41st Annual NAPBIRT Conference
April 21-24, 2017


Updated: April 20, 2017

Flute Repair 101
Dan Bainbridge

If you are looking for deep discussions on high end flute repair techniques or in depth discussion on the nuances of installing the latest high tech flute pad, this session is not for you.

If you are frustrated by flute repair, if you are a brass tech and you want to learn flute repair, if you are looking to make flute repair more profitable, if you are looking for new or different techniques or maybe you just want someone to share your struggle, this is the clinic for you!

The topic of this clinic will be the fundamentals of flute repair. We will focus on the three essential elements of flute repair and the operations that go into each.

Be prepared for a time of discussion, if time permits, and bring your most frustrating flute repair stories with you.

In 1982, Dan Bainbridge graduated as the sixth student to complete the Band Instrument Repair Technology program at Renton Technical College. He worked full time in the band instrument repair industry from March of 1983 until August of 2008. Included in that time, he had the privilege to be mentored by the late Rich Oxley. During his time at Kennelly Keys Music in Lynnwood, WA, he developed a reputation as a fine woodwind technician with his specialty being flute repair. Dan completed Straubinger Certification in March of 2010.

In 2008, he left the bench to take the teaching position of the BIRT program at Renton Technical College. During that time, he continued to be active as a repair technician performing repairs for discriminating local flute players.

In July of 2016, Dan was pleased have the opportunity to return to the bench and now works at Tim's Music in Sacramento, CA.

He has presented numerous clinics at the Regional level and Annual Conferences.

Professional Level Flute Repair
Keren Barr

What's the difference between how you handle a student flute and a professional flute? Aside from the $10,000 price tag, there are not too many differences in the way you approach the various levels of flutes. In this clinic, we will discuss the main differences: pads, materials, tools and care. We will take particular interest in showcasing the difference between Muramatsu pads and set up versus other major pro line flutes. Feel free to come with questions!

An Atlanta native, Keren Barr, along with her husband Michael, own North Georgia Band Instrument Service. Keren earned her undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia in 2000. After teaching band in the metro area for several years, she went back to school in 2005 to complete the Band Instrument Repair Program at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in Red Wing, MN.

Keren, a flute player, dove into professional flute repair in 2009. She is a Muramatsu and Straubinger certified flute technician, training with Paul Rabinov and David Straubinger and has also been an active member of NAPBIRT since 2004.

Keren stays very involved within the musical community as a flautist for Shallowford Presbyterian Church and Steel Dreamin', a Caribbean Rock Band where she also plays the double seconds.

The Barrs reside in Atlanta, GA, with their beautiful three year old daughter, Miranda.

Tympani Repair for the Wind Technician
Michael Barr

A percussion-savvy technician can add a significant source of profit to their business by performing moderately simple repairs and routine maintenance to the most often neglected instruments in the band room. This clinic will focus on the biggest and most complex "elephants" in the room, the tympani. I will demonstrate a complete systematic method of inspection, disassembly, mechanism adjustment, head replacement and final tuning and balancing. Discussion will also cover other tympani-related topics such as head selection, manufacturer variations and proper care techniques.

Originally from Piney Flats, TN, Michael Barr is the co-owner of North Georgia Band Instrument Service in Atlanta. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Georgia Southern University in 1998 and graduated from the Band Instrument Repair program at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in 2005. Prior to becoming a repair technician, he was a school band director in the greater Atlanta area.

Michael is an avid percussionist and the leader of Atlanta's "Steel Dreamin" Caribbean Rock band. In his spare time, he enjoys alpine skiing, amateur radio, disc golf, weather monitoring, college football (Go Vols!), cold war history, Mid-Century Modern architecture and his newest hobby of curling. Michael and his wife, Keren, (the other half of the business team) live in Atlanta with their daughter Miranda and their retired racing Greyhound Andre.

Introduction To 3D Printing
Michael Bocim

With 3D printers becoming more affordable and accessible and with the technology improving in both speed and quality, it's feasible in the near future that they might have their place right next to the lathe and mill in the repair shop. In this clinic, we will cover the basics needed to start printing your own things, different available materials, the possibilities of printing parts and more.

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

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.

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.

Chris Lehotsky is a woodwind repair technician at Kennelly Keys Music in Lynnwood, WA. A 2014 graduate of the Band Instrument Repair program at Renton Technical College, he began his career with a year assembling tenor and bass trombone valve sections and tuning slides at the S.E. Shires Co. Following this, he spent a year at Twin Village Music in Lancaster, NY repairing both woodwind and brass instruments.

Before joining the ranks of the repair technicians, Chris had been a retail manager, writer, construction worker, musician and teacher. In his spare time he can be found reading giant fantasy tomes, hiking or playing board games.

