43rd Annual NAPBIRT Conference
April 12-15, 2019

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Updated: April 10, 2019

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.

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 fourteenth year as instructor of the Villanova University/UofArts Summer Workshop String Repair courses in Philadelphia, PA.

Chris has been featured as a clinician for NAPBIRT, SCMEA, PMEA, OCMEA, 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, and it immediately became the textbook used by two of the three instrument repair schools in North America.

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 and jazz tuba player, he performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Maritime Brass Quintet, Cameron and the Saltwater Brass, and Maritime Eclectic. Chris has two dogs, Liza Jane and Lily Jane.

Shop Organization
John Butler

This clinic is a walk-through of the asset center for Brook Mays Music Company. This is not about how to keep your work area clean, but specifically organizing your parts and tools. These organized areas did not happen overnight - it has taken years to develop and perfect these ideas. As the shop continues to grow, so will the need for more organization. The tour will consist of ideas that will help stop wasting time looking for parts and tools.

John Butler attended the Western Iowa Tech band instrument repair program after high school graduation. He left the program early to begin on the job training at Brook Mays Music Company on June 4, 1979. After working in repair shops with more experienced techs, he was given the opportunity to manage his own shop, working at the bench, doing brass and woodwind repairs.

In 2001, he began training other repair technicians and managing the rental fleet of the company. In that time, he has built or rebuilt twelve repair shops, each time learning more on how to maximize floor space and organize a shop for one or multiple repair technicians.

John's experience and willingness to share his knowledge has been especially helpful with new repair technicians with finding the parts and tools they require for any job without having to constantly ask where parts and tools are located.

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.

3D Printing in Band Instrument Repair Technology
Miles DeCastro

What if you could fabricate parts while you sleep? How about during your lunch break? Or while simultaneously repairing a different instrument? This may sound too good to be true, but it's something that is actually obtainable for anyone with basic computer skills and the willingness to invest a relatively small amount of money in technology that I believe will be commonplace in instrument repair shops in the very near future.

For the approximate cost of a mini lathe, you can be fabricating high quality, dimensionally accurate parts and tools in your repair shop via 3D printing. In early 2018, I received my first 3D printer. In this clinic, I will share with you what I have learned while using it. I will also discuss ways you can incorporate 3D printing into your repair shop and what the future might hold for 3D printing in the world of band instrument repair technology.

Miles DeCastro is the instrument repair technician at The Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam, where he teaches courses in instrument repair and is responsible for the repairs, maintenance and inventory of over 1,000 instruments. In addition to being on both staff and faculty at Crane, he owns and operates North Country Winds, a repair shop specializing in artist-level clarinet repairs and USA warranty work for Backun clarinets.

Miles has been an active NAPBIRT member since 2007. In that time, he has attended every national conference and is honored to be presenting at his fifth national conference in a row this April. He currently serves as Vice President and Director of Region 1 and in the past, has 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.

Flute & Clarinet Overhauls
Jaime Hamner / Jim Gleason

Do you ever get that heavy sinking feeling in your stomach when someone comes in for an overhaul? Overhauls require a significant amount of time and patience. We know of some technicians who either don't accept them or can only schedule them during off-season periods. Well, fear no more!

This 2-part clinic will give you an opportunity for some real-life hands-on experience with ideas, techniques and products to improve your efficiency on flute and clarinet overhauls. Topics for discussion and demonstration will be:
  • Disassembling & boarding techniques
  • Key / rod straightening & refitting
  • Swedge pin / knock pin removal & replacement
  • Needle spring removal & replacement
  • Key cup / key dent work
  • Tonehole surfacing
  • Troubleshooting/estimating/evaluating work needed
  • Tenon fitting & body straightening (flute)

Suggested items for you to bring:
  • Personal tooling for flute & clarinet repadding
  • Flute mandrels
  • Problem instrument for clinic discussion

Come with lots of questions and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

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 served as the NAPBIRT President from 2013-2017. He is a NAPBIRT University Instructor and has presented numerous clinics at the Regional Level and Annual Conferences.

