Bellingham Wind Works has a history in Bellingham and the surrounding area for providing the highest quality wind instrument and string repair. We regularly receive and repair instruments from all over the country, specializing in double reeds and saxophones. Our string technician has more than 35 years establishing a great reputation in the Northwest. With five highly-trained brass and woodwind repair techs and an experienced string tech, we have established a solid reputation for quick turnarounds and friendly, knowledgeable service.
Our goal is to offer services that aren’t being fully met to the musicians, teachers and students of Whatcom and Skagit Counties. In 2011, with the closing of several local music stores, we noticed that few shops carried the level of wind accessories we know players and educators need. In December 2012 we expanded our business to include accessories for brass and woodwinds, including professional-level reeds and mouthpieces, as well as a full array of wind player needs.
Likewise, Bellingham and the surrounding areas lack sufficient quantities and selection of rental horns. In 2013, we began to rent out woodwinds, brass and basic percussion, and in 2015, began to offer orchestral strings as well as the less common rental instruments.
Our goal is to continue to provide for the musical needs of our community and make face-to-face connections with musicians of all ages and abilities.
Ed began repairing musical instruments in 2000, when, fresh out of high school, where he played trumpet, he apprenticed with David Laws. He studied Band Instrument Repair in Red Wing Technical College (Now Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical), earning an Associate of Applied Science degree in Band Instrument Repair, and returned to Bellingham. In 2005 he purchased the facility he was working in and named it The Repair Shoppe. The facility moved into its current location in 2011 and became Bellingham Wind Works. As the proprietor and primary technician, Ed plays everything that comes through the shop. Ed’s favorite musical is West Side Story. He is the owner of a magnificent beard and wants to learn to tie flies someday.
Kat earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Western Washington University in 2005 while studying bass clarinet. After teaching band and orchestra in western Washington for two years, she returned to school and graduated from the Musical Instrument Repair Technician program at Renton Technical College in 2007. Kat began working at Bellingham Wind Works in 2009 as a woodwind and brass technician, and has graduated to running the retail side of the shop as well as coordinating events, handling customer relations, and managing IT. Her primary instruments are bass and soprano clarinet, ukulele, and tin whistle, and she looks forward to learning harmonica and accordion. Kat’s favorite song is a tie between Alan Hohvaness’s “Prayer of St. Gregory” and Stan Kenton’s version of “The Holly and The Ivy.” Kat spends her free time reading fantasy and sci fi, gardening and eating soft cheeses made from cow’s milk.
David Payne was invited to bring his extensive knowledge and experience of music retail to manage the Wind Works team in 2013. A professional musician for 40+ years and luthier for more than 39 years, David plays bass, drums and tuba on the side while repairing and maintaining our fleet of string instruments. Having worked in local music stores for nearly 20 years, Dave brings his skills to Wind Works with a smile and a thumbs up, and hopes to increase his knowledge of our software system. He is the third David to join our team, and at the shop, usually goes by Dave to differentiate himself. David’s favorite color is green and his favorite music is the Beatle’s White Album.
Isaiah was recommended to Ed by a local music teacher for their curiosity about how musical instruments work, and joined us in the summer of 2012. They graduated from high school in 2013 and then from Renton Technical College’s Band Instrument Repair Technology program in 2014. They have been repairing brass since they came into the shop and are looking to expand their skills into string repair. They are one of our resident trombonists, which they enjoy repairing, but their primary instrument is their voice. Isaiah enjoys streaming episodes of Season 12 (and only season 12) of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They can often be found singing along to their favorite song “Dirty Pop” by N’Sync. Isaiah is the Wind Works Brute Squad.
Andrea came to us in 2017 with the expansion of our school liaison/delivery driver position. In addition to her normal delivery duties, she is building Wind Work’s relationships with local school districts, and has taken on the role of event coordinator for guest artists. Outside of her regular position here, Andrea teaches voice and performs in the community. She hopes to learn as much as she can in this position, and regularly uses her clarinet skills to assist with petting zoos, clinics and other events with schools. Her favorite pieces are Heitor Villa-Lobos’s “Bachianas Brasilieras #5, “and she happens to be an avid lover of Jurassic Park and dinosaurs in general.
Spencer Le Huquet
We hired Spencer in 2017 as a sales associate and all around helper/good egg. He is always ready with a cheerful word and likes to listen to happy music. Spencer plays French horn, harmonica, and trombone, and is eager to learn brass repair to further expand his already prodigious skill set. Spencer came to us as from a career as an auto mechanic, and thus maintains the Wind Works van (and frequently volunteers his help to his co-workers). He hunts mushrooms on the weekends and can wiggle his ears. Spencer is an accomplished head-patter/tummy-rubber. Free high fives given at request.
Mitch was a long time customer before joining the Wind Works team in 2017 as an assistant woodwind technician and shop assistant. He also brings his photography and organization skills to help with our website development and social media. He plays clarinet and saxophone, is taking up flute, and looks forward to learning instrument engraving and how to restore velvet in antique cases. His favorite music is Bobby Timmon’s “Moanin’.” and he wants to raise carrier pigeons. Mitch is Bellingham’s local Pokémon Professor.
