Instrument Repair Technician

Bob Dingley felt lucky that he fell into the industry, which became his passion and his life-long career. On his way to a trumpet lesson he stopped by the local music store to pick up some sheet music and was asked by a school mate if he wanted a job.  From retail to JW Pepper Music Publishing, Bob...
Jeff Douglas worked with Bob Willcutt in Lexington, Kentucky, and learned all about guitar building and repair.  Bob’s store is legendary and well respected for the selection and quality repairs.  His training in the store led Jeff to a gig as guitar tech for the Oak Ridge Boys beginning in the...
Vernon Drane played several musical instruments growing up in Tennessee including the trumpet and saxophone. He later studied instrument repair and spent 68 years (!) working with the Amro Music Company in Memphis. Vernon was also a baritone singer who performed in two church choirs for over 60...
Gil Ellman grew up in the big band era, loving the sounds of large orchestras. He was motivated to create as many opportunities for students to make music as possible. He studied band instrument repair before opening Ellman’s Music Center in 1958. Soon after the store opened Gil began creating his...
Joan Ellman and her husband, Gil, established Ellman’s Music Center in 1958. Five years later the store moved to Naperville, Illinois, where it is located today. Joan kept the books and inventory as well as managing the store when Gil would call on schools and travel for industry meetings. She has...
Robert Fleming has been a long time member of NAPBIRT, missing only a few annual meetings during his long career as a repairman.  He worked with Pete Valentino on how plastics could be used in instrument pads such as the flute.  Patrick’s Music hired Bob as their repairman, which he enjoyed very...
Tadamichi Fukuda was the Chairman for the Global Corporation, located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The company was established in 1975 based on the repairing of musical instruments, especially violins. Fukuda-San soon expanded the company to become the exclusive supplier of many brands in Japan...
Wilhelm Gertz was often seen working on the action of a vintage grand piano whenever you stopped to visit him in his store. After all, he has been doing this same thing most of his life. He was born into a family in Germany who ran the largest piano company in the country. He learned the craft,...
Mark Gifford was a band instrument repairman before he joined the King Band Instrument Company, now known as Conn-Selmer.  The factory, located outside of Cleveland, Ohio produces a long line of brass instruments, some of which Mark had a hand in designing. The reputation of the company, which...
Joe Glaser has always enjoyed taking a damaged guitar and repairing it to bring it back to playing condition. His passion for the craftsmanship of guitar repairs has made him one of the sought-after guitar techs in Nashville. Joe is also a creative designer who has designed several product...

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