Published on Thursday, 14 January 2010 19:26
Written by Bruce Gale
It is difficult to buy cleaning materials for brass instruments in Medan. They can't afford it anyway. Thus, I bring all these materials in myself from Singapore. Somehow, no matter how much polishing fluid I give them, it is never enough. Cleaning the instruments is something everyone takes seriously in Medan - even those in the beginners band.
Take a look for yourself:
We even wash the drums. No, don't ask me how he does it!
Cleaning a trombone can be a complicated business too:
You can't buy second hand brass instruments in Medan either. Nor can you get them repaired. Rather than have some well-meaning but inexperienced machine shop operator try his hand at fixing damaged instruments, I usually bring them back to Singapore with me. However, we have been able to carry out a few simple repairs at the Home. I have bought a soldering iron, a mouthpiece remover and a range of simple equipment for removing stuck slides.
Here are two of the senior band members (Yunus and Erjon) trying their hand at repairing a water key on a tenor (alto) horn:
Strangely, though, repairing the baritone or tuba requires a lot more people!
For more pictures of BBJ visit the BBJ photo gallery.