Regional Clinic - Clemmons, NC
November 3, 2018

Contact Information:
Melody Choplin
Phone:   336.978.3590
Location:   [ Map Link ]

Clemmons Baptist Church Family Center
3530 Clemmons Rd
Clemmons, NC   27012  

  • There will be a garage sale set up for those techs who have parts, tools, thingamabobs and other bits they would like to sell. Buyers and sellers are responsible for their own stuff and all transactions.
  • There will be a tech gathering/social event on Friday, November 2nd, at a location to be announced.

--------[ Clinics & Clinicians ]--------

Tube Bending and other Part Modification Strategies
Utilized in the Shop Setting

Chris Bluemel

This session will present to the technician a variety of diagnostic procedures and repair techniques. Often it becomes necessary to modify a universal replacement part such as a straight tuba mouthpipe or a tuning slide crook. Some manufacturers have stopped supporting various instrument models over time with parts, and custom/hand made pro instruments can be inconsistent dimensions from one to the next. Tubes bent or parts otherwise modified by a shop should look and feel as good or better than the original, and the shop should get paid appropriately. Following certain guidelines and employing stable, consistent techniques can lead to a profitable and ETHICAL repair.

This clinic will offer the technician an opportunity to refine their bending technique in a limited hands-on environment. We will look at various repair vs. replacement diagnostic issues and discuss part manufacture and sourcing. A large part of success in "next level" brass repair is the ability to give the player what they want out of their instrument, not just fix a repair issue. The primary goal of this clinic is to help the technician gain confidence in assessing and providing for the needs of a brass player when direct part replacement is unavailable.

Topics to be discussed will include:
  • Silver Soldering-Resonance Preservation-Stress Relief
  • Slide Realignment-Mouthpipe Replacement and Bending
  • Buffing!-Annealing-Soft Soldering
  • Cerrobend vs. Pitch

Topics not to be discussed:
  • Whoever actually prepared the parts to be used in this clinic
  • "I'm Chris Bluemel. I don't prep my own parts, I have people for that." -circa 2014.and yesterday

A former US Army musician, Chris Bluemel studied tuba primarily with David Townsend (VCU, Richmond Symphony) and Thomas McGrady (US Armed Forces SOM). He began instrument repair while performing in the military. His diverse professional musical experience includes performance, private teaching, band/orchestra instrument repair, and wholesale and retail sales/management. He is in his thirteenth year as instructor of the Villanova University/ UofArts Summer Workshop String Repair courses in Philadelphia, PA and twentieth year as coordinator of the Charleston, SC TubaChristmas.

Chris has been featured as a clinician for NAPBIRT, SCMEA, PMEA, and in 2011 at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. He also published "Guide to Brass Musical Instrument Repair" through Northeastern Music Publications in PA in 2011.

Chris is the owner of The Instrument Doc, LLC, a musical instrument repair company founded in 1999 in Charleston, SC. Now known as Southern String Supply, this company provides repair and retail services to professional players from throughout the southeastern US. A freelance classical, jazz and funk tuba player, he performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Maritime Brass Quintet, Funk Dumplins and River City Dixieland Jazz Band. Chris and his wife Mary Jane have two dogs, Liza Jane and Lily Jane.

The Forgotten Art of Case Repair
Erin Yardley / Jon Doggett

In this clinic we will cover topics concerning basic case repair, assessing cases that may be causing damage to instruments, and vintage case repair and restoration. Case repair is an often overlooked service that can make you and your shop money without resorting to "sales" for the counter clerk. here are many resources outside of the BIR market that offer supplies and tooling that are low cost and can be used to make case repair easy and effective.

Basic skills for case repair include riveting/rivet gun techniques, the ability and willingness to use a drill, hot glue gun mastery, textile knowledge, proper application of the hammer and knowing the difference between duct tape and gaff tape. Couponing skills are also a bonus! Why throw away that rental case when you can repair it?

Topics not to be discussed:
  • Why we had to prep Chris Bluemel's parts
  • Why we work with/for/against Chris Bluemel

Erin Yardley is a born and raised Northern Californian. She attended California State University, Sacramento where she studied Horn Performance with Pete Nowlen. In 2007, she relocated to Western North Carolina. After many years of struggling to be a freelance musician and waiting tables to pay the bills, she decided that BIR might be the place for her. She attended Minnesota State Southeast Technical at Red Wing and graduated in 2011. Her first couple years on the bench were spent at Edwards Music in Fayetteville, NC before coming to work for Chris Bluemel. At Southern String Supply, the artists formerly known as the Instrument Doc, she is a woodwind repair specialist, sells violins and bows, is the shop 'mom', and official dog walker of Lilly Jane and Liza Jane.

When not working, you can hear her play horn in the Summerville Orchestra and the Charleston Community Band. She also enjoys knitting, crocheting, cooking, breweries, and making repairs to her dilapidated Jeep Grand Cherokee. Erin also is a mother to two kitties, Mister and Misha.

Jon Doggett works for Southern String Supply in Mount Pleasant, SC (aka Charleston). A native of Stevensville, MI, he earned his Bachelor's of Music Education with emphasis on the Oboe at Central Michigan University in 2012.

After working customer service for Quinlan and Fabish Music Company in Michigan, he attended Minnesota State Southeast Technical at Red Wing to complete the BIR program in 2015. In 2016, Jon moved to the Charleston area, found Chris Bluemel and company, and he is now a brass and string instrument technician at Southern String Supply, the artists formerly known as The Instrument Doc.

