Despite playing the clarinet during my years in school, I never knew what went into keeping an instrument in playing condition, but I recently got a little lesson from some Oklahoma City band directors.
The band directors are working this summer to repair and catalog all of the more than 2,000 band instruments in the district’s middle and high schools. Chris Lehew, assistant band director at Northwest Classen, was kind enough to let me tinker with a clarinet when I visited one of their repair sessions. He showed me how to cut and glue down the cork on the joints of the clarinet and then sand it so that the instrument’s pieces fit snugly together. I tried my hand at a little sanding and felt a little sentimental for my clarinet-playing days.
Lehew and other band members replaced pads, fixed bent keys and replaced screws on instruments that day. They said they hope that their efforts will make for sweeter music after school starts.
- Staff Writer Dawn Marks