Our history begins with Brian Ebert commencing his apprenticeship in the early 1970’s under well-renowned Melbourne instrument technician, Brian Murphy. It was in Murphy’s Bayswater workshop that the skills and principles of the trade were passed on; knowledge and old school teaching passed from one generation to another. The work was tough, with many hours spent at the buffing machine and adding the finishing touches to get an instrument to feel ‘just right’. But it was through these tireless years of hard work and persistence that talent was made.
After completing his apprenticeship, it wasn’t until the late 80’s that Brian Ebert decided to start Brass N Woodwind Workshop. Brian’s father, George Ebert, a fitter and turner by trade, manufactured most of the repair tooling from scratch and these quality tools along with a lathe and a buffing machine were the foundation of the original workshop. The first premise was on Grange Rd, Glenhuntly before it moved to the iconic 572 North Road, Ormond building a year later in 1990.
The workshop was small, but Brian’s attention to detail and unsurpassed workmanship quickly made his services sought after by Melbourne’s musicians. Brian’s repair work ranged from minor repairs to more complicated and customized work such as re-lacquering; valve rebuilding and modifications. Brian handmade all the saxophone pads, which gave birth to ‘Sax Pads Australia’, where Brian and his brother would tediously make saxophone pads and resonators that were in demand all across the Australasia region.
Before the days of the internet, Brian slowly built up an inventory of quality second-hand instruments through consignment and avenues such as the trading post. It wasn’t long before musicians all around Melbourne were coming through the shop’s doors as it slowly evolved into Australia’s best selection of second-hand wind instruments. This provided the repair business with plenty of work, and led to the workshop growing from its one, front room to occupying the whole floor with multiple repair technicians.
The business grew, and more staff were employed to facilitate the increase in work. In 1999, Brian was the first brass and woodwind store in Australia to host an internet website showcasing the repair workshop and the inventory of second-hand instruments.
Eventually the business expanded to sales of quality new instruments, and grew too large that it needed two buildings. ‘Melbourne Brass and Woodwind’ became the business name, and an increase and demand for internet based business eventually coined the name ‘Ozwinds’ in 2004.
The business continued to grow both in-store and online. A lot of focus was placed on retail as this side was expanding rapidly as Ozwinds began to have an even larger presence in the industry with it also expanding into Brisbane. The repair store was and is the heart of the company, but the ethos of “just a workshop who dabbles in sales on the side” may have become slightly lost due to such a strong retail front.
Many technicians throughout Australia learned the trade through the workshop, and several of Australia’s most trusted technicians honed their trade. Favourite technicians such as Ian Gordon, Markham Nesfield, Tim Hilgers and Jason Xanthoudakis are some names that come to mind.
The workshop had a shift in 2011/12 as the old blood who worked out the back moved on and this left the workshop understaffed and in need of new technicians.
It was in late 2012, under the guidance of his father that Aaron Ebert began his journey to become a musical instrument technician. Now at the helm of the workshop, specialising in brass repairs, the workshop has without a doubt gone beyond its former years to the next level. With his team being his most valuable asset, ‘Brass N Woodwind Workshop’ now known as Ozwinds Workshop has set the bar high as professional players and bands send their instruments from all around the Commonwealth.
In 2019 we moved into our new state-of-the-art factory at 55 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin, Melbourne in order to grow the store further and our new industrial space offers an unlimited amount of growth and opportunity.
Thirty years strong and with another fifty more to give, we are the industry’s trusted workshop to deliver the high quality repair work to your prized instrument.
Visit our retail outlet Ozwinds Here