Mike Phillips’ first instrument was the trumpet. At his first ever band concert, Mike went to use his spit valve while the Principal was talking. Instead of being nearly soundless, Mike’s trumpet made a loud noise, causing everyone in the band, and in the audience, to laugh. Even though Mike had kind of a rocky start, his love for trumpet sparked his love for musical instruments in general, and motivated his decision to attend Western Iowa Technical Institute following his graduation from high school. He is currently 28 years old, an avid car enthusiast, and has been repairing instruments ever since.
He has been employed as one of three Repair Technicians at Gerry’s Music Shop since 2010, servicing all of Gerry’s band instruments, and ensuring customers understand the proper care required to take care of their instrument. He tries to keep his skill set at brass and woodwind repair equally matched so he can be an asset in all areas of the shop. For Mike, the best part of the job is seeing the transformation from a broken horn to a fully operating one. He says “When a customer doesn’t even recognize their own instrument because it looks so good, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.” His favorite department within the store is the repair shop, because there are so many tools and interesting projects that go on inside! While in the repair shop, Mike has had the great fortune of repairing instruments for Byron Stripling and Archie Shepp.