Mike Corrigan, Band Instrument Repair graduate, honored with 2018 MSC Southeast Outstanding Alumni Award - Red Wing
Mike Corrigan of Overland Park, Kansas, received the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award at Minnesota State College Southeast's graduation ceremony in Red Wing on May 8. He was nominated for the award by all three of the college's Band Instrument Repair Instructors -- Greg Beckwith, John Huth, and Lucas Pemberton.
A graduate of Band Instrument Repair (BIR) in 2000, Mike has since gone on to found several successful business ventures, most notably Best American Craftsman (B.A.C.), a company manufacturing musical instruments in Kansas City. B.A.C. makes individually crafted custom brass instruments for top players. The company also designs and markets high quality instruments for professional musicians, students, and marching bands.
To date, over 100 instruments have been made by hand at B.A.C. in Kansas City. These instruments have been played by professionals the world over and seen on television with top musical groups including Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center, Trombone Shorty, Bruno Mars, Kool and the Gang, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, John Legend, and many, many more.
"When I started seeing my horns being played on the Grammy Awards and the Oscars, I started thinking, 'I may not be on stage performing with these guys, but part of me is,' " he recently told a newspaper reporter.
"Mike continues to push both repair and instrument manufacturing forward by applying his understanding of historic instrument making techniques to modern day instruments," said BIR instructor John Huth in nominating Mike Corrigan. "His designs and resulting instruments are making B.A.C. a familiar name in music circles."
Mike maintains close ties with the college. He visits MSC Southeast regularly to share his story with BIR students and recruit potential employees. He is an active member of the Band Instrument Program Advisory Committee and has presented clinics at the college through the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT). He has also made donations of used musical instruments to the BIR program and arranged the purchase of B.A.C. instruments at a discount.
Moreover, Mike is a tireless ambassador for the college. "He is a loud proponent of the Band Instrument Repair program in Red Wing, continually singing our praises and encouraging musicians to attend the college," John Huth said.
Beyond his connections to MSC Southeast, Mike gives back to the larger community in other ways. Following Hurricane Katrina, Mike and his staff travelled to New Orleans to help repair damaged instruments free of charge. In 2011, he received a key to the city from Mayor Mitch Landrieu for his efforts, and even spoke at the World Economic Cultural Forum for Cultural Leaders.
In Kansas City, Mike Corrigan and B.A.C. are part of the historic jazz district's revival. His commitment to the area's significant role in the development of jazz is fostering other entrepreneurs to invest in the neighborhood.
"Mike Corrigan's business success and passion for the craft of musical instrument repair and building is a credit to our college, our instructors, and our Band Instrument Repair program," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "We are proud to call him one of our own."
Congratulations to Mike Corrigan!