Peer into the window next to the post office on Oak Grove Ave., and you’ll see shiny brass instruments lining the walls. It’s Menlo Park’s new musical instrument store, the first — if not ever — such shop in town and the brainchild of local resident James Manganaro.
A classically trained, orchestral tubist, James’ initial dream was to play professionally. He found himself auditioning for orchestra positions with dozens of other equally talented musicians. If he couldn’t secure an orchestra position, he was resolved to pursue something else related to music.
“I loved tinkering so I decided to learn how to fix instruments,” he says. “I enrolled at a trade school in Seattle that teaches band-instrument repair.” Moving to Menlo Park with his wife and children, he’s worked the past three years repairing instruments while doing some freelance performing in orchestras and brass bands.
“Eventually I wanted my own shop and Bridgepoint Music is the result,” he says. “Selling and renting instruments grew out of my interest in repair. I want to offer customers instruments that they can have high confidence in.”
Initially James is stocking brass and woodwind instruments but hopes to expand his inventory. Bridgepoint is also well equipped with the tools to clean and repair instruments, including an ultrasonic tank “big enough to clean a tuba” and a lathe and milling machine that gives him the ability to make musical instrument parts that are no longer available.
“I want this place to be really open and welcoming, where people feel comfortable stopping in and taking a look around,” says James. “Eventually I’d like to bring musical education into the store, giving lessons in soundproof rooms. I guess you could sum it up by saying I’m trying to build a music store that is like a music store is supposed to be.”
Credit for this article: InMenlo
About Miles DeCastro:
Miles first took an interest in repairing and maintaining instruments in high school, when the band director put him to work re-stringing French Horns in his spare time between last period jazz band and after-school tennis practice. After graduating from Oswego High School in Oswego, New York, Miles attended Mansfield University (PA) where he would graduate (with honors) with a degree in Music Education. While at Mansfield, Miles performed with every university ensemble that had a saxophone in it, and had the honor of studying with Selmer-Paris/Hemke Reeds educational clinician, Dr. Joseph Murphy.
After a one-year stint teaching in Baltimore’s inner city, Miles took a job running the brass and woodwind department at Bill’s Music House in Catonsville, MD. While at Bill’s, The Independent Music and Sound Retailer Magazine honored Miles as having the best Brass and Woodwind department in the country. Even though he enjoyed his time in Maryland, Miles’ desire to repair instruments continued to grow. When the time was right, he packed his entire life into his compact car and drove from Baltimore to Seattle, to attend Renton Technical College’s Band Instrument Repair Technology program.
While attending Renton, Miles studied with Daryl Hickman, Dan Bainbridge, and JD Alvarez, and attended clinics with Curt Altarac, Matt Scott, Jeff Smith, Jeff Dening, Ed Kraus, Scott Mandeville, and Larry Mueller. When not attending repair school, Miles also worked full-time at Kennelly Keys Music, where he led the company in total sales. Miles earned his certificate in Band Instrument Repair Technology with a 4.0 GPA.
Two days before graduating, Miles was offered, and accepted, a position at Maytan Music Center in Reno, NV. After 11 months on the job, Miles was put in charge of the brass and woodwind repair shop. After 3 ½ years of serving the needs of the University of Nevada, Washoe County School District, and northern Nevada’s professional and amateur musicians alike, Miles received a call from good friend and repair school classmate, James Manganaro. James offered Miles the position of Repair Shop Manager at his new store, Bridgepoint Music.
Knowing James’ commitment to quality work and outstanding customer service, Miles gladly accepted the position. Miles brings his experience and extensive product and repair knowledge to Bridgepoint Music, along with a dedication to educating parents, students, and musicians alike.
Miles is a NAPBIRT member, where he serves on the finance committee. He has attended NAPBIRT University for oboe, nine regional clinics and all four national clinics since becoming a member in 2007. He has hosted one regional clinic and one national clinic. Miles is a Yamaha Certified Sales Professional and has attended the Yamaha Service Advantage at the Yamaha Atelier in Buena Park, CA.