A former US Army musician, Chris Bluemel founded The Instrument Doc, LLC in 1999 and it quickly became one of the premier band and orchestra instrument repair shops in the southeastern United States.
After 17 years of serving the Lowcountry the name was changed in 2016 to better reflect our true purpose which is to support the needs of our orchestral community. The Lowcountry deserves a dedicated local orchestral resource for serious students, amateurs and professionals so we are here to help. Supporting the needs of the strings educators in the community is also one of our highest priorities.
We are authorized retailers of many premier instrument and accessory brands. Due to the strong, established partnerships with our suppliers warranty issues are easier to address on behalf of our customers.
Do we still repair wind instruments? Yes! Brasswind and woodwind instruments are members of the orchestra.
However, we do work primarily for professionals, their student referrals and our preferred existing clientele, which is where we started many years ago. We do not offer "school billing" to most band organizations and we do not service product that was manufactured below a certain standard. If you ever have a question, please feel free to ask.
No reputable luthier or wind technician would ever want to service an instrument if they couldn't stand behind the repair. Since our beginnings in 1999 we have only offered to repair instruments if we could bring them up to our standard. We have never offered "a la carte" repair since too many students have already been frustrated out of music by poor quality or poorly maintained instruments. We take pride in our work and will never contribute to compromising the success of a student. For some people this level of service may be considered excessive; unfortunately in those instances our services will likely be incompatible with their expectations.
We are located on Wando Park Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant. Our proximity to I-526 and Long Point Road means we are in the area of Mt. Pleasant most convenient for much of the Greater Charleston area. See our "locate us" page for more information.
A former US Army musician, Chris studied tuba primarily with David Townsend (VCU, Richmond Symphony) and Thomas McGrady (US Armed Forces SOM). He began instrument repair while performing in the military. His diverse professional musical experience includes performance, private teaching, band/orchestra instrument repair, and wholesale and retail sales/management. He is in his thirteenth year as instructor of the Villanova University/ UofArts Summer Workshop String Repair courses in Philadelphia, PA and twentieth year as coordinator of the Charleston, SC TubaChristmas.
Chris has been featured as a clinician for NAPBIRT, SCMEA, PMEA, and in 2011 at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. He also published “Guide to Brass Musical Instrument Repair” through Northeastern Music Publications in PA in 2011, and it immediately became the textbook used by two of the three instrument repair schools in North America.
A freelance classical, jazz and funk tuba player, he performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Maritime Brass Quintet, Funk Dumplins and River City Dixieland Jazz Band. Chris has two dogs, Liza Jane and Lily Jane, and fosters many others from the local Hound Dog Rescue.