As the founder of The Antique Piano Shop, Michael Stinnett has put together a team of expert craftsmen who are doing what no one else is able to when it comes to restoring pianos. Michael started playing the piano when he was only three years old, repaired and tuned his first piano when he was 14, and started a piano restoration business when he was 18 years old. Since then, he has dedicated his life to not only restoring antique pianos, but educating the world of the historical significance the piano throughout the past few hundred years. Through his passion and dedication, Michael has built a successful business that has earned the reputation for having the highest quality work, taking the jobs others think are impossible, and being able to bring a piano back to life and restore it to its former glory.
As our resident expert in wood refinishing, Robert's hands stay pretty dirty from all the sanding and gluing he has to do. But don't worry, he keeps all of that off the finished product! Robert joined our team after he moved to Tennessee from Rochester, New York. He spent more than 10 years working in furniture repair before joining The Antique Piano Shop, but wanted to work on something that presented a little bit more of a challenge. Robert likes working on antique pianos because he gets to see how the piano was originally built more than 100 years ago. He says sometimes the job can be a challenge because he has to find problems in the wood and fix them before it becomes a bigger problem, but that challenge is also what he likes about restoring an antique piano.
Jared Withington is a graduate of the University of Winchester and the City and Guilds of London Art School, where he studied historic and ornamental woodcarving and gilding. Jared moved from England and began working at the Antique Piano Shop as a woodcarver, repairing and replacing carved details on the antique pianos such as legs and music racks. He is also able to create custom pieces such as benches to complement the original instrument. As well as being the in house woodcarver, Jared is also our technician who specializes in the restoration of Square Grand piano actions, and is certified by QRS in PNOmation installation and servicing.
Originally from upstate New York, Matt began working in the finishing industry when he was only 13 years old. He specializes in touch-up work, finish repair work, and reconstruction. In addition to refinishing, Matt also does custom wood building and fabrication.
Jacob McIntosh is one of our resident local employees who settled not too far from our shop in a town called Townsend, Tennessee. Jacob went to school and studied history and education, but instead of going into teaching he decided he wanted to pursue a career in art. He prefers oil, water color, and charcoal drawings, but soon realized it would be tough to raise three kids on an artist's salary! His artistic ability is clearly evident in his work because Jacob has an acute attention to detail and has a tremendous amount of patience. He also loves being able to see pianos that have been neglected or destroyed come back to life and look like they were just built, despite sometimes being more than 100 years old.
Jarod Aumand came to The Antique Piano Shop after spending two years as a technician in San Diego, California. Coming to Tennessee was an easy choice because there is so much work happening here in our shop, and no one else is able to do what is happening here at Antique Piano Shop! His favorite part is learning the stories of each piano that come through our shop and how they got to where they are. He says each piano presents its own unique challenge, but that's what makes restoring pianos so worthwhile.
As one of our Senior Technicians, Nick Hollis joined The Antique Piano Shop after spending eight years as a piano technician in San Diego, California. Along with the title of Senior Technician, Nick is also a master pianist and will also be the one to sometimes deliver your piano to your house and tune it. (Be sure to ask him to play for you when he gets there!) To Nick, restoring pianos presents a unique challenge because they are works of art that were built more than 100 years ago and it's sometimes like putting pieces of a puzzle back together. But that's also what he loves about working on pianos. He says it takes a certain type of person who has good drive and has the ability to figure out the engineering of a piano that was built decades ago.
Norman Hall is another Massachusetts transplant that is happy to now call Tennessee home. Norman has spent a lifetime working on player pianos, and you might say restoring pianos runs through his blood. Norman's grandfather fed 11 children by working on pianos for 48 years, his father fed seven children by working on pianos for nearly 50 years, and Norman comes to us after raising three children and 39 years of experience. Norman's favorite part of the piano restoration process is seeing the faces of the owner when they see and hear the piano looking and sounding like it's brand new for the first time. Norman is a pretty particular guy and won't let a piano out of his work area until it is playing to perfection!
Matt Barnes came to The Antique Piano Shop from nearby Tellico, Tennessee and spent several years cleaning up after natural disasters, so sometimes he feels right at home with some of the pianos we get to work on! Matt helped clean up after the BP oil spill, and also helped clear fallen trees after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ivan. Working in the belly of the piano, Matt explains it can be a challenge because he's typically dealing with measurments that have to be within less than a fraction of an inch. He said what he likes most about working at Antique Piano Shop is being a part of an industry that is a dying breed. He says there aren't many people who can restore a piano, and there isn't a better team in the world when it comes to bringing a piano back to life.
