Chris Cromer started A minor Tune Up in February 2001 while attending the University of Delaware as a music education major. What began as exploring a curiosity in an instrument storage room in the UD music building, quickly grew into a career goal and a passion in life. At the age of 19, after winning an audition, Chris moved to California to join the world champion Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps. It was while living in CA as a corps member, that he was first exposed to the world of brass technology.
On occasion, Chris would visit the repair shop of Best Music in Oakland, CA, headed by Dick Akright, to get the Blue Devils' horns repaired. During that period Akright was also manufacturing trumpets under the Bel Canto name for Doc Severinsen. Marveling at the variety of equipment being used & hearing the depth of knowledge from those in the shop stuck with him. Even as a kid, Chris always had an interest in how things worked & had a natural aptitude for engineering & fabrication. In 1997, while teaching high school marching band as a brass tech, Chris recognized some inherent issues with the mellophones the band was using. Out of curiosity he called the manufacturer & after learning some unsettling facts, he made some crude modifications to remedy the problems on his own. From there Chris took a personal interest in brass design and started studying brasswind physics & researched the work of great craftsmen such as Renold Schilke & Zig Kanstul, among others. Chris befriended, and later apprenticed with, local instrument repair tech Marc Gullo (a Red Wing graduate) and started experimenting with used horns he found online to try various ideas he had. He discovered a small storage space in the basement of the music building [at UD] and got permission to use it as a lab of sorts to work on projects in between classes. In exchange for use of the space he performed free repairs for the university owned instruments. Eventually other students & even some faculty started bringing in their own instruments for repair. "As I continued to learn more & more, players would ask me technical questions & seemed to value my opinion… I started to really enjoy what I was doing & loved seeing the impact it had on music performance." After about 2 years of working in the basement shop it became clear this is what Chris wanted to do with his life so he decided to forgo a teaching career & instead focus his time & financial resources on his new growing business. 16 years and thousands of trumpets later this is now Chris's full-time profession. With customers as far away as Italy & Australia, brass players from every facet of music trust Chris with everything from a basic repair that needs just the right touch, to complete rebuilds & equipment consultation. From the Los Angeles studio scene to the Philadelphia Orchestra he is earning his name as one of the most trusted brass technicians in the industry.
We look at brass technology from a more subjective perspective, rather than one-size fits all solutions for every player. Careful consideration is given with each player we work with as problems are examined & options are considered to optimize the relationship between each player & their equipment. We don't pretend to know all the answers but work hard to help each player find solutions to correct & adjust equipment both to suit their preferences, as well as keep it in peak performance condition. There is no magic unicorn with equipment. There are a lot of great ideas out there… and there are also a lot of promises out there too. Helping you understand the difference & find what works for YOU is our goal.