COVID-19 Note to Valued Customers

How we are responding to COVID-19

EFFECTIVE FRIDAY APRIL 27th  - Curbside Pickup/Drop off of orders and repairs are now available. Please contact us at 800.926.5587 for more information.

In light of the recent health crisis facing our nation, we here at Midwest Musical Imports are deeply committed to the health and safety of our staff, clients, and community. Luckily, no one in our shop has been exposed to the Coronavirus at this time and we are directing all staff to stay home and away from the office if they’re not feeling well. It is imperative that during this time we protect ourselves as well as each other.

Cleaning & Sanitizing:

We are keeping close tabs on all state and national reports on the development of COVID-19. We are following all recommended CDC and WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing our space including disinfecting all public spaces, door handles, counter tops, and our employees’ work spaces.
Strict hand-washing guidelines have been put in place and our staff know they are to wash and sanitize before handling an instruments/accessories.

Reed Protocol:

We will continue to sell and process hand made oboe, English horn, and bassoon reeds. We have reached out to all of our reed makers and have asked that reeds be disinfected with the use of hydrogen peroxide or high content alcohol. We will also be sterilizing new shipments of reeds as they come in and we will be re-packaging all reeds in new, unused tubes and plastic coffins. Our staff have been instructed to wear gloves during this process.

Repair Shop Protocol:

Updates to our repair shop procedures are as follows –

  • Repair work will continue as normal however all instruments will be left to acclimate in our shop for approximately 48-72 hours before any work will begin.
  • Repair technicians will wear latex gloves while working on all instruments and masks where applicable.
  • Each of our repair technicians will clean/sanitize their work stations between working on each instrument. They will also clean and sanitize tools and work spaces throughout the day as well.
  • Instrument cases will be cleaned and sanitized as well, both inside and out, before the instrument is returned to its case.

Instrument & Bocal Trials:

Instrument trials will be extended from 7 days to 10 days to allow appropriate time for instruments to acclimate. We have recommended that you allow all instruments to rest and acclimate in your home for 48 hours before playing them.

  • All new and used instruments will be wiped down and cleaned prior to shipping.
  • All bocals (bassoon and English horn) will be cleaned and disinfected upon return to the shop and before leaving for the next trial.

Should you or anyone around you become sick during the trial or have been exposed to COVID-19, please notify us immediately so the necessary precautions and actions can be taken.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time!

(612) 331-4717

F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets

Midwest Musical Imports is very excited to introduce our new partnership with F. Arthur Uebel Clarinets and Moe-Bleichner Distribution!

Ricardo Morales - Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra is now an Uebel artist. Come learn and try for yourself why Morales made the switch to these amazing clarinets!

Event details:

Saturday, October 5, 2019 1:30pm-4:00pm at Midwest Musical Imports

The event will start at 1:30pm with an introduction of the clarinets by an Uebel representative.

The remainder of the event will be an open house with the chance to:

  • Meet and greet with Uebel representatives
  • Learn more about the history and unique details of their production process
  • Trial several Uebel clarinet models

To learn more exclusive details about the clarinets, listen to the Clarineat Podcast with Sean Perrin and CEO Victoria Moe and instrument maker Andreas Moe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TME-bifXgDg

History of Uebel Clarinets: The company was founded in 1936, but within the past 10-15 yrs the clarinets have been reinvented with modern improvements.

Wood Selection: Wood is hand-selected, aged for 5-7 years and another 2+ years after the bore is drilled. Other manufactures now kiln dry their wood, taking it only 5 weeks from tree to completed clarinet. The Uebel clarinets have lesser chance of cracking due to their selection and aging process.

Selection process includes looking for wood density, where the wood comes from and if the drying process is slow enough. Each joint of the clarinet is matched in wood density, weight and grain direction. These factors contribute to an even tone throughout each register.

Durability: The wood of every Uebel clarinet is hand-selected and includes multiple layers of silver plating on the keys which results in a very durable clarinet inside and out.