Revolutionize Saxophone Concepts and Ideas
Mike Cleveland

In this clinic we will discuss how to set up a sax with maximum results for longevity of repairs.

With so many issues that go on with these instruments, we are, at times, painted into a corner of how to attack these problems. Whether it's a pro or student sax, at the end of the day, it's still just a saxophone with the same construction problems which have not been addressed. Our focus, in this clinic, is to attack those problems and how to look for other issues with the instrument. Longevity of repair is achieved by identifying the inherent problems with the instrument and knowing where to look for those problems. Ideas like tightening up post play in a G# post for the articulated G# adjustment or dealing with spring tension coming from the C and F# key and how it affects the left and right hand mechanisms. These concepts and ideas will revolutionize the way you think of set-up work and professional overhaul procedures to ensure easier, faster and the best quality of repair.

Topics to be covered:
  • Key work issues
  • Material selection, why some materials are better than others
  • Spring tension thought process
  • Post play problems
  • Mechanical regulating issues
  • Basic to advanced set ups
  • Overhaul procedure
  • Proper venting of keys and setting up key heights

Mike Cleveland started his repair career under the direction of Jeff Peterson at Horn Improvement, now owned and operated by Bertrand's Music, a distinguished repair shop and 6 retail locations in southern California. As head technician/manager of the repair shop, he spends his time maintaining and servicing instruments for professional players. Mike is privileged to be able to work with some of the top artist in San Diego and Los Angeles and continues to excel in professional woodwind repair.

In addition to being a woodwind player and technician, he's also a freelance musician, private teacher and is an instructor at Cal State University Long Beach (CSULB) for instrument repair. His goal is to provide the best service and education that will inspire other technicians around the world. "With the right attitude anything is possible."

Sackbuts to Zopbophones! What the heck and Why?!
Mike Corrigan / Matt Simianer

In this guided discussion, Master Craftsman, Mike Corrigan, and his trusty side-kick,Matt Simianer, will discuss the evolution of the brass instrument manufacturing world and its evolution. We will evaluate a few examples of instruments produced over the last few hundred years and discuss why certain approaches to 'manufacturing' may be relevant to your every day repair life. We will discuss a variety of processes and techniques commonly used over the years for manufacturing.

Points for discussion will include basic metallurgy, to better understand choices that manufactures make when designing instruments. We will also discuss the quality of the metals used 100 years ago to today's Domestic and Foreign production. Participants in this clinic will be presented with `Ultraviolet X-Ray' Scans of a variety of instruments, showing the exact chemical formula. We will scan a variety of currently produced instruments.

Among other things discussed in this session, we will talk about what makes an old instrument valuable and how to best utilize an effective 'bone yard'.

Coming originally out of the Minnesota State College SE Tech program in Red Wing, Class of 2000, Mike Corrigan has established a positive reputation in both the world of brass repairs and manufacturing. After a four-year apprenticeship at S.E. Shires Company Custom Brass Instruments, under Steve Shires and Chuck Shepard, Corrigan relocated to the Kansas City Metro area to start his own pro-winds repair and modification shop, B.A.C. Horn Doctor, Inc. Over the years, Corrigan has worked within the music industry in a consulting capacity, craftsman or quality control for: Greenhoe Custom Valves and Components, Eastman Winds, Calicchio Custom Trumpets, Earl Williams Custom Trombones, Conn-Selmer, Dynasty, Jupiter and Yamaha. In 2007, Corrigan officially released his own line of handmade Sackbuts, reproducing original examples from the 16th Century. Shortly following, he announced his efforts in designing his own, custom small bore jazz trombones. Working with top musicians such as Elliot Mason of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis and Troy Andrews (AKA 'Trombone Shorty') of New Orleans, Corrigan's horns have quickly gained wide acclaim. In 2010, B.A.C. Musical Instruments was founded and now offers (in addition to their handmade custom trombones and trumpets) an imported line of professional trombones, trumpets and a full line of entry level wind instruments.

Matt Simianer is originally from the Western hills of Nebraska. Following high school in Mitchell, NE, Simianer decided to pursue Music Business at Chadron State College in Chadron, NE. He was hired out of College to go to work at Hill Music Company in Casper,WY, where he spent his next years honing his repair skills. Having come from a homestead where you `got er done', Matt learned early on that `hillbilly ingenuity' was a legitimate way of life. As he learned more about the in's and the out's of the music store operations, he became fascinated with the repair shop. His aptitude for mechanical repair and building things, along with his continued passion for music, pointed him toward Minnesota State College Southeast Technical in Red Wing, MN, where he studied Band Instrument Repair. Following Red Wing, Matt returned to Hill Music to take on a larger role with the day to day operations and to head up the repair department.