David picked up a saxophone when he was in 5th grade and never put it down, taking his playing all the way through a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in saxophone performance at WWU. After finishing school at Western Washington University in 2015, he went to Renton Technical College where he studied musical instrument repair and has been working at music stores repairing instruments ever since. David is an active performer around the Pacific Northwest, having played with the Equus Saxophone Quartet, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Tacoma Concert Band, the Portland Wind Symphony, the South Sound Saxophone Ensemble, and was featured on Seattle’s KING FM with Equus. In his free time, David tends to his house and patio plants when he isn’t playing Breath of the Wild (the best game ever made, according to David).
Kat’s mother Shirley serves as part-time office manager, acquisitions, HR and bookkeeper. She is a retired manager of public health programs funded through federal, state and local revenues, and has additional experience as the interim Executive Director of a small nonprofit. Shirley’s favorite music depends on the time of year. In December, she enjoys the “Messiah,” and during the rest of the year enjoys Copland and hearing her son-in-law play-test instruments. She looks forward to seeing how many window displays Kat and Spencer can devise in a year, and when at home cultivates oysters, orchids and a Meyer lemon tree.
David worked in music stores for eighteen years, from Federal Way to Marysville. In 1990 he opened West Wind Instrument Service in Marysville, and moved his repair shop to Bellingham in 1993. A prize-winning clinician at national repair conventions, he accepted the teaching position at Renton Technical College’s Musical Instrument Repair Technician Program, and retired in 1999, returning to Bellingham. As our Repair Technician Emeritus, he assists with repairs when we get overwhelmed. As with all of us, David’s favorite music changes regularly, but he continues to come back to the 1945 original video for Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” A lifelong scholar, he hopes to learn how to be more disciplined in his playing, listening and practicing. He plays saxes and piano, and is working on playing flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and melodica. He was once shot at by a candidate for Seattle City Council, and confirms the words of Sir Winston Churchill: “It is exhilarating to be shot at without result.”
Marcel W. Helland
As with many of our staff members, Marcel was a customer prior to becoming an employee in 2019, and he owns an incredible private collection of rare and unusual saxophones. He plays and teaches saxophone and clarinet, with a Bachelor’s degree in both and a Master’s degree in saxophone performance, with a preference toward the Rascher-school style of classical saxophone. Marcel considers himself a jack-of-all-trades, and when not playing music, he finds the most fulfillment in learning new skills. Marcel helps us as both a saxophone expert and as our IT Manager.
Eli joined us during the summer of 2020. He had been visiting us as a customer long before his employment, before we expanded the shop. He plays euphonium, trombone, and guitar. Eli is currently attending Western Washington University and plans to become a high school biology teacher. His favorite musical artists are Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. When not playing his instruments, he can be found shralping the loam on Galbraith Mountain. We weren’t sure what this meant, but a cursory google search found that mountain bikers have a rich lexicon.
A self-described “huge nerd who loves turtles and otters,” Lucas joined our team in July, 2020, though he has been a long-time regular since 2014. He plays tuba and percussion, and can usually be found on the far side of a marimba. Otherwise, he will play just about any musical instrument with an eagerness to learn, and similarly, he will listen to just about any music, sporting a playlist that features a shamble of anything and everything. Lucas is currently studying music at Western Washington University, and when he’s not music-ing, he enjoys disc-golfing.
Marni Aosved (on hiatus)
Marni joined us in the summer of 2018 and has already proved to be a valuable asset. She and her sisters have been coming to Wind Works since they were in beginning band, and we have been following their musical careers with interest. Marni plays trumpet and cornet, and likes listening to smooth listening music. Her favorite style of music to play is jazz, and her answer to “What do you hope to learn?” is “What do I NOT hope to learn!?” Marni knits and crochets, and may or may not be telepathic.
Ingrid Aosved (on hiatus)
Ingrid started to bring her organizational skills to the table in the summer of 2018 and has likewise proven to be an estimable resource. Ingrid plays french horn and trombone, and hopes to go into chemistry after high school. Her favorite listening music is whatever is exciting, and her favorite music to play is classical. Ingrid hopes to learn how to be better at helping people. She is known in her circles as a cat-whisperer, as cats obey her every command.
Mary Jackson (retired)
Mary was raised in the mid-west and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from St. Olaf College in 1976. She has sung in choirs all her life, and while at St. Olaf, sang in the St. Olaf Choir. During her college years, Mary spent her summers on the music library staff at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. After graduation, Mary traveled to Santa Barbara, CA where she married, taught piano and worked at a sheet music store. She lived aboard a fishing boat, which her husband Greg built, called the C Minor. In 1991, they brought the boat up the coast to Bellingham where Mary opened Piper Music, a sheet music store which she owned and operated until 2016. After Greg’s passing, Mary married Frank Jackson, and they are living happily with their cat, Emma (aka “kitty”).