Peter Critchley is another one of our technicians who spent most of his life playing piano. He is a graduate of North Bennett Street School of Piano Technology in Boston and moved to Tennessee from Massachusetts to join our team. He started playing when he was 13, but wasn't interested in learning how pianos were built until he went to buy one for himself. He did some research and realized he could learn to tune and repair a piano himself, which is an oddity for a pianist. He says normally a guitar player has to learn to tune and repair strings as he plays, but a pianist typically relies on someone else to do the work for them. He decided he wanted to do it for himself. Once he did that, he feel in love with the idea of repairing pianos for a living and came to work at The Antique Piano Shop. Peter loves to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoys working on the challenges that each piano presents.
Candy Critchley joined the team at The Antique Piano Shop after she and her husband moved to Tennessee from Massachusetts. (Her husband is one of our Senior Technicians!) Originally from the Philippines, Candy worked in sales for an international trading company for nine years before she moved to the United States. Candy likes organizing and detailed work, so working with pianos was a great fit for her personality. She also enjoys making things look nice and pretty, which can be challenging sometimes with the pianos that come into our shop in need of repair! She says her job takes a lot of patience, but she loves watching the piano come back to life and hearing it play like it did when it was first built.
Ryan joined the team at The Antique Piano Shop as a way to make a career change. Ryan was studying in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee to pursue a degree in Bio Chemistry when he realized he no longer wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. He has a background in sales for a hardware manufacturer and playing pianos, so restoring pianos sort of seemed like a natural place for him. Ryan's favorite part of restoring pianos is getting to know the stories behind each of the pianos he works on. He enjoys learning about the history of when the piano was made and figuring out how to design a working part the same way it was designed 100 or more years ago when it was first built. He also likes how every piano is different and the process of restoring isn't like working in a manufacturing plant where you do the same job every day.
Rachel probably has the loudest job in the piano restoration process here at The Antique Piano Shop! She joined our team after moving to Tennessee from Alabama and spends her day restringing pianos and getting them to the perfect amount of tension, and sometimes she has to pull out the power tools to get the job done! To be a piano stringer, you need to have strong hands, which is perfect for Rachel because she is also a licensed massage therapist. Rachel says she's never had a job where she enjoys coming to work so much and that the best part of her job is looking back at a restored piano and finding satisfaction knowing that she helped build it.
Don works in our Finishing Department, which means he's the guy that repairs each piece of wood. Whether it's scratched, nicked, chipped, or otherwise "impossible" to fix, Don is able to repair it and make it look brand new again. Don has traveled around the world in his lifetime, spending years in Colorado, the Hawaiian Islands, and Kentucky before settling in Tennessee. He's been a general contractor for 35 years and has been in the furniture restoration business for more than a decade, so he knows a thing or two about how to make repairs! Don's favorite part about restoring antique pianos is working on a piece of art that was built more than 100 years ago and learning from the craftsmen who built them. He says there's something special about seeing a piano come back to life and look the way it did when it was first created.
Walt came to The Antique Piano Shop after retiring from a career in the telecommunications business. He moved to Tennessee from Atlanta, and grew up watching his parents dancing in a club to a player piano. Because he was introduced to it at such a young age, you could say the piano has always been a part of his life! He rebuilt his first player piano in 1968 and he realized he loved figuring out the mechanics of how a player piano works. He says he is facinated to learn how the pianos were engineered and built before the age of computers and internet, and then trying to recreate that engineering. Despite being retired, Walt sure likes to keep busy by rebuilding, repairing, and bringing antique player pianos back to life! He's a pretty methodical guy who takes great pride in the details and quality of his work, so it's not uncommon to see him in his scrubs and stethoscope as he's doing his part to bring your antique player piano back to life!
As a member of our Stinging and Bellywork team, Zach specializes in restoring piano harps and soundboards. He's another one of our "locals" from here in Tennessee and literally walked in the door one day and asked what he could do to help! Now, he is also our primary stringing technician. Zach has a natural propensity to anything mechanical, and he enjoys restoring vintage big-block engines. In addition to his full time job at The Antique Piano Shop, Zach is also pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering which he plans to apply to his work here in the field of piano restoration long-term.
Kim has been a member of the Antique Piano Shop team since 2007. As Customer Service Manager, she acts as a liaison between customers and Antique Piano Shop's production department making sure that the lines of communication remain open. Customer service is an integral part of Antique Piano Shop's customer value proposition.
