a culmination of over 35 years in the business with input from various sources to help in managing personnel, workflow and shop layout.

Our goal for presenting this session is for you to return home with ideas that will help streamline productivity and help you in your daily repair lives for years to come. Our goal for presenting this session is for you to return home with ideas that will help streamline productivity and help you in your daily repair lives for years to come.

John Blythe has over thirty five years in musical instrument repair preforming brass, woodwind & percussion repair. He started as an apprentice in 1980 at the age of eighteen at Burrage Music Company in Raleigh, NC. He then moved back to Burlington in 1982 where he ran the repair shop for C.B. Ellis music for eleven years before taking it over as his own under the name "The Band Doc". After owning his shop for over twelve years, in 2005, he came to work for Music & Arts as a repair service manager.

John is currently the South District Repair Manager for Music & Arts covering North & South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Florida region. He has given band director emergency repair seminars across the country as well as NAPBIRT Regional and National repair clinics to repairmen from the US and other countries and was awarded the Dick Rusch Award for outstanding clinic at the 2011 NAPBIRT Annual Conference in Reno, NV.

The Overlooked Flute: Sanding, Filing, Scraping and Buffing
Joe Butkevicius

This clinic will focus on a variety of repair tips that often get overlooked. Joe will present some of his favorite tips focusing on finishing flute bodies and keywork. These include scratch removal, polishing and proper routines for buffing and achieving that brand new finish for PC or overhaul work. Also included will be a section on fitting headjoints and tenons. Concentration will be on pro flute sizing and also fitting tenons on large altos, basses and contra bass flutes. Finally, Joe will discuss many aspects of flute repair utilizing a headjoint scraper. An in depth look at all the tools, various materials, and techniques for these tasks will be included.

Joe Butkevicius is the QC Supervisor / Altus Flute Specialist at KHS America in Mt. Juliet TN. For many years he has hosted clinics and served as a clinician for all types of NAPBIRT events including Annual Conferences, Regional Clinics and NAPBIRT University. Over the years he's consulted for many manufacturers and been sought out by top flutists worldwide for service. Joe served as NAPBIRT's Vice-President and is the Music Director in his church.

New Technology: Synchronized Asset Management and Service App
Steve Cook

Experience this interactive session focused on the newest technology designed specifically for the instrument repair industry. Steve will guide you through the use of integrated technologies that will help you:
  • Keep track of assets using iLiD microchips and the iLscan app
  • Increase sales and efficiencies
  • Reach new customers
  • Eliminate double entry of paperwork
  • Send automatic notifications for important steps in the repair process
  • Provide video and audio audit trails for repair shop protection
  • Compile unlimited instrument repair history
  • Become completely mobile

This will be an interactive discussion on the technology presented and technology as a whole. So bring your questions and share your answers.

InstrumentLife's web-based system can help modernize your shop and still be simple to use. See how at: https://youtu.be/ZbaRoHbE79k or visit: www.instrumentlife.com. Free iLiD microchip samples will be handed out at the clinic along with information on how to become a reseller.

Stephen Cook has experienced many facets of the music industry for over 25 years working with manufacturers, retailers and musicians. He started repairing guitars and woodwinds in 1988 and opened Cook Instrument Repair in 1992. As business grew, so did his desire to learn. He broadened his education through numerous individuals and organizations like Mike Donoghue (Electronics Master), NAPBIRT and the Midwest Luthiers Guild. In 2001, Cook Instrument Repair became a full service repair facility.

Sink or Swim: A Technician's Guide to the First Year in the Field
Jessica Ganska / Michael Bocim

Congratulations! You got the job - band instrument repair technician. You made the decision to repair, went to repair school, graduated, interviewed and bench tested, and got that magic phone call! And here are 300 rental flutes or 100 rental trombones, 10 shelves of school instruments and you are the only repair tech in the shop. Or multiply those instruments by 5 and you are the new guy in a team of repair techs. How do you survive the first 6 months? How do you get through that first year? How do you go from surviving that first year out of that repair school to feeling confident in your work and thriving in your repair shop?

Do you feel like you are drowning? This clinic will provide answers from the perspective of a newer generation of technicians. We'll help you get from drowning to treading water to swimming with the dolphins. Secondary topics include professionalism, skill building, resources and many others. We will conduct a short question and answer at the end. Current employers are also encouraged to attend.

