Strike up the Band! North Woodwinds Buys, Sells and Refurbishes Musical Instruments

In 1974, just for the fun of it, Ed Luce signed up for a class on building and repairing guitars. When he showed up for the class, there wasn’t a guitar in sight. Only band instruments.

“I’d never even handled a clarinet, or flute or anything,” says Luce. But he stuck with the course, offered through a city arts program in San Diego, for two years while also a student at Mesa College.

Today, Luce is the owner of North Woodwinds at 820 E. Fifth Avenue. in Chico, where he has been buying, selling and repairing instruments for 33 years.

Many students start their musical journey on hand-me-down instruments that have gathered dust or rust or worse. “The instrument needs to play well in order for the student to learn,” says Luce, “which is why having it cleaned and refurbished is so important.”

“It’s like trying to play basketball with a ball that’s only 80 percent inflated,” he says. “You’ll struggle to play and to learn.”

It just might be smarter to pay more to have your instrument fixed up than you would to buy a new one. “The market is awash with newer, low-end instruments with poor sound quality that can’t be overcome by even the most skilled player. Some newer instruments aren’t worth repairing,” says Luce.

Purchasing a quality, refurbished instrument, or taking an older, inherited instrument in for repairs isn’t always the cheapest option, but it is worth the investment. And with more than four decades of experience with band instruments, Luce will let you know. His motivation is to help people play music and have fun!  

Heather Lee Leap is a writer, yoga teacher and AmeriCorps member. She lives with her husband, three daughters, two violins, a coronet, a piano, a ukulele, a mandolin, some recorders of dubious quality and a flute.
North State Parent
About North State Parent

North State Parent is a free monthly publication that circulates within five California counties: Butte, Glenn, Shasta, Southern Siskiyou and Tehama. Our pages are filled with family-oriented places to go, services and products geared for women and things to do; a focus on parenting, community, health, education, teens, youth, and much more.

Updated: Oct 10, 2017 @ 11:37 am