Jim Gleason is the owner and lead technician at Old World Music, LLC, established 1995, serving 3 school districts, local stores, Francis Marion University and the Florence Symphony. He is an Allied Music Repair School trained technician with 41 years experience in metal finishing, wind instrument repair and restoration, and procurement and maintenance of finished raw material inventory.

Jim was a shop foreman for Gretsch Enterprises for 1 year and a bench technician at McFadyen/Brook Mays music for 14 years. He is a retired Marine musician and repir technician with service experience in 5 states and 4 countries.

Jim is a Charter Member of NAPBIRT, serving as a Past President, Past Regional Director, Past Clinic Coordinator at Annual Conferences for 30 years and a Life Member. He also has served as a clinician and author in areas of plant safety, hazardous material communication and shop organization.

Silver and Goldsmithing Techniques in Band Instrument Repair
Kiki Hastings

Over the years, many new techniques have come into our industry by cross-pollination from other trades such as automotive repair, tool and die, industrial design, even robotics. The influence of tools like the dent machine, MDRS and ultrasonic technology has helped raise customer expectations of what is possible in brass and woodwind repair.

As a technician who first learned metalworking skills at a jewelry bench, I have noticed that some techniques that goldsmiths practice, are uncommon but possibly beneficial in even the smallest of brass and woodwind repair shops.

I look forward to demonstrating some finer points of spot brazing, solder preparation and jig construction. I will discuss how silversmithing (raising/sinking/planishing) relates to dent work and if time allows, we may even venture into the realm of metal finishing and patina's. Hopefully, you will find incorporating some of these metalsmithing techniques improves quality and efficiency of your repairs and improves your confidence when brazing and manipulating various metals.

Kiki Hastings is a former Goldsmith/Silversmith, who trained at the Ontario College of Art and Design and later went on to learn repair at Renton Technical College near Seattle, WA. She lives in Toronto with her dog and repairs both brass and woodwind family instruments at Music-Tech services in North Toronto. Kiki loves to talk shop about repair, metalsmithing, rescue dogs and urban organic farming.

Improving Quality and Gaining Efficiency Throughout Brass Repair

John Huth / John Maddox

This clinic is about creating efficiencies within your repair: how to reduce errors and how to arrive at quality work more quickly. We will build on what is fundamental and what works, then extend into tools and techniques to enhance speed and excellence. Areas of brass repair discussed include soldering, straightening and aligning, dent removal, mouthpiece repair, trombone slide repair, and more!

John Huth has taught in Red Wing's Band Instrument Repair (BIR) program for thirty years. He is actively involved in NAPBIRT as a Master Clinician for and three times has been recognized for excellence in presenting. He has written over thirty articles on repair for NAPBIRT's TechniCom journal and other music journals/magazines.

John has created tools currently used by technicians around the world. On YouTube, you will find a number of repair-related videos produced by John and his BIR colleagues. Outreach to directors and musicians include maintenance/emergency repair presentations at the MidWest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Minnesota Music Educators Association and the Symposium of the International Horn Society. John was apprentice-trained prior to joining the faculty at MSC Southeast in 1987.

John Maddox holds his bachelor's degree in Trombone Performance from the University of South Florida. He then graduated from the Band Instrument Repair program at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing in May 2012. John first worked for Fix This! Musical Instrument Repair in Chicago as a woodwind technician, repairing all saxophones, clarinets, and some overflow of brass. In 2013, John returned to the Twin Cities to open his own repair shop, Mad Dog Brass and Woodwind Repair, specializing in customizations and pro-level work.

Simultaneously, he divided his time to work at Southdale Instrument Repair where he repaired all flutes and trombones. When the business changed hands (becoming Twin Cities Instrument Repair), John's responsibilities changed to all saxophones, bass clarinets, and trombones. In 2016, he joined the repair staff at Davenport Repair within Schmitt Music.