Jessica Ganska is a repair technician at Twin Village Music in Lancaster, NY. She works on primarily woodwinds with emphasis on saxophone. She graduated from the band instrument repair program at Renton Technical College in May of 2013 and went on to work as a repair tech at Kennelly Key Music in Lynnwood, WA for a year.

Before making a career change, Jessica was the Band and Chorus Director at Smyrna High School in Smyrna, DE for 11 years. She graduated from West Chester University of PA with a Bachelors in Music Education.

Jessica enjoys reading, hiking and beading in her spare time. And taking care of her 2 lovely fur babies.

Working in Albuquerque, NM, Michael Bocim is currently lead technician at Baum's Music, a local store in the area for over 40 years. Originally from Longmont, CO, Michael attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO and graduated with a music performance degree in 2011. He is proficient on clarinet and saxophone, makes sounds on flute and is "ok" on oboe. In 2013, he attended the band instrument repair program in Red Wing, MN, at Southeast Technical College, where he earned his band instrument repair certification. When not at work, Michael is a freelancing musician, active member in a local community band or at home binge watching his favorite sci-fi series on Netflix.

Clean and Quick Soldering Techniques for Play Condition Repair
Daryl Hickman

Saving time while completing the job accurately is the name of the game when repairing both school and stock instruments. From piccolos to sousaphones, this clinic will cover common soldering repairs and techniques that can be utilized without disassembly of the instrument, saving the busy technician both time and energy. We will discuss the uses of various heat sources and products that yield quality results and high customer satisfaction.

Daryl Hickman holds an Associate in Science degree from Central Florida Community College, an Associate of Applied Science in Musical Instrument Repair from Renton Technical College, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia where he served as Graduate Instructor of Bands, Instrumental Rehearsal Techniques and Music Theory.

Daryl spent ten years as Instructor and Program Coordinator of Band Instrument Repair Technology at Renton Technical College in Washington. AT RTC, he developed a reputation as an outstanding educator and international clinician in the field of musical instrument repair. He was awarded the 2007 Outstanding Faculty Award for his efforts both in the classroom and for his work on several campus committees. During this time, Daryl represented Region 7 on the Board of Directors of NAPBIRT and served as the organization's president from 2007-2009.

Prior to his appointment at Renton Technical College, Mr. Hickman owned his own musical instrument repair business and taught instrumental music in the public schools of Florida and Missouri.

Daryl's musical background includes duty as a tuba player with the U.S. Army's 24th Infantry Division Band (Desert Shield/Storm), the 571st Air Force Band of the Missouri Air National Guard and is currently a member of the Gainesville Pops. He's an FAA-certified Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor of gliders and airplanes, an independent musical instrument repair technician/consultant and owner/flight instructor with www.CubFlying.com.

Setting Up Stringed Instruments
Lee Hirschmann

It's rental season, and we need stringed instruments ready, and the string tech is out! What do we do??

This clinic will cover the basic set-up procedures of stringed instruments and the application of basic steps to all fretted and fretless instruments. We will incorporate techniques and tips that can be applied to the BIR world and vise versa. This presentation will include a PowerPoint live demonstration, a list of tool vendors and supplies, tools/custom made tools. A hand out will also be included.

This clinic will help "bridge" the gap between the Luthiery world and BIR world. Those in attendance will gain knowledge and insight to take back to his or her bench. The goal is to help diversify our skill sets and provide information to become profitable with basic string work.

Lee Hirschmann grew up in a very mechanically inclined and musical family. Since the 6th grade, he knew that he wanted to build and repair musical instruments. He has 20 years experience playing musical instruments, 11 years of retail experience and has worked in every aspect of music retail from managing music stores, teaching private lessons, repairs, sales, customer service and having his own repair business for stringed instruments. Lee has been building guitars since 2003.

In 2007, Lee graduated from Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and started Hirschmann's Guitar Repair, servicing instruments for private customers and many local music stores, studios and local music venues. In addition to repairing, he continued building custom and prototype guitars for Pat Murray Guitar Co and for B.C. Rich and Hallmark Guitars. While working with P.M. & Hallmark Guitars, Lee was involved in filming a pilot TV series entitled; "Axe Grinders".

