The Doctor's History...
My name is Jeremy Soule and I've been playing, teaching and working on woodwind, brass, and string instruments for almost 30 years; originally in upstate NY, (where I received my music degree @ Bard College), then in central coastal CA, South Central VA and Huntington WV. I've recently relocated to Winston Salem, NC
After years of repairing on my own, I served a 4 year apprenticeship at a local music center where, after 2 years, I was handling the bulk of both rental and customer woodwind and brass repairs. (I am also a past member of NAPBIRT - the National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians). But, when the sun went down, I threw off my mild mannered air and became 'The Vintage Clarinet Doctor', overhauling old clarinets and saxophones bought on eBay and from local customers.
It started as a hobby and a learning tool, but, as I overhauled more and more old horns I was amazed at how well many of them played and how little the finished product cost in comparison to the modern makes we stocked!
"Why are we selling overpriced mediocre new horns when we could provide our customers with better horns for less money?" I asked my boss, in different ways and on different occasions. Basically, it came down to inertia, ignorance, 'new horn' bias, and the power of advertising: even my long-time repairman boss wasn't familiar with many of the brands I restored, and had neither the time nor the motivation to seek them out and risk trying to sell them.
Meanwhile, I was buried day after day in a sea of cheap student instruments and the future that stretched ahead of me looked like more of the same - I had to get out of there! Now, I have a home shop where I repair part time, teach when I have serious students, and gig locally with my groups. Who could ask for anything more? I may not be getting rich, but I'm happy and that's worth a lot in this world!