Clarinet bore: As with most German clarinets the bore is larger than French clarinets. This provides a thicker wall and in turn has a larger, darker sound. The modern Uebel clarinets have a hybrid bore that is smaller than a traditional German bore, but appeals to those most familiar with a French bore system.

Ergonomics: Due to the larger bore, the tone hole placements are also different from French clarinets. The feedback has been that the reach, particularly in the pinky keys, is easier. Those with smaller hands or younger students have an easier time getting around the clarinet; especially on their very popular bass clarinet!

 

 

 

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!

Emily Brebach Oboe & English Horn Masterclass

 

You're invited!! FREE!!

Mini-recital
Masterclass
Reception following the class
Large selection of oboes and English horns for trial
Free small repairs

Emily Brebach joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra playing English horn and oboe in the fall of 2012.

Ms. Brebach, a Philadelphia native, has performed with several orchestras throughout the United States, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, and the Houston Symphony.  In past summers, she has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Des Moines Metro Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Aspen Music Festival. Prior to joining the ASO, Ms. Brebach held the position of English horn and oboe with the Sarasota Orchestra.

Ms. Brebach holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and studied with Louis Rosenblatt, James Caldwell, Robert Atherholt, and Robert Walters.  She is an Artist Affiliate Instructor of Oboe at Emory University, a faculty member of the Atlanta Symphony's Talent Development Program and maintains an active private studio in her home.  Ms. Brebach has also given masterclasses and reedmaking seminars at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of South Carolina, and the North Carolina School for the Arts. She spends her summers in residence at the Brevard Music Center in Brevard, NC, as English horn and oboe as well as artist faculty.

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

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!!

Richie Hawley Clarinet Masterclass

You're invited!  

 

We are excited to host Richie Hawley on Saturday, September 30th from 2-4pm!  The class will be held at Midwest Musical Imports in our recital hall.  Please join us for this free and incredible clarinet event!
Mini-recital and masterclass
Reception following the class
Try our custom set-up clarinets hand-selected by Richie
Mouthpieces, barrels, reeds, and more available for purchase
Free small repairs

 

Richie is the professor of clarinet at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston and serves as the teaching and performing clarinet artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.  A Buffet-Crampon artist, Mr. Hawley performs on the Tosca model of clarinet. He is also a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist and Clinician, and plays exclusively on the Reserve Classic reeds and mouthpieces which he helped to develop.
Learn more at:  www.richiehawley.com

 

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Virtual Tour of Our New Location

We absolutely love our new location and think you will, too!!  The store has doubled in size!!  We've added practice/lesson rooms, a recital hall, increased the size of our repair shop and sales floor.  Please stop by for a visit!  We'd love to show you around!

Our repair staff working hard in the new repair shop!

Our new recital hall with seating capacity of 60!

One of our new teaching/practice studios!

A street view of our new space.

We look forward to welcoming you in the store soon!

Thank you for attending our grand opening celebration!

I would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to everyone that came to our grand opening celebration! For those of you that came, emailed, sent flowers or called with your best wishes, we are extremely grateful. Below are some photos from the event.

A big thank you again to our generous sponsors/vendors: Buffet-Crampon, Fox Products, Loree, Puchner, Heckel, D'Addario, Peak, and Clark Fobes.

We look forward to many more events and please keep an eye on our calendar for updates!

Best wishes,
Jessica Nelson, General Manager

Owner and founder, Mike Aamoth gets a thumbs up after the Friday night reception from long-time customer, David Braslau.

Katie with customers at the Friday night reception.

Friday night reception.

Friday night reception.

 

Friday night reception.

Eric thanks a customer after work in the repair shop.

Our first customer during the celebration on Friday!! Jessica with her friend and oboist, Siri Garnaas

Friday was repair technician, Matt Reich's birthday! We surprised him with a cake.

Julie Gramolini William, Chris Marshall, and Greg Williams, of the MN Orchestra during their trio performance
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