An Interview With


SEASON 3 | EPISODE 56 | 16 jANUARY 2023

With the Band, Memoirs of a Music Shop Owner

Are you looking for an inspiring and uplifting chat about the power of music? Look no further as I welcome Billy Cole to the podcast. Billy’s life is all about music, passion and giving back.

Over the course of nearly 50 years in the music business, his love of music and music instruments (specifically woodwind and brass instruments) has allowed him to create experiences and memories he now shares in his new book ‘With the Band, Memoirs of a Music Shop Owner’.

It truly is a chat not to be missed and provides many, many goosebump moments as well as how music can translate into giving back and connecting with a wider community.

Plus, if you want to read all about Billy’s adventures, you can buy his book ‘With the band, Memoirs of a Music Shop Owner’ on all major book purchase website (or via the link a bit further down below).



At the age of 17 I went to The University of New York at Morrisville where I studied musical Instrument repair. With diploma in hand, I applied for work but found that no music store wanted to hire me. So, I opened my own shop “Cole’s Woodwind and Brass” Soon after I married my high school sweetheart Mary Alice. through many serendipitous twists and turns, we raised our family with our little music shop. Today, after 45 years of working on horns, I reflect back with great appreciation for a life that has given so much. In an effort to give back I travelled to the impoverished nation of Haiti in 2016 to teach instrument repair. After returning several times, I founded Horns for Haiti Inc. in 2020, an organization that teaches band instrument repair and how to start your own music business. To date, we’ve trained dozens of musicians and music teachers how to repair and started two businesses. Billy Shop D’Haiti, Musical Instrument Repair and the Haitian Music Supply Company.



Click image below to listen to my interview with Billy on Anchor. 



Press play button below to watch the video interview with Billy.  



  • How his music instrument journey started
  • What his book ‘The Book: With The Band, Memoirs of a Music Shop Owner’ is about
  • What ‘Horns for Haiti’ is all about and how it came to life
  • The power of music and the amazing things that can happen if we trust in it
  • The first artist he met and fixed the instrument for
  • More stories of looking after and fixing wind instruments for many more musicians, including Jethro Tull, Hall & Oats, Chicago, etc.
  • How many amazing humans he met along the way, away from musicians
  • When he pivoted from a big business with employees to ‘back to basics’ with a smaller shop in Saratoga Springs
  • What does and doesn’t happen backstage of a concert
  • Who he describes as his ‘Angels’ and why he sees them as that
  • Advice for those who think of learning an instrument
  • The amazing benefits of playing an instrument with others and for others (and fixing instruments, too!)
  • His take on the power of music
  • If he has a favourite band, and if so, who it is
  • Current band and or song he listens to
  • His take on the current music scene and bands

via his website and social networks

Follow Billy on his various social networks or visit his website by clicking the links below.

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If you’d like to read a transcript of the entire YouTube interview, please click on the button below to download a copy.