Front & Center: The music is more important than money for the owners of Amend Music Center

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Robin Amend, of Amend Music Center, with a 1950s-era tuba. Instrument repair requires one to be a perfectionist, he said, “particularly if you’re working with professional musicians’ instruments.” (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)


By Michael Guilfoil

For The Spokesman-Review

Business at Amend Music Center was brisk one afternoon when co-owner Robin Amend noticed a man seemingly entranced by the shop’s classic marching-band uniforms, vintage posters and photos, wooden files and all manner of musical instruments.

When Amend asked if he could help, the man said he was from Seattle visiting his mother, and that every time he came to Spokane he made a pilgrimage to 1305 W. 14th Ave.

“I didn’t realize places like this still existed,” he told Amend. “It feels different than anywhere else I’ve ever been.”

Continue reading “Front & Center: The music is more important than money for the owners of Amend Music Center”

Wired For Music

Whitworthians Lukas Bratcher, ’10, and Robin Amend orchestrate instrument innovation

Whitworth Today : Fall 2008
by Julie Riddle, ’92

Robin Amend’s grandfather, Bert Amend (far right) with his trio, circa 1906.
(Photo courtesy of Robin Amend)

It’s quite possible that Lukas Bratcher and Robin Amend have never uttered the words “I can’t.” Bratcher, a junior speech-communication major, was born with a non-progressive condition called amnyoplasia arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, which causes stiff joints and weak or missing muscles in all four limbs. Bratcher is largely confined to a wheelchair, yet he is an accomplished brass musician who has performed throughout the country. Continue reading “Wired For Music”




By David Johnson

Thanks to his innate desire to excel, the genius of a Spokane inventor and the impromptu stage presence of his mother, 14-year-old Lukas Bratcher was able to play in what he called his jazz ensemble’s “best ever” performance.

Spokane’s Northwood Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Lee Shook, won the junior high school instrumental competition at the University of Idaho’s 35th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last month.

And in the process, the group’s baritone player offered a clinic in determination.

“If I was to sit at home and feel sorry for myself,” Bratcher said, “I would have no life.”

Born in Saudi Arabia, where his parents worked before moving to Spokane about two years ago, Bratcher is the victim of a birth defect that left him a quadriplegic. Continue reading “INVENTOR HELPS 14-YEAR-OLD BARITONE PLAYER MAKE MUSIC”

Music District

Cannon’s Addition music shop offers repairs, supplies and lessons

by Mike Prager

Robin Johson’s dream, at 13, is like that of a lot of teenagers. He wants to play in a rock band. Two of his South Hill buddies are into it, too. They’ve been jamming. Robin’s on bass.

“At this age, it’s so important to keep your kids busy,” said his mother, Dianne Johnson, who supports her son’s aspirations.

“This summer, he’ll have some purpose.” Continue reading “Music District”


by Mike Prager

Robin Amend knows how hard children can be on musical instruments. He makes a living fixing crushed trumpets, bent trombone slides, broken cello bridges and cracked clarinets.

Amend has been repairing musical instruments for 18 (now 26) years including the past twelve (now 20) at his shop at 1305 W. 14th.

He describes his craft as a cross between being a plumber, a jeweler, and an auto body repairman.

“I like everything about it,” he said of his job. “You get to do something different every day.” Continue reading “REPAIR SHOP SAVES HORNS, CELLOS FROM SILENT DEATH”