While not working, Jon plays oboe in the Charleston Community Band and other local ensembles. He also enjoys video games, breweries, his car, and making fun of his coworkers. Jon and his wife, Rachel, have two betta fish, Luke and Jess.

Reducing Repeated Repairs
Manda Hollifield

This "tips and tricks" style clinic discusses the repairs that we see over and again: our rental stock. We see them every time they're returned and they're an inevitable part of working in a music store. What can we do to save time and still turn out a quality instrument? What are the most common issues and how can we stop them from happening again?

This clinic aims to answer these questions and others from the participants' own shops. Topics will include a variety of repairs that are common on student line instruments, materials to help your repairs last and one technician's way of looking at these common repairs.

Manda Hollifield works for Music and Arts in Asheville, NC. Originally from Shelby, NC, she attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to pursue a degree in Music with flute as her primary. While she was there, she studied with Melody Choplin before deciding to take on repair as a career.

After completing her BA in 2010, she immediately moved to Minnesota for a year to attend the repair program at Red Wing. She was hired by Draisen Edwards Music in Anderson, SC, after graduating and worked there for six years before moving to the mountains of North Carolina to take the position with The Music Center. In April of 2018, Music and Arts acquired The Music Center and she stayed on as the repair tech at the Asheville location. When not at work, she works on one of her many hobbies that currently includes making homemade wine, quilting and the occasional video game.

Expose Yourself: Ways To Promote Your Business On Social Media
Melody Choplin

The internet isn't going anywhere and social media is here to stay in some form or another. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin and others like it are being used by millions of people worldwide. But, instead of posting pictures of your favorite southern barbecue, these platforms can be used to promote small businesses. Like many techs, I have a private independent shop that relies heavily on word of mouth for advertising but in using more social media options, I've been able to reach more people and make it possible for more people to find me.

"I'm a tech who works for a company. I'm not independent." You can still promote yourself and your shop through social media. I bet most store managers will not have a problem with more business coming through the door.

Putting up a business or profile page is the easy part. Now what?

In this clinic, we'll explore posting to your pages, advertisement options, live streaming and making simple videos that showcase you and your talents. Watch me make a commercial video, and post it in real time!

Melody Choplin is a 1991 graduate of Red Wing Technical College and holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Oboe. She has worked as a technician and shop foreman for Pearson Music and Duncan Music Companies. She is well known throughout North Carolina as a highly skilled technician in both woodwinds and brasses.

Melody was the first repair specialist and instructor at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and held that position for over a decade. While there, she developed a comprehensive repair curriculum for band and orchestra directors. Her classes and clinics on instrument repair are designed to help music directors deal with day-to-day repair problems as well as maintenance, troubleshooting and how to work with repair technicians. She also worked with students as apprentices and helped launch their careers in the repair field. In 2013, she published a book on repair called, "Stuff Band Directors Need to Know", which is used as a text book as well as a resource for music educators.

Melody is a long time NAPBIRT member, clinician and is the current Region 2 Director. She owns and operates her own repair shop, Carolina Wind and Brass Repair in Clemmons, NC, and is an active performer in the community, playing with several groups. She continues to study, improving and adding to her skill set of repair. Melody lives with her husband and a rescue mutt or two.

--------[ Schedule ]--------

Saturday:   November 3, 2018
  8:00 - Welcome & Registration -
  8:30 - Session 1: Tube Bending/Fitting - Chris Bluemel
  9:30 - Coffee Break -
  9:45 - Tube Bending/Fitting (continued) - Chris Bluemel
10:45 - More Coffee
11:00 - Session 2: The Forgotten Art of Case Repair - Erin Yardley / Jon Doggett
12:30 - Foodness!: Courtesy of Carolina Wind & Brass Repair
  1:30 - Session 3: Reducing Repeated Repairs - Manda Hollifield
  3:00 - Break -
  3:30 - Session 4: Promoting Your Business - Melody Choplin
  5:00 - Adjourn
  6:00 - More foodness at a local restaurant for anyone wishing to join

--------[ Registration ]--------

Please read and understand the:   Cancellation Policy

Early Bird Rate:  $80.00 (On or before Saturday, October 20, 2018)
Regular Rate:     $95.00 (Starting Sunday, October 21, 2018)
  • All registrations are to be completed electronically using this website.
         (We accept: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express)
  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You do not have to be a member of NAPBIRT to register. However, you will need to create an account with us in order to process your registration.
  • If you are a current member, make sure you are logged into the system. Otherwise, you will end up re-typing a lot of information that would automatically be inserted into the registration form.
  • If you are a previous member or you have attended a NAPBIRT clinic in the past, your name should already be in our database. Click Here to request your login information.

By registering for this event, I give my permission for NAPBIRT, Inc. to use, without limitation or obligations, photographs, film footage, or tape recordings which may include my image or voice for the purpose of promoting or interpreting NAPBIRT programs and services.

I waive all claims for damage and/or loss to my person or property which may be caused by an act, or failure to act of NAPBIRT, it's officers, directors, agents, or employees and the hosts and clinicians. I understand that there are inherent dangers in working with tools and repairing instruments and I assume the risk of all dangerous conditions in and about such clinics and waive any and all specific notice of the existence of such conditions.

--------[ Lodging ]--------

(not part of registration fee)
Note: There is a soccer tournament happening this weekend so it's best to book a room ASAP if you want one in Clemmons.

Super 8 by Wyndam     336.778.0931
6204 Ramada Dr
Clemmons, NC   27012

Quality Inn     336.778.1500
6320 Amp Dr
Clemmons, NC   27012

La Quinta Inn     336.765.8777
2020 Griffith Rd
Winston-Salem, NC   27103