Music To Their Ears


LaDeau has built our reputation on exceeding our customers’ expectations for precision metal fabrication, and an integral part of accomplishing this hallmark of our company has been the ability of the LaDeau team of professionals to find innovative ways to solve our customers’ unique problems.

One such customer brought us their particular challenge, after a great deal of experimentation and frustration trying on their own to find a solution. For years, a veteran choral singer (and engineer) had been continually inconvenienced by the lack of an attractive yet functional folder for his sheet music that could be held in only one hand. This customer needed a binder that would be both functional and beautiful, strong yet lightweight, presentable and still durable. No such product was available on the market, so our customer was determined to create one, now with the help of the team at LaDeau.

Genuine leather was the obvious solution for the elegance our customer wanted, but every other supplier he had contacted offered him a hinge to hold the folder together that was heavy, awkward, ugly, or all three. Our customer still needed a hinge that was quite durable, but they simply did not want an industrial look for their music folder. Leveraging LaDeau’s aerospace expertise, we suggested crafting an aircraft grade aluminum hinge. Extremely lightweight, yet strong, LaDeau found the hinge solution to meet our customer’s aesthetic and functional requirements for the idea our customer had envisioned.

At LaDeau, we are never satisfied just to meet requirements when we can exceed our customer’s expectations, so we went above and beyond our customer’s original design and helped devise an improvement that could be tooled right into the manufacture of the hinge. LaDeau’s team suggested building “page keepers” into the hinge, in other words teeth in the top and bottom of the hinge that permitted installation of elastic bands to securely hold of up to 10 pages of sheet music in place. When our customer learned of the entire, comprehensive solution LaDeau had developed for them, let’s just say it was music to their ears.

Over 30 years later, The Black Folder, as it is now called, has become the preeminent choice for choral singers worldwide. In an age when so much manufacturing has moved overseas to remain competitive, LaDeau continues to make this component here in the United States. Click here to learn more about our capabilities.