Over the course of his time as head repair tech, Simianer's desire to improve his own skills helped to fuel his growing interest in NAPBIRT. As he energetically invested toward bettering his skills at the bench, he quickly ignited interest among many technicians around the country. Matt became more invested in NAPBIRT and took the position of Region 6 Director in 2012 and Secretary in 2014. In 2015, Matt was hired by B.A.C. Music Center in the Kansas City area and assumed the role of `General Manager'. Matt is also a Journeyman, actively studying musical instrument manufacturing under the guidance of Mike Corrigan and John Duda at B.A.C. Musical Instruments and Calicchio Custom Trumpets.

Out With The Old, In With The New
Miles DeCastro

"I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones." –John Cage

Cage probably wasn’t referring to musical instrument repair when he said this, but I certainly find it to be applicable. We owe it to ourselves and our clients to perform the highest quality repairs possible (and to charge accordingly). Often this means that we need to be open to new materials and methods, which may not have been available when we were first learning the craft. The use of older techniques may make some of us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, however, the old way is not always the best way.

In this clinic, we will discuss various musical instrument repairs and how materials and/or techniques used to perform these repairs have changed over the years. Come with a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for innovation, as we partake in the buffet of modern instrument repair.

Miles DeCastro is the instrument repair technician at The Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam, where he teaches a course in instrument repair for educators and is responsible for the repairs, maintenance and inventory of over 1,000 instruments. Prior to joining Crane in July of 2016, he was the general manager at Bridgepoint Music in Menlo Park, CA since 2012, and was a repair technician at Maytan Music Center in Reno, NV from 2008-2011.

Miles has been an active NAPBIRT member since 2007. In that time, he has attended every Annual Conference and is honored to be presenting at his third Conference in a row. He has also served on the Finance Committee and has hosted clinics at the Regional and National level.

On top of all of this, Miles is a Straubinger Certified Technician, Yamaha Certified Sales Professional, graduate of the Yamaha Service Advantage Program and he has studied instrument repair with Morrie Backun. All of these experiences helped him lead Bridgepoint Music to being a NAMM Top 100 Dealer four years in a row.

Dr. Strangetech or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Band Director

Bernadette Gonzalez

Have you ever felt band directors just don't understand what you're talking about? Worried that you might just upset them and lose their business? Nervous about pressing the wrong button with them? Not to worry because this clinic will hopefully give you some insight and break down the language barrier with band directors. Learning how to build relationships and common mistakes working with band directors are a few areas that will be discussed. There will also be time for open discussion with your experiences and questions, so be prepared to bring your stories!

Bernadette Gonzalez is a Chicago native and earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Western Illinois University in 2003. Before beginning her career in band instrument repair, Bernadette taught band and general music for the Milwaukee Public Schools. She is a 2008 graduate of the Band Instrument Repair Program in Red Wing, MN and immediately began working at Melk Music in Milwaukee, WI as a woodwind technician. She is an active member as a clarinetist and President of the Lakeshore Symphonic Band. She currently teaches privately in the Cedarburg WI area.

Instrument Diagnostics: The Art of Not Miscalculating Your Estimate
Jaime Hamner

This clinic will cover techniques on proper diagnostics on most woodwind and brass instruments. Proper diagnostics, when done correctly, will save technicians a lot of time, pain and money. It's important to develop this skill to ensure that you don't over-estimate or under-estimate the amount of work needed. Proper diagnostics will make you more money and increase your turn around time on repairs.

Jaime Hamner began apprenticing in band instrument repair in 2000 while in the Marine Corps Band. He was selected to become an Instrument Repair Technician in 2001 and attended the Instrument Repair School at Red Wing, MN. After his retirement from the Marine Corps in 2011, he continued to repair musical instruments in his home shop in Beaufort, SC.

Jaime has been a member of NAPBIRT since 2000 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2003. He has been the NAPBIRT President since 2013 and will be taking a sabbatical after this term is over. Jaime is a NAPBIRT University Instructor and has presented numerous clinics at the Regional Level and Annual Conferences.

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.

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. He worked full time at Bill's Music House. 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. In June of 2016, Lee left Bill's Music house and dissolved Hirschman's Guitar Repair to start a new company "The Band Shoppe". Lee has been a proud and continuous member of NAPBIRT since 2012.

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).

Choosing A Pad - How Complicated Do You Want This To Be?
Ed Kraus

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.

Mind Your Business
Sally Lindenberg / Mike Nye

Supercharging your business!

This clinic will discuss branding, cultivating a brand both online and at a personal level. How do we tie in our level of service to support our mission statement and online presence? Topics we will cover are:
  • Who are you online
  • Do I have a personal brand
  • Why it matters
  • How to get started

This clinic will also incorporate the importance of continuously updating your career/business plans and to set new goals and measurable objectives every year. In a time poor work environment, how do we still make sure we solidify our customer relationships in a meaningful way.

