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.
Angie Johnson joined the team at the Antique Piano Shop after spending more than a decade in the medical billing field. As our General Manager, Angie is an invaluable asset to the company in running its day to day operations. From scheduling and billing, to making sure your piano is completed on time and exceeds your expectations, Angie is vital to making sure things run smoothly both in the office and in the shop. She loves coming to work every day because the craftsmen at the Antique Piano Shop are like a second family to her, and every day is a different experience. When she's not at the office, Angie is busy with her four children and seven acre East Tennessee farm.
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 email@example.com."
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Rafael Valdes joined Antique Piano Shop from Finland where he made wooden boats by hand. Rafael has a history of woodworking and has an attention to detail to make sure your piano turns out perfectly. As a boat builder, Rafael learned the importance of ensuring every piece of wood is placed perfectly together so the boat is watertight. He has brought that skillset to Antique Piano Shop and is using it to make sure you are 100% satisfied with your piano. For Rafael, everything he does is focused on making sure your piano is accurate and restored with the highest attention to detail. He says restoring pianos takes a lot of focus because your piano isn't just an instrument. He views every piano like a piece of art and takes great care in his work.
Matthew McIntosh joined Antique Piano Shop with a background as a tattoo artist as well as welding expertise. Matthew is uniquely suited to work on your piano because of his attention to detail that he's mastered with his experience as an artist. He says being an artist takes focus, the ability to maintain your tools, and the capability to not rush the job. Restoring pianos takes the same skillset, so he fits right in! He says drawing tattoos is something that's important to the person he's drawing on, and so are the pianos he is now restoring.
When Matthew isn't hard at work in the Belly Department working on your piano, he's busy drawing, reading, and playing the guitar.
Lewis Burton joined the team at Antique Piano Shop with plenty of experience under his belt restoring anitque furniture. Lewis' speciality is as a finishing carpenter and he's worked on projects from framing to building curved staircases. But his passion is working with reclaimed wood, so Antique Piano Shop is a perfect fit for him. But Lewis' story goes a little bit deeper because he has a unique connection to restoring antiques. Lewis is a receipient of a kidney transplant, so he knows what it's like to be put back together again and given new life, just like what he's now doing with antique pianos.
Although he has a background in carpentry, Lewis also has a Master's Degree in Teaching. He also has a musicial history, and you could say music is in his blood. Lewis plays guitar, and his mother was a singer who once sang in Carnegie Hall.
Lewis loves working at Antique Piano Shop because he gets to hear music being made every day and has the chance to bring history back to life. When he is not at work, Lewis stays busy at home with his family and working on the house.
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.
Kyle Warnke joined the team at the Antique Piano Shop after spending nearly a decade working as a TV News Journalist and brought his storytelling experience with him to our shop. Kyle is dedicated to finding unique stories that will impact and connect with people's lives, which make telling stories about restoring pianos and why they are so significant to our cultural history a great fit for him. One of Kyle's favorite things to do is to carry a camera with him around the shop and grab pictures and videos of our craftsmen in action and show off how they are able to transform your piano back to its original glory. Fortunately for him, our crew isn't too camera shy! Kyle is originally from the Midwest but he and his family are happy to now call the beautiful state of Tennessee their home.
To contact Kyle, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-738-3511.
“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.