‘We Can Always Fix Them’: Canby Music Welcomes Its Newest Repair Wizard, Nathan Doty

Canby Music recently bid a fond farewell to its longest-serving employee and resident repair wizard, Taylor Andersen, but don’t despair: There’s already a new sheriff in town, Nathan Doty, and Andersen taught him “everything he knew — pretty much.”

Doty, a lifelong resident of the Canby area, apprenticed under Andersen for the past year, learning the ins and outs of the repair game as well as the local music store’s fleet of rental instruments. Doty even plays the saxophone, just like his predecessor.

It’s probably not a coincidence, as Canby Music owner Brian Haines explained.

“There’s so many moving parts and little gadgets on a saxophone, I just imagine people who play the saxophone get really good at having to figure out how to fix all that stuff themselves,” he said.

In fact, Doty himself already has an apprentice, a student at the Canby High School who plays — you guessed it — the sax.

“I do think that’s correct: There’s something about the saxophone,” Haines said with a laugh.

Of course, Doty is tasked with repairing more than just saxophones at Canby Music. In fact, he’s responsible for the entire brass and woodwind families. The store does repairs for all the band instruments owned by Canby High School, and other area schools as well, helping to extend the longevity of these instruments and save taxpayers money in the long run.

“A lot of the school instruments are vintage instruments,” Haines said. “If they’re quality, they can always be repaired, and be in service for years and years.”

Even in just the past year, Doty has pretty much seen it all.

“There have been some stuck mouthpieces where you’re just like, ‘Man, what did you do to this thing?'” he said. “I’ve seen stuck slides, bent keys, broken keys, things that just disappear randomly. We’ve seen a couple times where it almost seemed like the students damaged the instruments on purpose. But whatever the case, we can always fix them.”

The wide range of the store’s rental and repair services is still something that flies under the radar a bit, Haines said, because when Canby Music first opened, its business was centered around his own area of expertise: the guitar. But that has definitely changed.

“For at least the past five years, we’ve been really broadening out,” he said. “We handle all aspects of the school band trade, from the rentals and repairs to books, reeds and other accessories.”

Repairs are offered at the store’s location at 232 NW 1st Ave., and also directly at participating schools, and their estimates are free. More information online here. And if your New Year’s resolution is to finally become that guitar hero you’ve been dreaming of being, learn about private lessons here.

Hear this segment, along with Brian Haines playing his guitar rendition of “Auld Lang Syne,” at the end of our latest episode:

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