Profile Biographies

Meet Our Techs

Jim Huwe

With an impressive 37-year tenure at Ward-Brodt, Jim is a seasoned repair tech with a knack for the unexpected, once flushing out a mouse from a euphonium tuning slide. He is renowned for his expertise in brass and percussion instruments. In addition to his technical skills, Jim excels at entertaining with a variety of comical impressions. Inspired by Count Basie, his musical preferences span from rock to jazz, though he primarily finds himself drawn to the rhythmic complexities of jazz. Jim's musical talents extend beyond repair work, with drums as his primary instrument, and fluency in electric bass and guitar. In his free time, he enjoys camping, biking, and practicing.

Areas of Expertise: All Brass Instruments, Drums and Percussion

Deb Dahlman

Deb's musical journey spans nearly four decades, with her tenure at Ward-Brodt dating back to 1984. A versatile performer, she showcases her talents with multiple ensembles in the area, including Ladies Must Swing, Capitol City Band, and the Jack Farina Big Band. Her dedication to serving her country is evident through her 35 years of service in the 132D Army Band. At Ward-Brodt, Deb specializes in working on saxophones. Deb has performed in Germany, Australia, and 11 different states with various musical ensembles.

Areas of Expertise: Saxophones

Peter Mathistad

Peter joined the Ward-Brodt team in June of 2020. Holding an undergraduate degree in music from Luther College in Decorah, IA, he further honed his skills at an instrument repair school in Red Wing, MN. Seeing the tangible results of his hard work is the most fulfilling part of his job. Outside of work, Peter enjoys gigging, composing music, and attending shows. He also enjoys all things outdoors. A fan of jazz, he draws inspiration from legendary saxophonist Michael Brecker. Peter's musical talents extend beyond repair, with saxophone as his primary instrument and fluency in flute and clarinet.

Areas of Expertise: Flutes & Piccolos, Clarinets, Oboes, Bassoons, Saxophones

Nicholas Abler

Nicholas joined the WB team in 2021. He earned a BM in music education from U.W. Whitewater, but he eventually discovered more joy in repairing and maintaining instruments than he did teaching them. Nicholas has so far accumulated over 3 years of experience as a repair technician since earning his degree in band instrument repair from Red Wing. Since then, he has grown especially fond of woodwind repairs, despite being a trombone player himself. His favorite music artist is jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara. In his free time, he enjoys playing with a local trombone choir, playing video games, and going on nature walks.

Areas of Expertise: Flutes & Piccolos, oboes, Clarinets, Saxophones

Scott Boyd

Scott's musical journey began early, as he found himself playing guitar in a band by the age of 13. Scott joined the Ward-Brodt team in 1982, and now has over 30 years of repair experience specializing in fretted and violin family instruments. Scott's passion lies in helping others achieve their instrument goals. He enjoys engaging with people, discussing their aspirations, and devising solutions to maximize instrument performance. Scott's extensive expertise and dedication to his craft make him an invaluable asset to musicians seeking top-notch instrument care and advice.

Areas of Expertise: All Guitars & Ukuleles, All Violin Family Instruments, Banjos, Mandolins, Other String Folk Instrument

Danielle Jordan

Danielle joined the Ward-Brodt team in 2023, holding four years of experience as a technician. Danielle studied audio design and acoustics at Columbia College in Chicago. A two-time international karate champion, she brings dedication and discipline to her work. Danielle's primary instrument is the electric guitar, with the acoustic guitar as her secondary. In her free time, she enjoys performing, staying active, playing video games, and supporting BIPOC and queer communities.

Areas of Expertise: All Guitars & Ukuleles, All Violin Family Instruments

Janice Stone

After a 34-year tenure as a band director in the Monona Grove School District, Janice shifted her focus to instrument repair. While she had some repair experience during college with emergency marching band repairs, her career primarily revolved around music education. Janice is a graduate from UW-Madison. Janice's ingenuity was put to the test when she successfully removed rocks, a pen, and a grease pencil lodged in a trumpet's leadpipe during her college years. Additionally, she made history as the first woman to play tuba in the UW marching band and holds a second-degree black belt. In her free time, Janice enjoys long walks with her dog, yoga, fishing and going up north.

Areas of Expertise:All Brass Instruments

Chris Hudson

Chris began his journey years ago, refining his skills at an instrument repair school in Red Wing before transitioning to serve in the army for 26 years. Chris returned to the instrument repair field in 2022 when he joined the Ward-Brodt team. One of his most remarkable repair jobs involved restoring a completely flattened trumpet bell to its original shape. Beyond his technical skills, Chris has completed 15 marathons in his lifetime. His favorite music artist is Quincy Jones and enjoys listening to seventies music. His primary instrument is the trombone, with euphonium as his secondary. In his free time, he enjoys freelancing gigs and tending to his garden.

Areas of Expertise: All Brass Instruments

Thomas Schmidt

Thomas joined the Ward-Brodt team in 2023 after attending instrument repair school in Red Wing, MN. Prior to instrument repair school, Thomas attended North Park University in Chicago where he studied music. Inspired by the legendary Dexter Gordon, he finds his musical groove in bebop, both playing and listening, with a particular affinity for gospel tunes. Thomas’s primary instrument is the tenor saxophone. Outside of work, Thomas enjoys reading, practicing, stargazing, and rollerblading.

Areas of Expertise: Saxophones, Flute, Clarinets