Our Staff

Brian Charles founded Charles Double Reed Company in 1983. Brian studied at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music and played oboe, bassoon, and a range of additional instruments professionally in NYC. He worked at Ponte Music Company during college, which led to his assuming leadership of the double reed department, and then launching the double reed catalog company when Charlie Ponte retired.

He has been a sponsored Buffet and Yamaha Artist, and has had compositions commissioned by Yamaha for their Midi-Grand piano. He coded, and built CDRC’s online presence in 1993, a full year before Amazon. He continues to maintained our website, and along with the whole team, launched the new website in 2018. He was the principal editor and photographer for our entire 28 year run of annual catalogs. Brian has edited and published others work, including The Art of Bassoon Reed Making, by Mark Popkin and Lauren Glickman. His short stories have been published in numerous literary reviews. He has presented master classes and lectures in double reed topics at universities nationally.

He was the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, served a three year term as an elected member of the regional budget committee, ran for NH State Representative, raised a son with his wonderful wife Sarah, and forgot what it’s like to sleep.

Jennifer Flanders manages the office at Charles Double Reed Company. She has over 18 years of experience at CDRC, starting in customer service. Bookkeeper was then added to her duties when Mrs. Charles retired. She also handles the human resources tasks and product management. You can usually find her answering the phones and processing orders, creating harmony when there is havoc.
John Cotter is our Retail Manager and has over 16 years of experience at CDRC. He has been our point man at numerous IDRS conferences and smaller events, bringing his dedication, resilience, and dry sense of humor to a wide audience of double reed players. John is a licensed Ham operator, a former notary, a computer systems specialist, holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has three gifted children with his equally talented wife, Kris. When he isn’t working, John enjoys nature, playing and listening to music, and collecting antique electronics. He also makes a heckuva potato cannon.
Nicole LaRoche is a 4th year apprentice in double reed and general woodwind and brass repair. She graduated Kennett High School in 2017 and is attending classes with the University system of New Hampshire while working full time at Charles Double Reeds and our sister company, North Conway Music Center. Her technical skill, and dedication to learning has made her a valuable member of our team, and garners great respect from both our repair and retail customers. She splits her time between her very significant other (Finn), her bearded dragon (Dude) and her many friends and colleagues here in Mount Washington Valley.
Mia Plante is a high school senior oboist, and a drum major for Kennett High, our local high school. You can find her at the shop most weekends, except when her numerous extracurricular activities call her away. She is currently applying to colleges, with the goal of being a journalist/oboist.
Ryan is a ‘pitch in and make it happen’ kind of guy, and boy do we appreciate him. His musical tastes run wide, and he can pretty much pick up any instrument and play it within about ten minutes. His infectious good humor, and ability to retain every iota of information he is presented with, make him a valuable, and enjoyable colleague.