(You do not necessarily need to own or operate your own business to learn from this clinic)

Sally Lindenberg is a technician and business owner from Brisbane, Australia. She holds a certificate IV in Business Management and has owned and operated a couple of successful business over the last 14 years. At the age of 20, she started her first repair business, working as a contractor for music shops in Dublin, Ireland. Upon her return to Australia, she then set up her repair business from a small bench in her 2 bedroom flat in Brisbane. As this grew, she saw a need to expand into a commercial retail space.

2010 saw the start of her second Retail shop. This initially started in a very small commercial space and gradually grew into a larger premises which eventually hosted retail, all instrument repairs and music tuition. Sally sold this shop in April 2016 and it is still running very successfully today with the new owners.

Today, she is happily running her repair business from her home based workshop and enjoys the slower pace that life is now offering as well as enjoying a lot more time with her family.

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.

A Torch and an Imagination
Jeff Peterson

Are you a parts replacer or a technician? Resourceful and creative fabrication skills generate more opportunities to serve your customer and are increasingly becoming a necessity. Whether you need to save the waiting time of ordering a part, fabricate a part for an unsupported brand, construct an obsolete part for a vintage instrument, create that custom touch for a pro or make life easier for a musician with a disability, the facility to create what is not readily available has become indispensable. In this clinic, we will cover a wide range of topics on how to create keys, braces, pads and many other components from old parts, new parts, and raw materials.

As manager of the Yamaha Atelier-Los Angeles, Jeff Peterson has had the privilege of working with some of the finest woodwind artists in the world. In this role, Jeff works with a worldwide team to develop cutting-edge instruments to satisfy the most discriminating artists, often by customizing existing instruments, sometimes by creating new models. Prior to his work at Yamaha, Jeff owned and operated Horn Improvement, a multi-technician music repair and retail facility specializing in professional sax, clarinet and flute repair. He is very active in NAPBIRT and has served as President, Treasurer, Region 7 Director and as an instructor for the NAPBIRT University Saxophone Course.

Social Media in the Shop
Jake Rendell

This clinic is an introduction to social media, and practices that can help generate customers for your shop, store, or school. We will focus on the creation and use of Facebook Pages and generating content that will drive traffic, but also look at Facebook Groups, Twitter, Linked-in and Multi-Post Platforms.

Jacob Rendell graduated from Southeast Technical in 2012 and immediately opened Algoma Instrument Repair in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, inside a partnering business, Case's Music. He also works concurrently as a teacher and the sales manager at Case's Music. Jake has been a member of NAPBIRT since 2012.

Repair vs Manufacturing:
How the Procedures of Manufacturing Affect the Way We Repair

Don Sawday

In this clinic we will look at several manufacturing processes and correlate them to the repair field. We will address why some manufacturing processes are done a specific way and how that changes the way one looks at fixing an instrument.

Don Sawday began work in the instrument repair industry in 1986, sweeping floors for Larry Minick. In 1992, he began an apprenticeship with Rex Bullock and in 1994, he opened his own repair shop. While maintaining his own shop, he worked with Bob Malone (pre-Yamaha) doing assembly and finish work. In 2004 he also served as a warranty repair person for Boosey and Hawkes. He headed up the Jupiter Design Team in 2008 and developed the Quantum Marching Line, 1600i Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Euphonium.

In 2013, he joined Eastman Music Company in Product Development and Quality Improvement Manager, where he is now developing their low brass and French horn lines.

Chemical Safety and Ultrasonic Cleaning: Hear the Difference
Deb Zehr / Wayne Tanabe / Lisa Morantz

Wayne Tanabe, master clinician of Yamaha Artist Services, Lisa Morantz, President of Morantz Ultrasonics and Product Specialist, Deborah Zehr from Tesch Chemical Company will explain and demonstrate procedures and products that improve efficiency in the brass cleaning process and promote a healthier work environment. Included will be detailed information about the chemical pH of products; how metal cleaning solutions work together and the benefits of ultrasonic cleaning, saving you time and money.

Deborah Zehr is a graduate of LaSalle University. Prior to her role as a Marketing and Product Specialist for Tesch Chemical Company, Deborah worked in the aviation industry for fifteen years promoting safety and creating awareness regarding the importance of providing a healthy work environment for employees. She has been involved as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society since 1987. As an advocate for workplace safety, her goal is to share information about occupational risk factors that can potentially affect our health and well being.

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.

Lisa Morantz is the 3rd generation owner and operator of Morantz Ultrasonics Inc., an ultrasonic manufacturing company located in Philadelphia, PA. Lisa's 20 years of experience in her family's 82 year old manufacturing business, as well as being a licensed attorney, has helped Morantz to continue to grow as a well-respected, international manufacturer of ultrasonic machines and instrument cleaning equipment.