Are you ready for it?
National Association for Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians. Just goes to show you there is an association for just about anything. This year’s NAPBIRT conference was in my old haunt, Portland Oregon (airport code PDX) where nearly all things are weird. First, let me put a bird on it.
If you’ve ever seen Portlandia then you know something about the bird episode. Even Target is in on it. But I digress. This is about adventures in instrument repair.
A few highlights from the conference:
- Vendor displays of cool and unusual tools, including a magnahelic, used to check leaks on woodwind and brass instruments, and a super-duper ultrasonic cleaner (wish list)
- A class called “Cool Tools: The Common, the Uncommon the Obsolete, and the Strange” where I learned things I couldn’t possibly describe in a blog
- A workshop called “Repairing Saxophones for Play or Overhaul” where I learned different approaches to dent removal
- A mentorship class by Wayne Tanabe, the trumpet guru of the universe, on everything trumpet, from repair to modifications
- Enlightening discussions in between and after the sessions with Wayne Tanabe(Yamaha New York), Mark Sorlie (Yamaha Chicago) and an old friend from college, Larry Chamberlain (Yamaha Northwest)
Besides visiting with family, and a trip to Wally’s Music, one of the most fun things we did was to return to Duff’s Garage to hear one of my old bands, the Lilly Wilde Orchestra. It was great to see my friends on the stage and in the garage. Maybe I’ll play next time….