As Customer Service Manager and Nationwide Shipping Specialist, Kim communicates with our clients from the beginning stages of the restoration process to the end, including handling shipping arrangements all over the US and abroad.
"I truly love working with each and every one of our clients. I am here to answer questions about restoring your piano and shipping questions any time. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. “
“Miss Marie”, as everyone calls her, is the mother of Michael Stinnett, the founder of The Antique Piano Shop. Miss Marie started working with Michael at his first store in Dollywood in the early 1990’s, and has been a well-loved member of the team ever since. She used to take care of our customer service issues in the early days as well as running the “cash register” and answering phones, but she is best known for her love to just sit and talk to people who came into our shop. People all over the country used to come in our Dollywood store and ask for “Miss Marie”, bringing her postcards, letters and homemade gifts as thanks for her heart-felt hospitality.
Miss Marie passed away in July of 2016. She was an important member of our team who loved to make the rounds through the workshop to make sure everything was running smoothly and in tip-top shape! A little known secret, Miss Marie always wanted to be song-writer! She was instrumental in supporting her son, Michael, as he started The Antique Piano Shop, even working for him for 30 years. She always said the years she worked at Dollywood were the happiest years of her life. Miss Marie would have been 82 in August of 2016.
We will miss her greatly, but Miss Marie’s love for music and people will continue to be at the forefront of what we do each and every day here at The Antique Piano Shop.
Thank you, Miss Marie, for all your years of hard work and dedication to The Antique Piano Shop.
Anne Elizabeth Rochelle is a practicing artist from Knoxville, Tennessee who works as resident artist and art restorer for the Antique Piano Shop. Rochelle received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting and Art History at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. In college, Rochelle focused on Italian Renaissance Art History and Painting Conservation of which she studied in Florence, Italy. She has experience in the revitalization of historic frescoes and disasteraffected artworks as an art restorer, as well as art handling and exhibition design at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the Knoxville Museum of Art. Rochelle is classically trained in portraiture drawing and painting, but also investigates an academic interest in painting chemistry, artist materials and the painting process throughout history.
See more of Rochelle's work at her portfolio site: http://aerochelle.com/
Randy has been working with us for nearly 20 years offering very specialized restoration and preservation services relating to our Arts & Crafts / Mission piano collection. In addition to restoring Mission / Arts & Crafts period pianos, Randy builds, restored and collects Craftsman furniture of all kinds. Randy’s focus is preservation of original pieces, all done with a historical perspective in mind. His specialties include fumed finishes as well as other traditional and almost forgotten methods relating to historical building and restoration. Randy’s true passion lies in the preservation of Mission/Arts & Crafts movement, and his amazing skillset has made him one of the finest restorers in his field.
Weibin is our Market Analyst, specializing in the Chinese market. With our ever-growing international presence, Weibin has also become our primary liaison with our Chinese clients. Weibin holds a Bachelor degree for the logistics management from Beijing Technology and Business University, and he also earned the Master of Business Administration focusing on International Trade at Mercer University of Atlanta. He has a decade of experience running small businesses in multi-industries in China. He has strong systematic analysis ability, especially in Marketing Analysis and Financial Analysis. Weibin enjoys using his vast skill and experience to help develop and promote the Asian market for The Antique Piano Shop.
Eddie "Taz" Johnsonn joined The Antique Piano Shop team as a part time employee while he finishes up high school. Being in the "Bellywork" department means Taz is one of the first ones to begin the restoration process of the inside, or belly, of the piano. One of the roles in this department is to pull out all the strings and then begin repairing the bridge pins and soundboards. Taz wants to eventually find a career in pipe welding or diesel mechanics, but enjoys learning the ins and outs of how to restore a piano for now! When Taz isn't working at Antique Piano Shop during the summer he is busy working on his pickup truck or the family farm. As for the nickname of Taz, he earned that when he was just a baby and it's stuck with him ever since!
Phillip Bowers is a part time apprentice for us during the summer months, but he's proved to be an invaluable asset to our team as he's learning the ins and outs of restoring a piano. Phillip helps polish up all the brass and metal on every piano to get each piece shining like new again. And you can probably tell from his picture that the job can get pretty dirty sometimes! It's also a tedious job because the pieces needing polishing can be very small, but Phillip says it's relaxing for him to spend his time on the grinding wheel and know he's a part of the transformation process.