Buttons, Bridges, and Brass: A Look into Repair Shops in the Pioneer Valley (2014)

Buttons, Bridges, and Brass is a video project that focuses on members and businesses of the Pioneer Valley with not only an intent to look at the craftsmanship behind their trade, but to also understand a little bit about the people behind the scenes who devote their lives to bringing instruments to life. This video project looks at three different shops that specialize in their own type of instruments. Hansen Brass Repair, run by Dick Hansen, a very skilled brass repairer, deals with a wide array of brass instruments and can bring almost any project back to working condition. The Button Box, a well known concertina and accordion shop, is not only filled with many friendly faces helping people understand bellowed instruments, but is also filled with many skilled craftsmen capable of putting together their own line of concertinas. Stamell Stringed Instruments, a string shop tucked away in the town of Amherst, makes it possible for musicians to get instruments repaired, rented, or even made at the hand of their skilled staff.

This video project was taken on by Enrique Cowen, a San Diego native studying BCBP and Music at Amherst College. The intent of this video was to take a look into a part of the musical community in the Pioneer Valley that isn’t always thought of, but is still detrimental to the wonderful sounds that fill the Valley. Enrique, along with exploring and meeting the people of these shops, became a client at one as well. The trumpet being repaired by Dick in the video is Enrique’s dented Bach Strad that now looks almost as good as new. It was truly a pleasure meeting all these people and seeing how much they love what they do and seeing what results they put out in terms of their craft.


Hansen Brass Repair and Restoration – 73 Dunhamtown Palmer Rd, Brimfield, MA 01010

Stamell Stringed Instruments – 18 Kellogg Avenue, Amherst MA 01002

The Button Box – The Button Box, 42 Amherst Road, Sunderland MA 01375