Since 2013, John has served as a substitute instructor in Red Wing and has been an active member of BIR's Advisory Committee, conducting student assessments and recommending improvements to instruction and facilities. Through NAPBIRT, John has presented Regional Clinics on flute shimming techniques and on sourcing tools and supplies on a budget.

He joined the faculty of the MSC Southeast BIR program as a full-time instructor in 2018.

Habits In The Workplace
Katie Kendall

Have you ever left home to run an errand, only to find yourself accidentally driving to work instead? Or turned the lights off in a room while someone else was still inside? If you answered yes to either of those questions, or have an example of your own, you are probably aware of how powerful habits can be. Part psychology class, part tips and tricks, this clinic will take a closer look at our habitual behaviours and how they shape our experience at the bench. First we will take a look at the mechanics of habits - how and why they are formed. From there, we will apply that knowledge to different aspects of repair including customer interactions, shop organization, health and wellness, and repair itself. By taking a mindful approach to the things we do on a daily basis, we can improve our experience at the bench by becoming more efficient and building new skills.To conclude, we will discuss creative ways to beat bad habits and build new ones.

Katie Kendall is a native of Las Cruces, NM where she attended New Mexico State University. After attaining a Bachelor's degree in Flute Performance, she relocated to Renton, Washington in 2014 to study band instrument repair. She spent her first year at the bench in St. George, Utah before taking her current job at Bridgepoint Music in Menlo Park, CA, where she is the woodwind specialist. She became Straubinger Certified in 2017 and attended the first ever NAPBIRT University Bassoon Course during the summer of 2018. When she's not at the bench or teaching flute lessons, Katie enjoys reading, exercising, hiking and playing music.

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 our 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).

No More Tears Oboe Repair
John Kirkner

Do you see an oboe about to come across your bench and feel a sense of dread? Do you find yourself becoming frustrated as you chase down elusive problems? At the end, are you unsure if you've done a good job? Me too! But don't despair. Together we can get through this.

We'll strip away the mystery and address the oboe as the simple machine that it is. Topics to be discussed include pad selection and cork pad prep, regulation order, the importance of key fit, octave vent maintenance, replacing shaft lock screws, selecting a reed for effective play testing, quirks of the english horn, specific issues and remedies (loose socket rings? Binding C key posts?), and more. We'll also go over some simple tools you can make to boost your oboe game and make the process a little easier. Information will be presented for all levels of oboe repair, so whether you work on Laubins or Lintons, you're sure to come away with some useful strategies.

John Kirkner studied instrument repair at Southeast Technical College in Red Wing, MN. Since 2010 he has worked as a woodwind and brass technician at Taylor's Music in West Chester, PA, in a small but bustling two-man shop. Since 2015 he's also operated a small shop out of his home in Pottstown, PA, where he increasingly specializes in repairs to vintage oboes and english horns. When not at the bench, he still occasionally finds time to play oboe in between managing the maintenance needs of a 100 year old home or a less-than-1 year old daughter. He is an A- husband and a solid C+ father.

The Ferree's Dent Machine and Other Stuff
Steve Koivisto

I've been in some shops where the chief use of the tool is holding an apron. Part of my job here at LSU is maintaining the instruments used in The Golden Band From Tiger Land and I use this machine a great deal when performing this task. The inspiration for this clinic came from a time when I was lucky enough to get a spend a day with Gary Ferree. I was visiting my wife's family in Michigan during the week around Memorial Day and Gary was nice enough to agree to meet me on a Saturday. We grabbed some food at a diner close by and then he took me on detailed tour of their facilities. Part of my visit included going through all of the (then) current tools for the Z61 and I also received a personal demonstration from Gary on how to use each and every one of them. This clinic will focus on demonstrating some of the uses I have found for this tool as well as some of the tools I use in conjunction with the Z61 for removing dents in brass instruments.

