Our aim is to honor God and serve others by providing the best possible services and products. The golden rule applies to every customer and each transaction. If any service or product does not meet or exceed your expectations, we will do whatever is necessary to make it right for you, our customer. We are committed to continually learn and grow, and to constantly become better at what we do.
Lee A. Stofer, Jr., is a native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, born in 1957. He started taking trumpet lessons at age 16, and started in his high school band as a junior, playing baritone. From this late, unlikely start, he was recommended for Kentucky All-State Band the next year as a senior euphonium player. Having developed quite a passion for music and playing, Lee entered Western Kentucky University in the fall of 1975 as a music major. His freshman year, he switched to tuba, and one year later, changed his major to performance. After graduating in the spring of 1979 with a BM – Performance degree, he enlisted in the US Army. For the next 22 years, Lee played tuba, euphonium, trombone and bass in thousands of performances throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East. While on active duty, Lee also performed extensively off-duty with groups ranging from brass quintet and polka bands, to big bands, brass bands, and symphony orchestras. Lee has done graduate study as a performance major at the University of Texas, Austin, and at Georgia State University. Since retirement from the U.S. Army, Lee worked for 5 years in Atlanta, then moved the business and family to the family farm in Eastern Iowa in the summer of 2006. Lee is now an active player in the Quad Cities and Northwest Illinois, as principal tubist of the Clinton Symphony Orchestra and senior tubist of the Sterling, IL Municipal Symphony Band, as well as occasional performances with other ensembles. For worship and fun, Lee plays electric bass and sings at DeWitt Evangelical Free Church.
Meanwhile, there was a parallel to this career. From the earliest days, playing a bell-front Conn baritone in high school, Lee had always been involved with the mechanical aspect, repairs and maintenance of instruments. When Lee got home with that first Conn baritone and tried to play his scales, the valves were sticking. So, he took it to his father’s shop and hand-lapped the valves until they worked. In college, he became increasingly interested in rotary valves, and how to eliminate all that noise that they made. By graduation time, Lee had been contracted for his first instrument repair job, converting the linkage to ball-and socket on all of the University’s tubas. In Army Bands, instrument repair services were always in demand, and he continued to learn and develop maintenance and basic repair skills. During the last 12 years in the Army, Lee started apprenticing with various people. He owes a debt of gratitude to Dale Barton, US Army Bandsman (ret.), Clay Frazier, former Schilke craftsman, Rich Ita, owner of the Band Instrument Workshop in Atlanta, David Worster, long-time Atlanta-area instrument repair technician, Ed Strege, owner of Badger State Repair in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Bob Frushour, Director of Repair Operations for Music & Arts, and Rudolf Meinl, Sr. and Rudolf Meinl, Jr., world-renowned instrument makers. Each of these people shared knowledge and skill in instrument making or repairing, a passion for music, and a desire for a high standard of excellence. God made their paths cross with Lee’s, and Lee will be eternally grateful. Lee joined the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) in 1995, and officially committed to being a first-class band instrument repair technician. During his last tour in the Army, Lee set about building a world-class instrument repair facility (in his back yard) in Atlanta’s Southern Crescent. The business officially opened full-time on September 1st, 2001, and after 5 successful years of serving local, national and international customers at the Atlanta location, Lee and his family moved to Iowa’s Gateway Region, near the Quad Cities and Clinton, Iowa, on the Mississippi River. The adventure continues today, as Lee continues to provide instrument repairs and restoration locally, nationally, and internationally, and finally hand-crafting a limited number of new CC tubas at the family farm.