North Georgia Band Instrument Service was formed by Michael and Keren Barr in June of 2008 to provide the region with a different kind of repair shop. After teaching band in the Atlanta area for several years we were very disappointed with the quality of the repairs and service we were receiving, the long turnaround times and the seemingly high prices we were paying. After completing our training we worked in the repair shops for a couple of local retailers and learned a great deal about why schools and local musicians were receiving the poor service they were getting. After visiting shops in other parts of the country, speaking with business owners and technicians, and most importantly listening to the problems and needs of the Atlanta-area band directors and musicians we knew that we could do better. We started small, grew slowly, invested in the best tools and supplies and over time built a business that has kept our customers at the center all along.
Several years later we sincerely feel that we are doing better than the competition – our turnaround times are the fastest in the region, our prices are very competitive, and most importantly the quality of our work speaks for itself. We don’t do much advertising – we work hard every day to earn our customer’s business through referrals. We offer clinics and other resources for several educator groups and the region’s colleges and universities. We further our own education through attending NAPBIRT Regional Clinics and Annual Conferences as well as train with experienced specialists all over the country.
In 2013 North Georgia Band became Georgia’s premiere dealer for Muramatsu and Dean Yang flutes and Piper piccolos through Keren’s certification as one of only two Muramatsu certified technicians in the southeast United States. We stock the full line of these flutes and piccolos and are able to provide warranty and general service on these instruments in-house.
In early 2016 North Georgia Band took its biggest step to date and relocated from the far-flung suburb of Braselton to the northeast side of Atlanta in the Embry Hills area of north DeKalb county. We feel strongly that we will be able to provide an even higher level of service to all our customers from our new location and look forward to the opportunities the move will afford us.
It is our mission to provide you with the best customer service, turnaround time, and above all – quality repair work, all at a very competitive price. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with your needs.
Originally from Piney Flats, Tennessee I am the co-owner of North Georgia Band Instrument Service in Atlanta, Georgia. I earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Georgia Southern University in 1998 and graduated from the Band Instrument Repair program at Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical in Red Wing in 2005. Prior to becoming a repair technician, I was a school band director in greater Atlanta and held district- and state-level executive offices with the Georgia Music Educators Association.
I am honored to have served NAPBIRT in the past as Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Treasurer and currently as the Director of Region 3. I have greatly enjoyed providing repair and maintenance presentations for numerous colleges, school systems and music educator associations in the southeast and am humbled have been a clinician for both NAPBIRT Regional Clinics and the Annual Conference.
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to continue to perform as a percussionist and am the leader of Atlanta’s Steel Dreamin’ Caribbean Rock Band. When I’m not playing steel drums, drum set, hand drums, or repairing instruments I enjoy traveling, skiing, astronomy and space exploration, studying the history of the Cold War and the Balkans, exploring mid-century modern design, and watching college football (Go Vols!). I am a General-Class amateur radio operator, callsign KG4ONJ and am especially enjoying my newfound love of communicating in morse code. I live in Atlanta with my wife Keren, our daughter Miranda, and our retired racing greyhound Lexi.
An Atlanta native, Keren is the other half of the ownership team of North Georgia Band. She earned her undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and after teaching band in the metro area for several years, she went back to school to complete the Band Instrument Repair Program at Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical in Red Wing, Minnesota. Keren is a Muramatsu and Straubinger certified flute technician, training with Paul Rabinov and David Straubinger and has also been an active member of NAPBIRT since 2004. Keren stays very involved within the musical community; she is a flautist for the Northwinds Symphonic Band, plays double seconds for Atlanta’s Steel Dreamin’ Steel Band, and sings in the choir at McEver Road UMC. She resides in Atlanta with her husband Michael, daughter Miranda, and their cats Clancy and Lucy, and Andre, a retired racing greyhound.