Steve Koivisto has been repairing musical instruments since his apprenticeship with the King Band Instrument Repair Service in Atlanta in 1985. Since then, he has served as shop manager for several companies, including Mississippi Music, Musician Supply and various music and arts centers before opening Palmetto Musical Instrument Repair. This shop worked in close association with Pecknel Music, South CarolinaÆs oldest and largest music company. Through Palmetto Repair, he established a professional custom instrument shop and maintained exclusive repair contracts with several school systems in South Carolina and Georgia, including the University of South Carolina, Newberry College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Augusta State University, Presbyterian College and Lander University.

Steve has been an active member of NAPBIRT since 1994 and has served as a clinician for band directors learning instrument repair throughout South Carolina. He's a Straubinger Certified flute technician and has been cited by the Vermont Guild of Flute-Making for outstanding work.

A Technician's Early Years in the Field
Chris Lehotsky / Aaron Folmsbee

Chris Lehotsky and Aaron Folmsbee set the gears for a discussion-based clinic that opens communication between experienced technicians and those entering the field on how to make the most out of your early years in Instrument Repair. This clinic will cover:
  • “Great Expectations” – traits and skills that your employers are looking for
  • Aspects of a new shop / employer that you should search for
  • The skills that you should be focusing on – both basic and advanced
  • “When I was your age…” – the things technicians wished they knew at the beginning of their career
  • Succeeding past early frustrations in the field
  • Successful customer interactions and growing your clientele

Chris Lehotsky has worn many hats over the years, both in the repair field and out of it. Having previously studied Mechanical Engineering and Music Education (Trombone) at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Chris decided to synthesize his two career passions and attended the Band Instrument Repair Technology program at Renton Technical College.

Since then, Chris has worked in both the manufacturing and retail ends of the field, building trombones at S.E. Shires (MA), repairing brass and woodwinds at Twin Village Music (NY), and as a woodwind technician at Kennelly Keys Music (WA). When he’s away from the bench, Chris can likely be found hiking, playing board games, or devouring an epic fantasy novel.

Aaron Folmsbee has lived a life centered on music. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Aaron began performing music on trumpet at age ten and on guitar at age twelve. He attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, earning his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education in 2011. His focus shifted toward the music industry when he began working as a repair shop assistant at Twin Village Music in Lancaster, New York, in 2012. From there, he enrolled in the Band Instrument Repair Technology program at Renton Technical College, completing his certification under the instruction of Dan Bainbridge in 2015 and becoming a full time Instrument Repair Technician. In 2016, he left the snow of the Northeast for sunny California. He currently works at Bridgepoint Music in Menlo Park, California, as a Band Instrument Repair Technician, primarily focused on brass.

Aaron has been a member of NAPBIRT since 2015. He has attended 4 National Conferences, 2 Regional Clinics, and has written for the bi-monthly newsletter, Technicom.

Teaching Director Repairs
Ann MacMillan / Justin Cooper

As repair technicians, we are used to doing our best work at the bench. But what if you've been asked to step out from behind the bench to teach a clinic/workshop on instrument repair for band directors? Teaching clinics and workshops is not only a pathway to relationships with clients in the education world, it's also a great way to communicate knowledge about our profession, and hopefully cut down on those "What were they thinking?" repairs we see from well-meaning band directors.

This clinic will focus on how best to approach teaching workshops, "in-service" clinics, or even full semester classes. In our time here we will cover:
  • What resources/tools do you need
  • How best to build a repair kit for music educators
  • Hands-on vs. handouts
  • What repair techniques former students/current band directors find most useful
  • How to organize a 2-hour clinic vs. an 8-hour or multi-day clinic

It is our hope that after today's clinic, you will see the benefit of teaching basic repairs to band directors, and feel confident in organizing your own music educator clinics!