In 2011, Lee graduated from Minnesota State College, Southeast Technical, Red Wing's BIRT program. After graduation, he worked at the Music & Arts refurb center in Frederick, MD. For the past 4 years, Lee has worked full time at Bill's Music House in Baltimore, MD, managing the Brass & Woodwind Repair & Sales department and is their Luthier. During his time at Bill's, he's hosted many back-to-school nights, guest taught and lectured at local colleges, hosted emergency repair services at adjudications and competitions, exhibited at MEA conferences and continued to learn. Lee has been a continuous, proud member NAPBIRT since 2012.

A Day In The Life Of A P.C. Shop
Julie Jurgenson

One of the most valuable resources in our industry is the sharing of information with other technicians. Whether the topic is a simple fix or a complex repair method, everyone can benefit by watching and listening to one another.

Julie will discuss and show you tools and ideas that she uses daily or weekly in her P.C. shop. Most of these ideas are things she has learned from other technicians while attending NAPBIRT conferences over the years.

Julie Jurgenson graduated from Red Wing in 1982 and took her first job with Frank Kilgard in Valdosta, GA. She worked there for 4 years, then pursued other things for a few years. In March of 1993, she bought an existing P.C. shop affiliated with Schmitt Music in Rochester, MN, where she continues to service and repair musical instruments.

Julie is a longstanding member of NAPBIRT and has had the honor of serving on the NAPBIRT Board of Directors as Secretary/Treasurer, from 2002-2008.

MacGyver's Guide to Instrument Repair!
Dan King

All of us are looking for that next great tip & trick that will help us save money or carry us over until we develop the revenue to purchase the 'real deal' tool for the job. In this clinic, we will cover what our shop has developed through improvisation and repurposing common items for out craft. Bring your ideas for some round table discussion at the end of the presentation. TEASER: The uses for items such as PVC, pex pipe and craft foam are endless.

(If you don't kow MacGyver, ask any middle-aged repair tech within earshot)!

Dan King is a retired Marine who spent time as a Musician, Repair Technician and Combat Logistics Officer. He worked as an apprentice for several years at three different Marine Corps Bands and then completed the Band Instrument Repair Program at Red Wing.

Dan and his wife are the owners of KBI Music Shoppe in Spotsylvania, VA, specializing in Instrument Repair and Rentals for local area schools. Dan is a DoD Acquisitions Professional, a certified PMP® and has a Masters Degree in Resource Management. (Yes, he can explain the rationale behind the $250 hammer).

Modern Materials for Brass Instrument Valves
Ed Kraus / Wayne Tanabe / Scott Mandeville

How can we mix old world craftsmanship with technological advancement? Over the last decades, the science of materials has taken monumental strides. We have been incorporating these materials in our repairs for many decades, but now we have even better materials that are proving to advance production with quality and quantity. With the stability and precise nature of these materials, we can achieve exacting tolerance and deliver a superior product to our clients. With the ease of use, we can produce better results in much less time. Both are win-win situations. Better quality for those demanding clients and faster results for the production work. Valve alignment has never been so quick and clean, the benefits are tremendous.

Join us as we show the results you can have in using new technologies on our old world craft.

Ed Kraus is the president of Kraus Music Products and has developed many new materials and options for brass instrument valves. Besides supplying the repair industry, valve washers from KMP are now OEM equipment for high quality brass instruments worldwide.

Wayne Tanabe has been associated with brass instrument repair for the past 36 years, and founded The Brass Bow repair shop in 1983. With his former company Chicago Brass Works, he has also built a line of custom handmade trumpets.

Widely recognized for his pioneering work in the field of brass instrument repair, he has served as a consultant for instrument design and development of components for various manufacturers. For the band instrument repair field, he has developed and refined the use of cryogenics, ultrasonic cleaning and magnetic dent removal.

Wayne is currently the Senior Technical Manager for Yamaha Artist Services in New York City and continues to be involved with repair as well as research and development of brass instruments and components.

Leveraging Technology for "Green" and Safe Precision Clean Instruments
Scott Mandeville

In this interactive clinic, learn the facts and dispel the myths about using ultrasonic technology. In this 90 minute session we will examine:
  • About the Technology
  • Cleaning Tank selection, space considerations, setup and more
  • Electrical and Plumbing needs
  • Cleaning detergents and how to choose
  • To use heat or no heat
  • When to pre clean / degrease
  • Cleaning Tank time
  • Post cleaning
  • Benefits
  • Health and Safety Considerations
  • Focus on the money - Cost analysis
Not only will you discover the many benefits of this cleaning process, but also how it can boost your business and deliver a superior clean instrument.

