Tips from our Techs--Humidity Issues

 

Tip from head repair technician, Eric Anderson

Summer is that time of year when humidity increases and the wood body of instruments begins to expand.  This happens along the width and length of the wood grain affecting both the fit of keys, levers, and tenons.   When the wood expands in the summer months, woodwind instruments often don't fit together without a struggle, if they even fit together at all! We find that this issue is most prevalent during the first year of a new instrument's life, and especially prevalent in newer clarinets.

If this happens with your instrument to the point where abnormal force is required to take it apart, it's best to have an experienced repair technician take care of it.  A technician will be able to adjust the fit of the tenon cork, the exposed wood on the tenon, or sometimes both.  Ignoring the problem and blowing warm, humid air down your instrument will only make it worse!

The humidity will also make keys fit looser, but don't worry!  We never fit keys too tightly in the summertime because they will most likely expand in the fall/winter and potentially bind once the humidity drops.  Loose key fittings won't harm your instrument, they only cause them to be slightly noisier.  If you can live with the loose key fitting in the summer, great!  It should return to normal in the fall/winter.  If it is an issue for you, we can certainly fix it, and if we do, don't forget to come back to get the fit readjusted after the humidity changes.

If you ever experience issues with your instrument and don't know what to do, remember we are only a phone call away and are happy to help!!

Introducing our newest repair technician, Brian!

We are happy to announce that we have a new team member!  Brian DeGayner has joined MMI in the repair department.  He graduated from Southeast Technical in Red Wing with a diploma in band instrument repair in 2016. Prior to joining the repair team at MMI, Brian worked for Twin Cities Instrument Repair in Edina, focusing on flute and double reeds. He is a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians, and attends state and regional conferences. Brian spends most of his free time outdoors, or playing in local orchestras.

We asked Brian a few questions to get to know him better!

What got you started in repair? 

"After a few years of playing horn, I realized my love for working with my hands could be applicable to the industry. After talking with Greg Beckwith, I dropped everything and went to Southeast Tech in Red Wing."

What groups were you playing in prior to going to school for repair?

"I have played for several orchestras around Minnesota. Mankato Symphony, St. Andrew’s, Bloomington Symphony, Minneapolis Civic, Wayzata Symphony, and currently St. Paul Civic."

Any favorite pieces? 

"I love Mahler’s symphonies, especially 3, 4, and 5. Ein Heldenleben, Holst’s Jupiter, Sibelius....basically anything horn-heavy. Otherwise, I’m usually partial to playing in small ensembles, such as Daniel Baldwin’s Landscapes for Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Piano, Martinu’s Quartet for Clarinet, Horn, Cello and Snare Drum, or Barber’s Summer Music."

What is your favorite repair to do?

I love a challenge. My favorite work to do is overhauling instruments: breathing new life into an instrument is very rewarding, and hearing an instrument I fixed on stage always makes me smile.

Any hobbies at home?

I would consider myself a maker. I’ve used my machining experience to make plenty of hand tools and a few machines to help with various projects. Currently, I’m refinishing my tool chest, painting models, and working on my jewelry making skills. I wouldn’t mind getting into watch and clock mechanism repair...

You’ve mentioned your love for the outdoors...

I go hiking and camping as much as I can, year round. I am an Eagle Scout (Troop 494, White Bear Lake, 2009), so I basically grew up outdoors. My family moves a lot of timber every year, and I hunt and fish whenever I can.

 

Please join us in welcoming Brian to MMI!  We are so happy to have him part of our team!

Happy National Teacher's Day!

We are so appreciative of all of the teachers that have helped us become who we are, and the teachers we help in the store!

In honor of National Teacher's Day, we are offering free standard shipping through Sunday on any accessory order shipped within the US.
Use code WELOVETEACHERS at the checkout.

From MMI, a HUGE thank you to every teacher, not only on your special day, but always!!

Holiday Hours

We will have special end of year hours for our physical location in Minneapolis. As usual, our online store is ALWAYS open!

Sat., Dec. 23rd - OPEN 9-3
Sun., Dec. 24th - CLOSED
Mon., Dec. 25th - CLOSED
Tues., Dec. 26th - OPEN with limited staff and no repair staff
Wed. Dec. 27-Sat. Dec. 30th--Normal hours
Sun., Dec. 31st through Wed. Jan 3rd--CLOSED for New Year's and our annual inventory.

Thurs. Jan 4th--Normal business hours resume. Normal business hours are Monday to Friday 9-5 and Saturday 9-3.

Thank you for you understanding and we wish you much peace, joy and success in 2018!!