Ann MacMillan grew up in Garden City, KS and began her repair training just out of high school at Foster's Music Co. She continued repairing while pursuing a Bachelors of Music Education from Emporia State University, and at Brook Mays Music in Dallas while finishing a Master's degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. Ann was hired to oversee the instrument repair shop for the UNT College of Music in 1997. Since starting at UNT, Ann has taught a basic instrument repair class every semester, which was split into separate brass and woodwind repair classes with the addition of Justin Cooper to the UNT repair staff.

In addition to her job as a full time tech and adjunct teacher at UNT, Ann has taught numerous band director repair clinics, repair classes, and in-service trainings in the North Texas area, Killen, TX, TMEA, and Aiken SC. She started a summer repair class for band directors at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she works in the summers, and teaches repair classes as part of the Master's in Music Ed summer programs at SMU and UNT. Her favorite thing is when a student or workshop participant calls or emails with further repair questions!

Justin Cooper joined the staff at the University of North Texas in 2010 where he serves as the brass instrument repair technician and adjunct professor for brass instrument repair. Since taking over the brass instrument repair class, he has had several students go on to pursue full time careers in BIR. Prior to working at UNT, Mr. Cooper was co-owner/operator of C & C Band Instrument Repair and worked as an educational representative for Saied Music Company, servicing school districts in southeast Oklahoma and north Texas.

In addition to his work at UNT Mr. Cooper is an active clinician, presenting repair clinics to music educators and students. He has presented over a dozen clinics at this point, ranging from one hour presentations to multi-day workshops. Most recently he presented a full day workshop for music educators at the Interlochen Arts Academy as part of their continuing education program.

Mr. Cooper received a B.M. in Performance (Trombone) from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and a Diploma in Band Instrument Repair from Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical.

How To Host a Regional Clinic
Mike Nye

Who, me ... ? ...Yes, you!

This will be a walk through discussion about how and why to put on a clinic. It will walk us from; idea, concept, format, planning, timing, presentation, virtually (almost) everything you need to know to put on a worthwhile 90 minute class.

We will also cover how to host a Regional Clinic. We ALL learn from each other and everyone has different talents and abilities, strengths and weaknesses. With this in mind, we can all share knowledge and things of value.

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 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.

Working Smarter for Longevity: Ergonomics in the BIR Shop
Laurel Partin

How do we make the most of mechanical advantage in our approach to repairs? Knowledge and application of ergonomics can help us all do better repairs more efficiently no matter the size and strength of frame or hands. Moving with awareness of long-term effects of motion also helps us have better sustainability and longevity in the field.

In this clinic we will explore how to work smarter for the goal of longevity and sustainability of the technician. We will explore specific techniques which can make possible repairs which, with smaller hands or frames, we might not otherwise be able to attain. We will also discuss the basic science behind mechanics of injury and the process of healing, to better avoid injury and heal more thoroughly. We will explore better mechanical advantage and ergonomics through posture, hand positions, shop design, tool modifications, specific stretches and exercises, and tool designs. These habits, tools, tips, and tricks make it easier on our hands and bodies as technicians and give us more techniques to access so that we can better serve our clients and have a healthier and longer potential career in BIR.

Laurel Partin transitioned to musical instrument repair from being an innovative science educator and she carries rich experiences in biomedical research, cabinetry, musical performance and theatrical lighting design. In 2012, she stepped straight out of repair school at Renton Technical College into the opportunity of a direct mentorship with Scott Mandeville at Tim's Music in Sacramento, CA. The invaluable direct mentorship with Scott deepened and accelerated her approach to the craft.

Laurel is honored to have clients who seek her out for high-end woodwind repairs. She has managed the repair shop at Tim's Music for four years where they have moved into a gorgeous and spacious new facility where a few of the benches are committed to training and mentorship for developing technicians. They are committed to the full development technicians and to deepening the fine skill and concept sets for efficient and high-quality repair.

