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The Sounds of Success

Utah Success Stories

(NEWS4UTAH – SANDY, UT) What does success sound like? It’s one of the strongest powers in the world. It can take you back in time. It can improve your mood. It can make you dance. What is it? Music.

Music Education has been shown to help students develop language and reasoning skills, increased hand-eye coordination and learn to work as a group. Given the fact that all of my children have played in school bands, I’ve seen that in action personally.

Sheryl Laukat, a former band director at Millcreek Jr. High in Bountiful, agrees; “It’s kept a lot of kids out of gangs. Band is their gang. That becomes who they hang with.“

Sheryl and her husband Tevis started Cannonball Musical Instruments in their kitchen over 20 years ago. “My husband and I came across an inexpensive saxophone. He started tweaking the horn, and he’d play a note and I’d listen. And then he would play his famous, expensive saxophone … And I’d say, that’s sounding more like that one. Then we’d do a little bit more and I’d say that’s sounding more, and more and more. So, by the end, we’d changed this inexpensive saxophone to sound as good as this very expensive saxophone.”

Instruments come from Cannonball’s 2 overseas factories to their headquarters in Sandy for finishing touches, including adding beautiful and functional stones,

Sheryl continued; “We have a patent on our stone because they make the instrument play more vibrantly and change the pitch.”

The process is precise and very hands-on. Sheryl gave me a tour of their Utah facility. After getting the stones, it’s off to be hand engraving by some very talented artists. It was interesting to see these artists do their thing. Realizing that they are carving into metal, I thought “No pressure…”, yeah right.

Next comes regulating to make sure there are no leaks. I must admit I had no idea what regulating was, so they gave me a demonstration putting a light down the instruments to make sure that all the keys had the correct placement. After the fun light test, each instrument is tested by being played with trade secret methods. I’ve seen and heard a lot of things being made with Utah Success Stories. Hearing saxophones, flutes and such tested is a fun experience.  If needed, adjustments are made to the instrument. It gets its finally Inspected and then finally packed and shipped off to music stores and dealers across the world.

Have you ever wondered about those inspector numbers you see in packages? I got to help. But I did find out that Cannonball already had an inspector #4 and got to meet her (We are ABC4 News…get the pun).

What is Sheryl’s reaction when she sees and hears people playing her company’s instruments? “It’s very fun to see that. To say look at what we built. Look what we did. This is so exciting to see the music that comes out of their horn. And their soul. To see what they can put through that instrument. It’s very, very satisfying.”

With another Utah Success Story, I’m Doug Jessop.

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