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Bonner Keeps Instruments, Life in Tune

It's said that music is the food of love, and for Jenny Bonner, it's provided a vocation as dessert. Bonner is the new instrument repair technician at Greenwich Music, and her journey is a tale of music and love.

"I played music through high school, but then I started doing theatrical set design and painting in the Twin Cities area," she said. "I got tired of the oddball hours and just happened to read an article about a course in instrument repair and thought that sounded cool." After a yearlong course at Badger State Technical College, Bonner became an accredited wind instrument technician. "It's not a high-demand profession, but there aren't a lot of techs, either," she said. She found a job at a music store in Eugene, Ore., and moved there in 2007.

That relocation proved beneficial not just professionally, but personally, too. She met Doug Detrick, a trumpeter studying for his master's degree at the University of Oregon, and the two started dating and eventually got engaged.

When Detrick completed his studies last year, he wanted to move to New York where the professional opportunities are better, and Bonner came along. She used an online music tech group to set up interviews. "I'd never been to New York before," she said. "I stayed in an international hostel and went to three interviews." One was with Greenwich Music owner Joe Summa, whose tech was retiring, and he offered her the job.

That fall she and Detrick moved to the Bronx, N.Y. – "It's midway between where each of us works," she said. Bonner jumped right in, repairing and tuning up the large fleet of rental instruments at Greenwich Music. "It's always busy. But the heaviest times are right after school ends, when the rentals come back, and in the fall during band season, when instruments are getting dropped and banged around." Whether it's a dented saxophone or her own impending wedding, Bonner is great at keeping it all in tune.

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