My friend and colleague Joe Fortin of EEC of Petoskey Michigan gave me a true “antique” of the instrument world.
It's not a Stradivarius or Amati but a “Kay”. The information that I have found tells us that the Kay Musical Instrument Company was an American instrument manufacturer that operated for the majority of the 20th century. Along with guitars and basses, they also made violins, cellos, and banjos.
The cello itself lacks a hard-wood maple back. What usually serves as the instruments “heart” is, for all intents and purposes, plywood. I commissioned one of IU’s string-tech assistants to cut a new bridge to make it playable. Unfortunately, when the bridge was finished and we began to tune the cello, the downward force of the string tension started to warp the face of the instrument with cracking noises. The bass bar, the structural beam that reinforces the face of the cello, had come off. They took the face of the cello off, glued the bass bar back on, re-glued the face, and voila, the “O-Kay” cello was reborn! It doesn't sound like a million dollars (more like $19.95) but its playable.
A big thanks to all who helped in the process.
This new cello needs a name (preferably male since my other cello’s name is Sophie). If you have a good one, send it to me!