Friday, December 16, 2011, 02:45 PMWhen I got into Phoenix, Arizona, the first thing I did was take a trip to visit Mark Stephens and Charles Ofenloch Jr. at the Mesa Public Schools repair shop. Their shop is state of the art and full of all the high tech stuff like an ultrasonic, great tools, separate places to work on different instruments (kind of like what we have at the Sax ProShop!), and they work on everything from strings to piccolos to tubas. The Mesa School District is lucky to have such a great repair shop with dynamic technicians. There were only 3 of us, so we took two separate pictures. From those photos, though, you can really get an idea of what a great big shop it is-- that's only half of it!
The next morning, I went to Flagstaff and it was really snowy in the mountains. Fortunately, The clinic was for Dr. Bergeron's saxophone studio at Northern Arizona University. I was taken aback by the quality of students at NAU! Clearly their teacher is doing a great job because the kids were inquisitive and knowledgeable, and we had a productive clinic about Tuning and Toning. I overheard some students in the practice room and they have great sound.
I was hoping to meet up with some other technicians and friends while in Arizona, but the blizzard kept me from traveling freely. I did get to stop in Sedona on my way back from Flagstaff and had fun acting like a tourist for a little while!
Next week was a trip to Normal, IL. The clinic was at the NAPBIRT Technical Training Center (NTTC). The facility was well-equipped with tons of tools and the latest and greatest-- perfect place for an all-day clinic. They asked me if I needed anything and I had brought most everything I needed for Tuning and Toning with me, but I did request jelly beans with the red ones taken out, which I got, so it's good to see they read the contract!
The Sax Magic clinic was packed with top notch technicians from all over the midwest. Lots of great questions and a full day of learning. We got through almost all of the information I wanted to cover on Tuning and Toning (even a full day clinic is sometimes not enough!). I felt like it was successful because the technicians were able to play an instrument, diagnose the issues, and consider all of the different scenarios and steps that would be involved and their corresponding results before actually doing any work to the instrument.
While I was in Normal, I got a chance to visit Carl's Pro Band shop and got to see the work they are doing. We see the work of technicians from all over the world and have seen the best and the worst from the best and the worst, so I can tell you that the work coming from Carl's Pro Band is truly world class. After knowing Carl and Travis for many years and understanding their philosophy of repair and then finally seeing their work, I would recommend them to anyone.
No clinic is complete without seeing the town for a bit, and it was great to go out with everyone. I drank some of the best beer I've had in a long time! So if you're ever in Bloomington, make sure you stop by the NAPBIRT Technical Training Center, and if your horn needs work, take it to Carl's Pro Band, and if you need a good drink, stop by Distill.
Monday, December 12, 2011, 10:26 AMThe MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop is excited to announce that we're looking to add a new member to our Sax ProShop team! Here is your chance to join a one-of-a-kind repair shop that allows you to do the best work that can be done, while constantly striving for more! Our clients are professionals and professionally minded players and we never allow compromises in the quality of work. Our specialized shop is one where each technician excels in certain aspects of the overhaul process and this allows the technician to be highly skilled and to use their creativity to push repair to a new level.
We are seeking a saxophonist with strong repair skills and a desire to learn and excel. Our ideal candidate will have a degree in saxophone performance and is a quick learner who is able to adapt and continually improve. They would be personable, reliable, and work well in a fast-paced and high-energy team environment.
Must be proficient in saxophone performance.
Strong desire to make saxophone repair a career
Upbeat, Self-Directed, and Punctual
Interested in elevating the level of saxophone repair.
A degree in saxophone performance or band instrument repair preferred.
Machining skills preferred.
Professional saxophone overhauls for the world's top players
Commission based after training
Enjoy the coastal life in Wilmington, NC
For more information about the Sax ProShop and what we do, visit: http://SaxProShop.MusicMedic.com
Please send a resume to Curt@MusicMedic.com
To help us save time and resources, please do not call about this position. We all look forward to having you on our team!
Thursday, November 10, 2011, 01:59 PM
I just submitted my third article to the Saxophone Journal. This article will be in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue in my column entitled "Repair Demystified." The article outlines the process for creating and installing a neck liner in a saxophone to correct specific intonation problems.