When not juggling repairs with shop management, you can find Laurel playing tenor sax, flute, clarinet, vox and French horn (and learning Bassoon) in various professional and community groups. She also swims, dives, hikes solo in the wilderness and practices TaiChi and BaGua.

The Ins and Outs of Trombone Hand Slide Repair
Trevor Roberts

For one reason or another, trombone hand slides evoke great fear, frustration and stress for many technicians. Whether slides test your patience, put you over the edge, or if you just want a different take on how someone else does them, this clinic will go over the steps that I use in diagnosis, disassembly, repair and assembly of a trombone slide. Straight tubes are only half the battle.

Trevor Roberts is the lead technician for Twin Village Music in Lancaster, NY and has been there since June of 2009. Having completed a Bachelors of Music and Business, with concentration on trombone, from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania; Trevor continued his studies at Badger State Repair under Ed Strege in Elkhorn, WI between 2008-2009. Outside the shop, Trevor is active with many ensembles in the WNY Region. He pursues his mechanical passions by preparing and racing a MINI Cooper S and restoring classic cars.

Investing In Your Instrument Repair Career
Allison Scull

This clinic will be about what it means and why it's important to invest in your BIR career. What exactly does "Investing" mean? By definition, it is the devoting of time, effort, and/or money to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. As technicians, our "worthwhile results" include but are not limited to happy customers, happy selves, and happy bank accounts. We will be discussing how investing in your tools, your education, and your customer relations will relate to better business, with special consideration of short-, mid-, and long-term benefits.

Allison Scull was born and raised in northern Connecticut. She holds a Bachelors degree in Euphonium Performance from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. After graduation, she worked for nine months as a retail associate at the local music store. Among her duties was helping the music store shuttle driver load up instruments to be taken to the repair shop. Throughout her employment as a sales-woman, she decided that high-pressure sales was not her ideal path.

One day, she was reading the regional newspaper and saw an ad for carpentry apprenticeships. She had her "A-HAH!" moment when she thought about how the repair technicians associated with her company might have learned from apprenticeships of their own and promptly started research into repair schools in the U.S. She enrolled in the Band Instrument Repair program at Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City, IA, in 2008 and graduated in 2010.

Upon graduation from WIT, she started her career at Swicegood Music in Lake Charles, LA, where the summers are hot and the work is plentiful. There's no shortage of "character builder" repairs to work on, as well as your average play-conditions to complete which gives her many opportunities to stretch and train her repair muscles.

Allison is now the Repair Shop Manager at Swicegood Music, as well as Chairwoman of the Western Iowa Tech Band Instrument Repair program Advisory Committee, on which she has served since 2012.

What Really Happens When You Install That Flute Pad Shim
Bob Warfield

This clinic will explore the shimming of flute pads. Paper and mylar shims will be discussed with their impact on traditional flute pads, as well as professional pads such as Straubinger and Muramatsu. Photos and demonstrations will be used for clarification. The proper way to shim a pad will not be necessarily presented, but will be open for discussion with active audience participation.

Bob Warfield has over 30 years experience repairing musical instruments. Trained at the Eastern School of Musical Instrument Repair in New Jersey, the 2 year school offered all aspects of woodwind and brass repair. In 1987, Bob decided to further his education and attended Millersville University where he obtained a bachelors degree in Industrial Technology education. Teaching proved to be an excellent choice but his true love remained repair of instruments.

Bob has worked for several music stores and started his business in 1999. Presently, he works for Music & Arts in Frederick and continues to repair at his home. As a member of NAPBIRT he continues to further his learning through conferences. Bob is also a certified Straubinger Pad technician. These pads are installed on professional handmade flutes and are very precise for sealing the toneholes.

Bob enjoys playing trombone professionally in the area. He has been a member of the Lyric Band of Hanover, the Hanover Symphony and the Spring Garden Band of York. Currently he is a member of the Hershey Symphony.

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?

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.


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.

