COVINGTON, Ga. — If problems arise with a woodwind or brass musical instrument, there’s a good chance Harris Band Instruments can solve them for you.
The craftsmen within the walls of the west Newton County business have the skills and equipment needed to repair the instrument, find a missing or damaged part, and replace it if needed.
Harris Band Instruments at 3830 Salem Road in Covington is one of the largest privately owned band instrument repair shops in the Georgia, the owners said.
Its four employees — father and son owners Charles Harris Sr. and Charles Harris Jr. and Bill and Bobbi Joris — specialize in the repair of brass and woodwind instruments.
“We focus on what we know best,” said Harris Sr.
They opened the store after finding a big demand from local musicians looking for quality repair work on brass and woodwind instruments without having to go into Atlanta or having the instrument sent out of state.
The store now serves schools in five counties and music enthusiasts from around the country.
The younger Harris could be seen on a recent day using a small open flame to repair and seal a new pad on a saxophone.
His father, meanwhile, worked to repair a flute as Bill Joris used a specialized machine to smooth out dents in a trumpet.
Harris Sr. worked for years in administration with the St. Petersburg Times newspaper in Florida before retiring and eventually opening the shop with his son.
He also is a musician who has been active in the Newton County Community Band and worked recently as a music teacher at Peachtree Academy.
Harris Jr. recalls his father repairing instruments as he grew up in the Tampa Bay area. He attended the University of South Florida while there. He worked for three years at a Tampa music store learning the craft. He then spent four years as a cast member at Disney World before moving to Covington.
The Harrises opened Harris Band Instruments in 2009. They are currently located in the Covington Marketplace shopping center.
Harris Band Instruments typically will service and repair over 500 instruments annually. In addition they also rent and sell between 200-300 instruments each year.
Due to COVID-19, the rental and sales aspect was impacted drastically in 2020, but they persevered through it and are now ready for the return of in-person learning and of course, marching bands.
They offer music lessons for aspiring Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Trumpet and Trombone musicians of all levels.
Harris Band Instruments operates on the south end of the Kroger-anchored shopping center in a storefront bearing the single word “BAND,” in orange letters.
The walls of the front retail space are lined with brass and woodwind instruments on either side. Music books and song books fill the display area. Glass showcases allow musicians easy viewing of an array of mouthpieces and other brass instruments.
Another wall is filled from top to bottom with an assortment of reeds and accessories for brass and woodwind instruments.