About Us

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Welcome, Bienvenido, Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welkom, Benvenuto!

We are here to repair your band instrument correctly, quickly and economically. This is achieved by experienced repairmen that take pride in their work, and pay attention to detail. Our inventory includes parts for the most common repairs and currently made instruments. Having your horn for rehearsal or a gig is essential. So, getting it back to you expeditiously is one of our goals. We also have a large selection of parts for older, used instruments. Come to the shop and let us see if we can help you. Remember, ESTIMATES ARE FREE !

Elswick Band Instrument Repair repairs woodwind and brass instruments. We are located in Charlottesville, Virginia and provide repair services for many area schools and private owners.  We can also do basic case repair, i.e. hinges, latches, new case handles, wheels. We do not do case restorations or zipper replacement.  Here is a brief list of the band instruments that we repair: piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute, Eb clarinet, Bb clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, contra-alto clarinet, contra-bass clarinet, oboe, english horn, bassoon, contra bassoon, Eb sopranino sax, Bb soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, bass sax, contra-bass sax, cornet, trumpets of all kinds, mellophone, alto horn, French horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone, tuba and sousaphone.

If you have a wind instrument that is not listed here and it is in need of repair, please give us a call. If you have questions regarding the performance, appearance or repair of your instrument, please give us a call. Better yet, bring the instrument to the shop and let us take a look at it.

Our Technicians:

MichaelMichael Elswick
I have been a repairman since 1972. I started as an apprentice at a small music store called The Music Stand, in Abingdon, VA. After repairing brass and woodwinds for three years I moved to a shop in Bristol, VA called Southeastern Music, where I was the sole repairman. I worked there until the beginning of 1977. In January of 1977, I joined the Navy as a musician. Being stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, in Waukegan, IL, I toured the mid-west performing in several different groups. We performed big band, rock & soul and ceremonial music. I repaired the horns for all the Navy musicians at that base. I also had a part-time job repairing horns, near the base, in Libertyville, IL. This shop was called Sage Band Instrument Repair. I worked there for three years as the saxophone repairman.

In 1979, I returned to Abingdon, VA. I opened a small repair shop in a local music store for one year while going to college. In 1980, I received a music scholarship at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. While attending JMU, from 1980 thru 1982, I opened a repair shop for Huffman’s Music. From 1982 thru 1987, I worked in Charlottesville, VA for Stuart’s Music, repairing brass and woodwinds. From 1987 until 1998, I worked at Crutchfield selling electronics. During this time I had a repair shop at my house. I did repair for local musicians. In 1998, I started working for Stuart’s Music & Arts, which slowly morphed to just Music & Arts. I was there until January of 2008. That is when I opened Elswick Band Instrument Repair. So, here we are today!

I do have other employees, however they have chosen to not supply me with any biographical information. So, I’ll “fill in the blanks” with whatever I want. Some of the info will certainly be true!

Martha Worley (aka – The Administrative Wench)

Martha has a variety of jobs. She repairs clarinets and she is the administrative wench. Wenching involves logging in instruments that Bruce brings to the shop, answering the phone, talking with customers, dealing with incoming faxes, banking, ordering parts, fixing the van, glass blowing and a plethora of other things. Something not commonly known about Martha is, for a short period of time, she was a Canadian lumberjack. And that’s “OK”. Unfortunately she developed an allergy to tree sap. Fortunately the camp cook was an acupuncturist. He would perform acupuncture treatments on her daily to help alleviate the symptoms from the tree sap allergy. Unfortunately her allergy progressively worsened. So, more and more treatments were need. Fortunately she was secretly a masochist and enjoyed the pain. Unfortunately she became a hemophiliac. Consequently, this ended the acupuncture treatments, that she masochistly enjoyed, and caused the allergy to tree sap to return which ended her career as a Canadian lumberjack. Whew! So, that’s how she ended up at Elswick Band Instrument Repair repairing clarinets and being an administrative wench.

 

Here are some previous employees that have moved on, we had a hard time letting go so their stories remain…

Dorian Brown (aka – Dorian Brown)

Dorian and I have known each other for many years. We use to work together at Stuart’s Music back in the early 80’s. Back in those days Dorian was known for his amazing ability to tap dance while playing his French Horn. It was unbelievable seeing him tap across a dance floor while playing the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major. Or, tap up and down a series of marble steps while performing Advanced French Horn Studies, Volume III by Philip Farkas. Those were the days. Wow! Unfortunately this amazing career came to an abrupt end one fall day. Dorian was performing, in early September, at UVA for a group of newly arriving freshmen. He was tapping and playing up and down the sidewalks on the Lawn, very near Old Cabell Hall. He was dancing like never before. It was like he was in a trance. He didn’t see the 33 concrete steps to the left of Old Cabell Hall. All of a sudden he lost his footing and down, down, down the steps he went. He broke both of his legs. Not to mention, his French Horn was damaged beyond repair. Well, after such a traumatic event Dorian lost the will to play horn and simultaneously tap dance ever again. Can you blame him? I think not!  Fortunately for us here at Elswick Band Instrument Repair Dorian has somewhat recovered. After many years and a spending a veritable fortune on therapy Dorian has come back to us. As you might imagine he has sworn off playing the French Horn. The memories are too painful. Plus he has had frontal lobe shock therapy to help him to forget how to dance. These days he has inched his way back to music. He is studying cello. And, of course, we all wish him well.

Bruce Penner (aka – Mr. Man)

Bruce is the “man on the road”, roadie or road rep. He is on the road four days a week. He brings horns to us for repair. His travels take him to Burke, Manassas, Oakton, Springfield, Woodbridge and all the Prince William County school system. Also, he goes to Louisa county, Fluvanna county, Richmond, Nelson county and Amherst county. Plus, many of the local schools and the UVA marching band. Bruce also has a musical cross to bear. He is a percussionist. Even after enduring two percussion related injuries he still performs and works in the music industry. The first accident occurred while performing at Ash Lawn for one of their summer music events. It was during the Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture. It involved a cannon, a tympani and a set of chimes. I sorry, that’s all I can say. If you see him limp, don’t say anything…… please! The second injury occurred while in Africa. He was visiting a friend in the Republic of Mali. While there he had a vision. His vision led him to north eastern Tanzania to ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro. He took with him a glockenspiel. In his vision he saw himself playing the glockenspiel on Kibo, one of the three inactive cones of this stratovolcano. However, on this particular day Kibo had some volcanic activity. Ooooh! The scars it left on him………..  Well, just another reason why he limps.