Connect
To Top

Exploring Life & Business with Michael Corrigan of B.A.C. Musical Instruments

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Corrigan.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have had a passion for both History and Music for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I performed in many musical ensembles everything from trumpet, trombone, euphonium, french horn, percussion, bagpipes, and Irish Whistle.

I knew that music was the direction I wanted to pursue and discovered a school in Red Wing, Minnesota (Minnesota State College Southeast Technical) that offered ‘Band Instrument Repair’. After graduation from this program, I landed an Apprenticeship at a small boutique Custom Trombone making company outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where I worked for four years.

In 2001, during my employment at this factory in Boston, the September 11th Attacks disrupted any sense of normal. My hours were temporarily cut back drastically at the factory, and so to support myself, I was forced at age 21 to start my own ‘DBA’ (Doing Business As) company, where I worked with local music stores and area professionals offering instrument repair and restoration.

I had initially met my now wife as a member of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. She joined me in the Boston area to attend college, and when she graduated we decided to move back to her hometown of Overland Park, KS. After relocating here (2004) I realized there were no opportunities for me to continue my passion, I decided to embrace my DBA as my full-time venture. (B.A.C. Horn Doctor) The business was executed from the basement of my home in Overland Park (the same home I live in today). Eventually, I expanded to my garage before hiring my first employee in 2006.

In 2007, after the arrival of my first child (Daughter) I officially moved into an industrial park in Olathe, KS and incorporated B.A.C. Horn Doctor Inc. I had started handcrafting an instrument called the ‘Sackbut’ in my home and finished the project in Olathe. (Sackbut is the predecessor of the trombone. Used in the Baroque and Renaissance Periods) The company became renowned for our high-quality work, performing repairs, restoration, and modifications for some of the top trombonists and trumpeters around the world.

In 2007, I had the opportunity to sync up with a trombonist from Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center, Elliot Mason. Elliot is perhaps if not THE most talented living Jazz Trombonist today, he is among the top three in the world. We hit it off and began developing a new jazz trombone for him, which was a project that lasted about eight years before finalizing the design. In 2008, we continued to grow and expanded to another building in the industrial park we occupied in Olathe and more than doubled our size. We began carving out not only a reputation for being one of the premier ‘Professional Repair/Service Shops’ in the world but began really gaining attention for the handmade instruments we were producing here in Kansas.

One moment that defined our shop was when I decided to serve as an Ambassador of Kansas City and traveled to New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina to help with the recovery effort. Specifically aiming to serve the musical community, we offered free instrument repairs and donated musical instruments through a local non-profit (Music 4 Jeremy’s Cherubs). We ended up befriending many famous musicians, one of which perhaps the most famous in New Orleans; Troy Andrews (AKA Trombone Shorty). We were asked to return by the community, and for about eight years, B.A.C. traveled to New Orleans working with a non-profit (Sweet Home New Orleans) to provide free repair and donate musical instruments to the community in New Orleans. At the behest of Trombone Shorty, we designed a line of trumpets and trombones that were produced under our brand name overseas, and we collectively distributed these instruments with Troy and Mayor Mitch Landreau to students and schools throughout the city. I was humbled to be presented a key to the city of New Orleans.

In 2012 B.A.C. Musical Instruments LLC split off of B.A.C. Horn Doctor LLC. Operating two separate entities, B.A.C. Horn Doctor (now doing business as B.A.C. Music Center) remained focused on providing the highest quality repair and service to the local and regional community. We do however still work with musicians around the world. B.A.C. serves school districts and institutions all over Kansas and Missouri and serves schools as far away as Oklahoma and Nebraska.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, B.A.C. Music Center developed an innovative solution to provide high grade disinfectant of musical instruments. The only such protocol developed by our team was Clinically Tested and Verified to kill 99.3% of all virus’ and biofilm. This allowed schools all around the Midwest the peace of mind to embrace band this past year. Today, B.A.C. Music Center has teamed up with a national company, RentMyInstrument.com to provide families the most dynamic and cost-effective way to save money and make music accessible for children through a competitive rental program.