Scott Mandeville is the owner and operator of Tim's Music Service in Sacramento, CA. After graduating from Allied, Scott spent 24 years managing a shop before he opened his own store. Scott is a Past President of NAPBIRT and has given many clinics throughout the United States for NAPBIRT and other Educational Organizations on topics including repair and maintenance, business and music education opportunities.

Show Me The Money!
Hosted by Mike Nye, Sally Lindenberg and Friends

The intent of this clinic is to work our way through how differing shops pay their techs.
Some ideas for discussion will include:

     • What type of shops pay and how
     • What revenue streams are there in those shops
     • How does one arrive on what to pay each tech

The hope is that all shop owners can contribute and that some, including me, will learn something or get a better idea on how to go about this important task.

Mike Nye worked as a grocery manager for 15 years, specializing in Customer service and turning around non-profitable stores. He is a graduate of A Western Iowa Tech and worked 3 years in the field before opening up a shop in his house. After 15 years of continual growth, Mike was forced to open up a storefront. 7 years later, the business continues to grow, in no small part, due to continuing education and superior customer service.

The Rules
Lucas Pemberton

If we are any good at repair, there must be guiding principles or rules that drive us. In this session, I will break down woodwind repair into five basic rules that, when followed, will ensure that you can get any woodwind into mechanical playing condition. Regardless of what level or type of woodwind, these rules will apply.

We will be exploring how to apply these rules to student level instruments and how to work within the limitations of student line instruments. We'll discuss what is acceptable, what is ideal and what is NOT acceptable. This clinic may challenge your assumptions, standards and tool choices or help reinforce that you are indeed doing good work.

Lucas Pemberton graduated from Red Wing's Band Instrument Repair Program in 1998. He was lead repair technician for Eckroth Music in White Bear Lake, MN, responsible for setting up, launching and managing that facility. During that time, Lucas served on the BIR's Advisory Committee then began his instructing career here in 2000, becoming full-time in 2006. A constant learner, Lucas is a Master Clinician for NAPBIRT, having presented numerous clinics on woodwind and brass repair, including well-received hands-on clinics specific to silver soldering techniques and machine tool operation.

Outreach to directors and musicians include maintenance/emergency repair presentations at the MidWest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Minnesota Music Educators Association and the Minnesota Band Directors Association. The BIR program's instructors are proud to train technicians for the U.S. Marine Corps. In recognition for his teaching excellence, Lucas has presented week-long advanced training sessions for technicians serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

60 Tips and Tricks
Jeff Smith

In this two-part clinic, Jeff leads the class through a range of useful and brilliant techniques that every shop can immediately benefit from. The methods are time proven in Jeff's shop and can help the technician improve quality, reliability and will ultimately, lead to greater satisfaction from the work and of course, profitability.

Recognized throughout the world as a leading authority on woodwind instruments and band instrument repair, J.L. Smith has been repairing instruments professionally since 1977. He has owned or operated all manner of workshops ranging in scope from single proprietorships to 20-person service departments. Over the course of 36 years, he's trained and supervised many leading repair technicians. J.L. believes very strongly in the value of his craft and takes a keen interest in passing his knowledge to the next generation of technicians and musicians.

He is a frequent teacher and guest lecturer for NAPBIRT at regional and national events and contributes his expertise to numerous other industry organizations. Jeff has also written on repair in his popular technical guides: "Servicing The Flute" and "Servicing The Clarinet". When he's not working to make the world a safer place for wind instruments (and those who play them), he enjoys guitars, sailboats and his dog, Mud.

A life-long musician, Jeff writes, performs and records as Smyth Jeffry. More information is available at: www.smythjeffry.com. His music can be found on iTunes and CD baby, Spotify and others.

Trombone Slide Repair ... "Black Art" ... or is it Simple"?
Mark Sorlie

One of my professional customers had come back to me after trying other repair locations and said that, “Slide repair must be a black art, because only some people can do it well”. I thanked him for the compliment and kept that statement as a discussion point. Some people have the “knack” for double reeds and some people have the “knack” for another instrument.

With probably the fewest moving parts on any musical instrument, the trombone slide, itself, seems like it should be simple to repair. Getting these 4 tubes aligned and moving like glass or velvet can be challenging. I will give my views and experience on how to address these instruments and cover some of my methods for a good job and how to follow an order of repair to keep it profitable for you and your boss.

