Noelle
  Drewes specializes in repairing oboes, English horns, and bassoons.

Does your double reed instrument need maintenance or repair?

Noelle specializes in providing maintenance and repair for double reed instruments: oboe, English horn, oboe d'amore, bassoon, and contrabassoon. At her workshop, she performs everything from adjustments, padwork, cork replacement, and removing stuck swabs, to balancing spring tension, cleaning, and custom key modifications.

Please contact Noelle at her home workshop in Bowie, MD to set up an appointment.

Phone: 614-202-7088

Noelle will provide a free estimate regarding both the cost and expected turn-around time for your project, once she's had an opportunity to physically see the instrument. The shop entrance is located on the garage side of the house, simply knock when you arrive. Please do not park in the driveway, there is ample free street parking. Thank you!

If you have an emergency, and/or cannot be without an oboe during the time your instrument is being worked on, Noelle does have a loaner oboe available for a small rental fee.

COVID-19 PROCESS: To accomodate social distancing protocals that have been recommended by the state of Maryland due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Noelle has taken several measures to hopefully make a safer experience at her shop for both customers and herself. Customers will not be allowed inside her shop for the time being and payment will be done electronically via PayPal, to create as little contact as possible. There is a small table located just outside the side entrance to the workshop for you to drop off your instrument/s. Instrument pickup will be done in the same manner as drop off. While Noelle is currently not demonstrating any symptoms of COVID-19, the very nature of the virus is that you may be asymptomatic and still able to spread it. Please take any and all precautions that you can to stay healthy.

Noelle began her training as a repair technician assistant to Lee Lachman in 2012. In addition to running her own double reed workshop from her home in Bowie, MD, Noelle also still works at Lee Lachman's Woodwind Services in College Park, MD as their double reed repair specialist. Lee's shop provides services for all woodwind family intruments. From piccolo to bari sax, and crack repair to dent work, Lee's shop has been keeping DC area woodwind instruments running for decades.

Noelle's repair clients have included members of the National Symphony Orchestra, Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, and the DC premier military bands, as well as prominent freelance classical and jazz artists, show players, and countless schools, students and hobbyists throughout the region. She has additionally appeared as a guest repair specialist at double reed events at the University of Maryland and Shenandoah Conservatory.

You can reach Noelle at Lee Lachman's Woodwind Services by calling 301-345-3389 to set up an appointment.

Lee Lachman Woodwind Services Logo

Oboe Maintenance Information

It is important to swab out your oboe after every playing session. I recommend a long silk swab with tail. To use it, turn the oboe upside down and drop the weight through the bell and pull it out through the reed socket. Always check for knots in the swab before use to prevent it from getting stuck in the bore. If it ever does get stuck, simply pull the tail back out the bell. And if it is ever really stuck, do not keep pulling! Instead, take it in to a repair shop where it can easily be extracted. Also, it is important to periodically clean your swab or replace it with a new swab.

Oboes have many adjustment screws that need to be precisely set, and periodically checked. If your oboe suddenly feels stuffy, or certain notes are harder to play, have your teacher or repair specailist check the adjustment of your instrument. You should not have to squeeze to get the low notes to speak.

To keep your instrument in good condition, it is recommended to have a yearly check-up. Annual upkeep should help you avoid emergencies as well as a costly overhaul down the road.

Wooden instruments require special care.  New instruments can be prone to cracking. It is ideal to brake them in slowly and gradually, and to swab out frequently. It will take at least a month of diligent conditioning before your new oboe is truly ready to go. It is very important that you follow certain guidelines to prevent cracks and keep your oboe in good working condition: