Regional Conference - Australia
October 26-27, 2019


Updated: May 20, 2019

Dent Removal With Basic Hand Tools
Chris Bluemel

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.

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.

Pad Making
Aaron & Brian Ebert


What To Look for When Servicing Student
Flutes, Clarinets and Saxophones

Andrea Jelleff

I feel privileged to have the opportunity to provide some clarity on where to look, what needs to be done and how to speedily adjust when servicing flutes, clarinets and saxophones. I will present some important points and main issues when servicing these three most popular woodwind instruments. Perhaps your shop has many brass repairs and may benefit from knowing the simple pattern and important areas to address when servicing these instruments. For woodwind repairers, this workshop could offer a different perspective or approach to student woodwind servicing.

I'm Andrea Jelleff, business owner and repair technician at Furness Repair Studio. I have 35 years' experience in the music industry, 20 years as a qualified repair technician and business owner. I trained under and worked with Paul Donnelly. Then later worked beside Ian Gordon and Brian Ebert. I am a NAPBIRT member and have attended all of our Regional Clinics. I hold a Bachelor of Education in Music. I have been a professional musician / woodwind teacher in the Defence Services (Army and Air Force) for 10 years, played many musical theatre shows as a saxophonist / woodwind player, various bands playing with many leading Australian and International artists, and have taught classroom and instrumental music in private and public schools.

Saxophone Padding Techniques
Joseph Neave

This clinic will be an in-depth look at everything involved with padding a saxophone. Topics covered will include; looking at different types of pads and pad selection, pre-padding preparations such as key fitting, toneholes and pad cups as well as looking at a variety of techniques used while padding. Everything involved with padding a saxophone will be covered with many of these techniques applicable for other woodwinds as well.

Joseph Neave has been playing saxophone for 15 years, having picked it up during high school. He first started to tinker with his own instrument while studying for his bachelor degree in Melbourne, Australia. While at the university, he realised repair was something he wished to pursue as a career. Unable to find anyone to teach him in Australia, he moved to America to learn about instrument repair at Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing, Minnesota. After graduation in 2014, he returned back to Australia and starting working in Adelaide. While being able to work on all brass and woodwinds, Joseph has always had a special interest in his first instrument, Saxophone.

Phil Noy

Key Making
Maurice Reviol

The Devil's In The Details:
Optimising Your Basic Clarinet Work

Geoff Secomb

Although clarinets are probably the most simple of the woodwinds to work on, we shouldn't assume they are always easy straightforward.

We'll take a deep dive into the details that can take your work to the next level of craft and understanding, with time for questions, discussion and sharing.

Geoff Secomb graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Instrumental Performance) and in 1981 with a Graduate Diploma in Music (Instrumental Performance.) His clarinet teacher was Mr. Rodney Jacobson.

His performance highlights include 5 years in the Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra, four of those years as Principal Clarinet. He worked as a professional musician for several years, including significant time with both the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Theatre Orchestra, and also played for professional theatre productions. He has also been a member of several community orchestras over the years.

Geoffrey has also spent a considerable amount of time as a teacher in the State & Private school systems, and in his private teaching studio, and has also been heavily involved with local community musical theatre productions as an MD and a player since 1984.

His instrument repair life as a woodwind specialist started with a basic introduction to clarinet padding from his teacher, and has progressed from there for the last 45 years. With the exception of a couple of years as a wholesaler's sales rep, he has been full time repairing since 1989. His clientele includes everyone from beginners to top professional players. Instrument repairing is a natural extension of Geoffrey's long time proclivity to fix whatever he finds that isn't working, as long as it isn't electronic.