Mark Sorlie has been a professional bassist and singer for countless years. He has played in all genres of live and recorded music with a degree in Double Bass Performance from the University of North Dakota and additional schooling at Berklee in Boston. After years of making a living playing music, he developed the interest in the instruments that he plays into the repair of them. He officially entered the professional world of repair in 1979 as an apprentice. After stints running a number of large repair shops (Karnes Music and International Musical Suppliers) in the Chicago area, hand building trumpets and trombones at Schilke Music and National Dealer Service Manager at Boosey & Hawkes, he became the National Warranty Service Manager for Yamaha Corporation of America's B & O Division, located in the Chicago area.

Mark has trained in the repair of brass, stringed instruments and percussion with a minor in woodwinds. Having specifically honed his trombone manipulation skills over the years, he still keeps the trombones in top shape for many of the professional trombone players in the Chicago area and beyond in his home shop. He is a long time member of NAPBIRT and has presented clinics at both the Regional and Annual Conferences.

Increase Sales with Mouthpiece Refacing
Theo Wanne

In this clinic, Theo will share his experience in refacing mouthpieces for many of the world's most famous saxophonists. He will walk you through the process of improving any mouthpiece so you can feel confident in offering a basic mouthpiece refacing service in your shop. He will also help you set up the necessary tools and give dimensions required in the practice.

Boost your income, sell more mouthpieces, make rental mouthpieces playable and bring more customers into your shop. This will be a hands-on clinic appropriate for the beginner and advanced mouthpiece refacer. Basic tools will be needed if you want to learn hands-on. Kits will be available through Theo, or you may bring your own 400 grit sandpaper, a small piece of glass, feeler gauge set, and files.

Theo Wanne is considered the world expert on the design and manufacturing of saxophone and clarinet mouthpieces and has been blessed to work with many of the world's top musicians.

Theo believes the mouthpiece affects the musician's tone and ease of play far more than the saxophone/clarinet itself and has spent his life in the study of mouthpiece design and the various manufacturing techniques available to make them. He started his work as a mouthpiece refacer, working on vintage mouthpieces and studying their designs. Theo has now taken that knowledge and built upon it. His company, 'Theo Wanne™ Mouthpieces and Instruments, is now the world's leader in both quality and innovation in the manufacturing of mouthpieces.

Theo's passion comes from helping musicians freely express themselves. Creating the equipment that allows this, is his life's joy.

Your Business From Home vs. Storefront:
Identifying Why You Need To Protect Them Differently

Rob Wise / Amy Wise

Selecting the correct insurance policy and coverage is not an easy task. There are so many decisions to be made as to the types of coverage and the amount of protection needed. In this PowerPoint presentation, we will discuss how you can make insurance work for you and your business, regardless of where it is located. You will learn the differences between a Home Based and Store Based business, and the different types of coverages needed for each.

Robert Wise, AU, ASLI, is a Vice-President of Emery & Webb, Inc., and leads the underwriting of Emery & Webb's Affinity Program Division. At Emery & Webb, he acts as a liaison with insurance companies and trade associations to create unique programs to help trade associations better meet the insurance needs of their members. Robert worked in underwriting and product development for one of the Berkshire Hathaway insurance companies before joining Emery & Webb six years ago. He is a father of five and resides near Philadelphia, PA.

Amy Wise holds the Associates in Insurance designation and is the Program Team leader for the Music Insurance Program of Emery & Webb, Inc. She leads a service, sales and underwriting team dedicated to providing industry specific insurance solutions to musicians, musical instrument retail stores, repair technicians, luthiers and instrument manufacturers. Before joining Emery & Webb four years ago, Amy worked at The Hartford Insurance Company as a production underwriter. She now uses her expertise as a both an insurance underwriter and a musician to create unique insurance solutions for her clients nationwide. Amy is a mother of five and resides near Philadelphia, PA.


In addition to our clinic lineup are Mentor Sessions. These open discussions are on one specific topic and are moderated by a topic leader with a great deal of experience on the selected subject. These sessions encourage participation by all those in attendance to ask questions, share thoughts and ideas and anything else related to the topic. This year, the Mentor Sessions are:
Brass - Daryl Caswell
Clarinet - Miles DeCastro
Brass - Tim Douglass
Bassoon - Chip Owen