B.A.C. Musical Instruments relocated from Olathe, KS to the Historic Jazz District in 2014. We have been recognized by the industry’s most respected organization ‘NAMM.org’ (National Association of Music Merchants) as Best in Show at the 2019 Winter NAMM Show. (One of the largest Music Industry shows in the world) selected by over 2000 different companies that displayed.

Instruments produced by B.A.C. Musical Instruments have been featured in two recent Super Bowl Halftime Shows (Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake) B.A.C. Instruments have been trusted headlining musicians and musicians that back the likes of Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, John Legend, Kool and the Gang, Blood Sweat and Tears, Sir Paul McCartney, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, and so many more.

B.A.C. Musical Instruments is only one of two 100% American Owned Band Instrument producers left in the world that offers a full line of entry-level instruments through professional Woodwind and Brass Instruments. We have music stores and distributors all around the U.S. and stretched across the world with distribution in New Zealand and Australia, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, we are one of the few companies in the world that offer ‘Full Custom Handcrafted’ trumpets, trombones and various brass. We were recently commissioned by the United States Army to create special custom bugles for the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife Drum and Bugle Corps.

A few years ago, we partnered up with System Blue, a brand committed to developing the highest quality ‘Marching Brass and Percussion Instruments’. We have been able to work with some of the most exciting collegiate marching bands all over the country. (Wichita Shocker Sound Machine, Purdue University Drumline, Langston University, Norfolk State University, Langston University, and so many more)

B.A.C. Musical Instruments is committed to preserving the legacy of American manufacturing and providing the world with the highest quality musical instruments!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I wouldn’t say by any stretch that it has been a smooth road… I went to school to learn how to repair instruments. I never took a business class. Necessity and my passion is what led me down the path of starting my own company. Especially early on, a lot of the decisions I made were from the heart and not specifically calculated with any specific business objectives. Extremely hard work, dedication, and a belief that we could succeed were often the only ingredients that got us through tough times. (for example, the recession in 2008-2009.) Eventually, as the company grew and more opportunities presented themselves, I decided to bring on a partner, to help better direct and manage the growth of the company. I certainly will not take the credit for the growth that the company has seen in recent years. We have an incredibly dedicated team of people that are equally as passionate about preserving the quality and value model originally established in 2001. Today, with the guidance of my partner, we have been fortunate to realize exciting growth while maintaining our innovative approach and have taken advantage of some incredible opportunities that will allow us to continue building what I believe will be one of the more revered companies in our industry.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
B.A.C. Musical Instruments is known for its innovative approach with everything we do. Rather than basing our business on other companies, we have blazed our own path and developed new ideas and approaches to making musical instruments. Having originally started by earning the confidence of the world’s most influential musicians, our origin story is truly unique. Whereas other companies began from the bottom up (making inexpensive instruments targeting youth), we built our brand from the top down. Starting with a high-quality handcrafted product, and eventually worked our way down to providing instruments that music educators and young musicians can thrive with. Perhaps the more impressive feat is that we maintained our innovative approach with even our student-level instruments providing features and benefits not found by anyone else in the world and at a cost lower than our competitors. These instruments are distributed locally in the Kansas City area by the only National Online Musical Instrument Rental company, RentMyInstrument.com, where we are able to save parents hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars compared to other options. A transaction that can be entirely offered via a mobile device or computer, and all shipped for free directly to your home.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Seeing/Hearing an instrument that we created being performed in public. Whether it is students performing at a local 5th Grade Holiday concert at their school, or seeing an instrument we made on TV for the Superbowl halftime show, or at the Billboard Music Awards or the Oscars.

Pricing:

  • $19 – B.A.C. Instruments can be rented starting at $19 per month through our website.
  • $2995 – The average starting price for an instrument that is carefully handcrafted right here in Kansas City.

Contact Info:

  • Email: info@bacmusic.com
  • Website: www.bacmusic.com www.coolisbac.com
  • Instagram: #coolisbac
  • Facebook: @Coolisbac
  • Twitter: #coolisbac
  • Youtube: BAC Musical Instruments Kansas City


Suggest a Story: VoyageKC is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Uncategorized