For those of you with subscriptions, let me know what you think! Those of you without, get a subscription!
The Saxophone Journal
Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 10:35 AM
Come one, come all! Registration is open now on NAPBIRT's website:
MusicMedic.com and NAPBIRT are pleased to announce the saxophone event of this century!
Your SMACKDOWN clinicians are:
Jerome Selmer, Selmer Paris
Theo Wanne, Wanne Mouthpieces
Jason DuMars, DuMars Engraving
Jerry Chang, Tenon
Curt Altarac, MusicMedic.com
Master of Ceremonies:
Steve Goodson, Steve Goodson Woodwinds
2012's SMACKDOWN is going to be an event you cant miss! Register now because space is limited! This SMACKDOWN will be an amazing gathering of repair technicians, players, craftsman, and manufacturers.
Two full days! Last year's SMACKDOWN was a huge success but everyone agreed that we needed more time!
Free. Well the SMACKDOWN itself is not free (almost, at $110) but you do get free breakfasts, free snacks, free drinks (bring your ID!), free lunches, more free drinks... that's a lotta free no matter who ya are!
More time with the clinicians. All of the clinicians at the 2012 SMACKDOWN are staying for the entire event. Take advantage of learning from the clinicians, your hosts, and other technicians during the whole two-day event. There will be plenty time to sip your drink and discuss your favorite techniques!
Dinner! Although you have to pay for your own dinner, MusicMedic.com has arranged restaurants for the entire gang to go out and eat. Dinners will set up in panel-style discussion seating with all four clinicians, Steve Goodson, and Curt Altarac answering questions and moderating the informal dinner discussions.
Watch the work as it happens! Talk is cheap. Theo Wanne and Jason DuMars are doing more than talking, they're working. Bring your mouthpiece or pick one up from Theo at the SMACKDOWN. Theo will have his tools and is prepared to put a custom face on your new Theo Wanne Mouthpiece or do work to your older pieces. Jason will be offering engraving right here at the SMACKDOWN (be sure to let us know you're interested ahead of time as his time is limited!)
Exhibits! Many of the clincians this year have products that they want you to see! After you hear their ideas, you can see their work! Check out this small, personal, and pertinent group of exhibits.
MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop Tour We've been busy since the last SMACKDOWN and there are a lot of exciting changes! We'll take you through the shop and show how the world's only assembly-line woodwind repair shop functions. The Sax ProShop has been compared to "standing inside an exploded saxophone overhaul". Curt will walk you through the shop, stopping at each of the 10 stations and explaining what we do and how we do it. There is no better way to understand the saxophone overhaul than walking through it!
Live Music by Wally West and the North Carolina Saxophone Ensemble! You're going to love the Music this year! During Friday lunch, you can relax and chat as you hear the cool tunes provided by RooPad endorser Wally West and his fabulous trio! Rumor has it that our own Rich Zimmerman may sit in and play a tune or two! On Saturday you're going to love having lunch with the North Carolina Saxophone Ensemble. If you look in the back row of this massive saxophone collaboration, you'll see MusicMedic.com's founder Curt Altarac playing the Bass!
So relax, grab a drink, and have a talk with a factory owner. Tap your toes to a cool solo and catch a glimpse of Jason cutting a flower or Theo teaching a refacing technique. Just be sure you don't miss it because there will be only one SMACKDOWN II, and it will be RAW!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 09:28 AMIf you've been a MusicMedic.com customer for a long time (thank you!), you've lived through a time when orders came all thrown into one bag (it was a little chaotic), through the mini manilla envelope stage, into the handwritten ziplock bags phase, and now you're still with us as we embark on this new era of high tech, barcoded printed labels.
Faster service, faster order fulfillment, quicker shipping, and continued customer service improvement are things that you've come to expect from MusicMedic.com.
As your business or hobby grows, we also continue to grow and improve as we strive to get you the newest products, best techniques, and the fastest service. Thanks for supporting us as we grow!
By the way, if you still have any of those old, hand-printed ziplock bags that say something like 4 x 40mm, save them because they will no doubt be collectible items on Ebay as MusicMedic Memorabilia!