Happy holidays from all of us at MMI!

Our tree is up, the decorations are hung and we're celebrating the holidays!  From now until December 25th, 2017, we are offering special in-store and online savings.

IN-STORE - Select an ornament from our tree (pictured above) and reveal special savings on accessory purchases and new instruments!

ONLINE - All orders of $75 or more will receive free standard shipping! Purchase a new instrument from us and we'll refund your shipping charges and give you a $100 off!

Thank you for your business and we wish you a very happy holiday season!

Small Business Saturday

Shop small with us!!  Saturday, November 25, 2017 is Small Business Saturday!  We will be offering 10% off on all accessory for IN-STORE purchases.  If you are not able to come in to the store, we will be offering free shipping within the US on all online accessory orders!  Thank you for supporting your small woodwind shop, we greatly appreciate you, our customers!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Hours and Savings

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at MMI!!!  We will be closed on Thursday and Friday to celebrate the holiday with our families. We will reopen on Saturday, from 9-3!

Our online store will remain open during this time.  Please shop www.mmimports.com  We will have a special online only deal on Black Friday (10% off all accessories!) and we will be offering free shipping the entire weekend for orders shipped within the US!

Have a wonderful holiday and happy music-making!

Darrel Hale Bassoon Masterclass

Mini-recital with works by Bach, Mignone & Winstead
Masterclass
Reception following the class
Large selection of bassoons and bocals for trial
Free small repairs

Darrel Hale is the Assistant Professor of Bassoon at Louisiana State University and the Principal Bassoon of Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he also performs regularly as a member of the Timm Wind Quintet and the Conundrum Reed Trio. Before joining the faculty at LSU, Mr. Hale serviced as the Acting Principal of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Bassoon of the Kentucky and Springfield Orchestras. His teachers include Dr. Yoshiyuki Ishikawa, Per Hannevold, and William Winstead.

We look forward to seeing you at this great, FREE event!!

Good Luck, Ginny!!

I am sad to inform you that repair technician, Ginny Dodge's last day is today.  We are very sad to see her go and will miss her around the shop!!  Not only is she a fabulous repair technician, but we'll miss her jokes, laughter, whistling and bubbly personality.  Ginny, we wish you nothing but success in your future endeavors and since you are now part of the MMI family, we expect you to come back and visit! =) Best of luck to you!!  --Jessica and the MMI staff

Ginny and Jessica with Ginny's going away doughnuts.

To our MMI family-
I’d like to personally let you know that as of July 1st, I will no longer be repairing at Midwest Musical Imports.  I will be moving to the Detroit, MI area to be with my fiancé and begin our next step of life together.  I would like to impress that my time working for Midwest has been some of the best years of my life to date!  That is due largely in part to the amazing community of woodwind players that we serve through the store.  From double reed days to the annual IDRS conference to our in-store interactions, it has been an honor and a privilege to offer service to your instruments.  If you’d like to keep in touch or let me know of your performances in Michigan, I would love to continue supporting your art in any way I can!  My email is virginiardodge@gmail.com or you can reach me via phone at 585.245.4305.  In the mean time, I’ll be saving my pennies to see you all in Grenada at next year’s IDRS conference!  Be well and keep up the amazing artistry.  We’re lucky to have all of you in our lives here at MMI!

Also, pass the tissues.

Ginny

We will miss you, Ginny!!! Best of luck!!!

Fox 680 & 685 bassoons on sale!

We currently have 2  brand new Fox 680 and 1 Fox 685 bassoons in stock and on sale!!  These are lovely instruments and are waiting to find their new homes!  All of them are in the mountain maple and come with the following options: High F key, Rotary whisper lock, Ab/Bb trill key, Double low C plate, Left hand D-Eb trill keyA-Whisper key bridge. This is Fox's newest design.  A thick walled bass and bell give you power and projection in the lower register, while the thin walled wing joint provides an easy, singing response in the upper register.

Current Fox artists playing the 680 include:  Kristen Wolfe Jensen, Ted Soluri, Albie Micklich, and the Breaking Winds.  Fox artist Matthias Racz plays on a Fox 685.

These instruments pair very well with a brand new Heckel bocal!  Purchase any of our new bassoons and a new Heckel bocal at the same time and we will discount the Heckel bocal to $750. (A $325 savings!)  Jessica and Katie have expertly paired Heckel bocals with 680s and 685s, and are happy to help you find the perfect match for your style of playing.

These fully featured bassoons are on sale for a discounted cash/check price of $26,500.  Call today to take one on trial!!!