Mentor Session: Strings
Lee Hirschmann

This clinic is an open discussion about all thing STRINGS. Bring your questions, solutions, cool tools, etc. Also, don't be afraid to share your best: "Hmm, that didn't go as expected" experiences as well. After all, we can learn a lot from each other on what works and what doesn't.

Lee Hirschmann grew up in a very musical and mechanically inclined family. Since childhood, he knew that he wanted to build and repair musical instruments. For the last 15 years, he's built handmade guitars. In addition to his building and repair background, Lee has 13 years of music retail experience and has been playing music for over 20 years.

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 2011, Lee graduated from Minnesota State College Southeast-Red Wing. After graduation, he worked at the Music & Arts refurb center in Frederick, MD. Then, in 2012, he managed the Brass, Woodwind & Orchestral String shop for Bill's Music House. In 2016, Lee left Bill's Music house to start a new business "The Band Shoppe".

Lee has been a proud and continuous member of NAPBIRT since 2012 serving as a clinician, mentor and instructor.

Mentor Session: Oboe
Bruce McCall

For many repair technicians, working on an oboe is a daunting process, mostly from lack of opportunity and experience. This is an audience participation clinic. All topics relating to the oboe, no matter how simple or complex, are welcome. You are encouraged to share your many "Aha" moments and those once in a while "Uh-oh" moments as well.

Bruce McCall took apart his first oboe while in the 6th grade. He has been repairing woodwind instruments since 1976. Beginning in December 2014, he joined the expert team of technicians at Meridian Winds, returning to Michigan where he grew up. He handles double reed and flute repairs along with most of the crack repairs which includes instruments sent to Meridian Winds from shops all around the United States.

Bruce studied oboe and bassoon while earning his Bachelor's degree at Michigan State University. He performed on both while a member of the US Military Academy Band at West Point, and as a free-lance musician in New York City and Knoxville, TN. Through the years, he has had the opportunity to absorb first-hand the wisdom of oboe maker Paul Laubin, bassoon guru James Keyes and his current boss, master machinist Eric Satterlee.

Bruce has presented oboe adjustment workshops at the annual conference of the IDRS, at universities in Michigan, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia and at the Brevard Music Center. Bruce holds certifications for working on Muramatsu flutes and the installation of Straubinger pads and is the author of "The Essential Guide to Adjusting Your Oboe", which is in use by oboists, repair technicians and at universities across the country.

Mentor Session: Gender Politics
Lisa Paszkowski

"Human Resources Peer Group" might have been a more apt title for this mentor session. As band repair technicians, many of us work alone, or for companies (small, medium, or large) that do not employ a non-management mediator for the social problems we can encounter in the workplace. Talking these issues out in a civil group of your peers may provide better practical advice and empathy than venting to friends or family or the internet.

Please come to this session ready to talk and to listen. Bring your experiences and advice, your anecdotes and opinions. Please come as an employee or employer, student or retiree. Let's see if the sum or our diverse experiences can crack a problem, or clear up some confusion you, or someone else in the room, is feeling.

If you have an experience you would like to share in this mentor session, but are unable to do so either because you are not attending the conference or because it's not a thing you want to say out loud to a room full of your peers, please email me at: lpaszkowski@long-mcquade.com. Please also email me if you want to bring a question that requires a well-researched answer to, so that I can do some reading ahead of time!

Lisa Paszkowski studied music at Cambrian College (2006) and musical instrument repair at Keyano College (2008). Her career as a band repair technician has seen her live and work at shops in cities across Canada. After working for five years at the head office band repair facility of Long and McQuade, she moved within the company to open a new repair shop at their location in Kingston, Ontario in April 2017.

Lisa repairs all band instruments, but prefers small woodwind work. She has completed Muramatsu training and Straubinger Certification. A member since 2006, she believes in the NAPBIRT mission to promote high standards of work through continuing education and professional networking. In her free time Lisa reads books, works in her garden, practices clarinet, sings in a church choir, and volunteers in her community.