Originally from DesMoines, Iowa, Bret began his journey into the world of instruments at the age of nine when he received his very first saxophone. This was the start of a life long passion for music innovation through building and repair of Woodwind and brass instruments. After attending Western Iowa Technical College, Bret began his apprenticeship in ‘Portman’s Music’ , Savanna GA and soon onto ‘The Brass and Woodwind Shop, Pittsburgh PA. Shortly after completing his apprenticeship, Bret set up his own repair shop in Philadelphia, PA, ‘Gustafson Music Services’ . Bret nurtured a well respected business and gained an honorable reputation though his craftsmanship and mild welcoming nature.
Seeking a better quality of life, Bret made the difficult decision to move his young family and little shop in ‘Philly’ to Adelaide, Australia and work with his friend, Simon Clarke at Presto Musical Repairs. After five years at Presto, Bret once again opened a small repair shop, ‘Gustafson Custom Horns’ on the first floor of the Edments Building, just of Rundle Mall. In the last 5 years, Bret has worked tirelessly to repair, rebuild, design and manufacture countless projects for customers across the country. ‘Gustafson Custom Horns’ has become a “barbershop” for wind and brass musicians from all walks of life. Teaming up with Joanne Bridgman and Richard Craig marks the next chapter in the little workshop, just off Rundle Mall.
Bartholomew (BJ) O’Donovan
BJ, as many know him, is the front man here at ‘Gustafson Custom Horns’. BJ is a local Euphonium/Trombone player who spends most of his day keeping the shop running and assisting with repairs. BJ works for Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide Youth Orchestras as part of their operations teams. BJ was a founding member of the Adelaide Wind Orchestra,committee member of Marion City Bands and has been instrumental on the operating executive of the South Australian Band Association. BJ’s experience and commitment to the South Australian music scene have brought a wealth of knowledge to ‘Gustafson Custom Horns’. BJ started here (getting a tenor saxophone fixed for Elder Conservatorium) in 2015 and now holds a vital role here in keeping the shop running and working with customers to get the best results. BJ has developed his skills in machining and wind instrument repair working closely with Bret on a variety of projects.