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Meet Katie Cox

Katie grew up in Illinois and attended college and grad schools in Missouri, New York, and North Carolina. After finishing a DMA in bass trombone performance and research, Katie started working full time in repairs.

An apprenticeship opened up the repair world and the gratification of helping players work with their instruments instead of fighting with them. When she's not fixing instruments, Katie enjoys reading, baking, watching embarrassing TV shows, and searching eBay for old wooden clarinets.

Katie's Favorite Things:

Favorite music to listen to:

I like to listen to a lot of things. Particular favorites include Regina Spektor, Randy Hawes, and, for some reason, ABBA. It just helps me get stuff done!

Favorite music to play:

​Probably Strauss with a solid brass section. Or Wagner. Or Tchaikovsky. Or... Orchestra, in general, seems to be the answer. Anywhere that I can play with that loud, take charge orchestral bass trombone sound. Which is also, sometimes, a big band.

Favorite instrument to repair:

I like to work on woodwinds and strings generally, clarinets more specifically, harmony clarinets more specifically, and Yamaha bass clarinets most of all. Or contra clarinets, or pre-1980s wooden instruments that need a lot of love.

Favorite part of being a technician:

The look on a student's face when you hand their now-functioning instrument back. When they play, and it's easy and fun, and the instrument isn't getting in the way of that. When kids realize that band is fun and they're better than they think they are, that's a good day for me.

Favorite weird repair story:

My favorite stories are usually the "something stuck in a tuba" stories. We keep a shame jar of the most hilarious examples - a half-used roll of camouflage print duct tape, a hacky sack with the Flash logo on it, a single fuzzy die from a rearview mirror pair. Anything that's stuck and wasn't ever alive is a hoot. 

Favorite quote (updated monthly!):

"Never look encouragingly at the brass." - Richard Strauss

Katie's Gallery


This Mark VI spent years in the Caribbean and came to us with green buildup galore. Wish I had captured the after with this one!


This brown gunk came out of a bassoon. Wash your hands before you play, kids!


Before setup


After a basic setup, rosin removal, and quick polish. Look how shiny!


I think this is actually some sandwich down the leadpipe. Brush your teeth before you play!


Green fuzz! Ew!


Before on a metal clarinet - this was a family piece.


After - so shiny! The nostalgia value made it a really rewarding job.


This is why you don't leave your reed on the mouthpiece.


Before cleaning the bottom bow of a saxophone.


The other side of the bow connection before cleaning.

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