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Rochester Post-Bulletin: Instrument repair program in Red Wing 'will weed you out' 

Brett Boese, 
Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015

RED WING -- Social media exploded this summer during a little-known conference in Illinois focused on the niche industry of band instrument repair. It sent shockwaves all the way back to Red Wing.

If that sounds strange, you probably aren't familiar with Gene Beckwith, creator of the world-renowned instrument repair program at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical.

The Red Wing campus was approved for state funding in the early 1970s with the stipulation that it feature some non-traditional educational programs that aren't available elsewhere. That led to the creation of flourishing instrument repair programs for students interested in crafting or repairing violins, guitars and various band instruments.

Such specialists remain in high demand, and Southeast Tech is believed to be one of just three facilities in the country to offer such accredited training. More than 100 students representing at least 16 states are enrolled this fall.

"There are some employers who will only hire from our program because they know about the quality of instruction from our faculty," said Southeast Tech Vice President of Student Affairs Lindsey Bleskachek.


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