This past December 19th and 20th, Lucas Pemberton, John Huth and Greg Beckwith had such an opportunity at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL. In a presentation entitled, “It’s Gotta Work – NOW!” the Red Wing Repair Program Instructors gave advice to band directors on how to responsibly keep an instrument functioning long enough to get it to the repair shop.
Over 350 attendees learned about simple temporary fixes that do not compromise instrument performance, longevity, and appearance using common simple items. Examples included using cable zip ties to secure broken solder joints, using pipe cleaners and hair scrunchies to secure waterkeys, using piper cleaners or bread ties (instead of paperclips) to secure sax key guards, appropriate and inappropriate applications of masking tape, how to pull a stuck mouthpiece and much more: all simple things we want them to know. The three also emphasized common mistakes made by directors, students and parents, warning of the dangers of using superglue, rubber bands, pliers, screwdrivers and mallets by the inexperienced and untrained, equating common mistakes with the associated costs of money and time.
Each session closed with a sobering conversation on the need to provide our aspiring musicians with instruments that are worthy and play their best at all times, encouraging directors to establish and maintain strong relationships with their repair shop.
The complete presentation including handouts is available at www.redwingmusicrepair.org.