The SCRC team has rounded up some of the best instructors you'll find. Click the links on the left to see bios, which are below.

Wim Blees

Wim Blees, RPT - St. Augustine, FL

Wim started working on pianos in his dad’s shop when he was 12 years old. After he graduated from college and taught band and chorus for six years, he started his full time piano service business in 1977 in St. Louis, Missouri. Then from 2001 – 2007 he was the piano technician for the University of Alabama. In 2007 he and his wife moved to Hawaii, and in August of 2021 he retired from full time piano work and moved to Florida.

>Wim has given lectures at over 55 PTG seminars and convention on a wide variety of subjects including tuning, repairing, rebuilding and business. He has served on the PTG Board of Directors as the Central West Vice President and was a CTE for many years. In addition to writing numerous articles for the Piano Technicians Journal, he is the author of: the business of piano tuning: a guide to marketing, managing, promoting, buying and selling a piano service business. in 2021 Wim was awarded Member of Note at the PTG convention in Orlando.

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Melanie Brooks

Melanie Brooks , Uncasville, CT

Melanie Brooks is the owner of Brooks LTD Piano Products, a family-owned business. Melanie took on the role of General Manager in 2002, and in 2009 purchased Brooks LTD. She was raised in a rebuilding shop and is a third generation PTG member, actively participating since 1996. She continues to teach courses on wood, wood products and grand action replacements throughout North America. Committed to collaborating with technicians and rebuilders to create, service, and restore instruments with innovative and specialized products.

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George Buss

George Buss - Charlotte, NC

George joined Gazelle in the Spring of 2019 to help streamline our users’ onboarding experience and build resources to help you grow your piano service business. He helped our team launch Gazelle School of Business and provides business coaching services to piano technicians in the Gazelle community. With a history in education, program development, and customer experience he brings a unique approach to the way you think about and execute your business.

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Norman Cantrell

Norman Cantrell, RPT - Lawton, OK

Norman Cantrell began his career in musical instrument repair by working as an apprentice for B. L. McCrary Pipe Organ Service in Oklahoma City in the fall of 1978. After two and a half years with Mr. McCrary he left OKC and enrolled in Grayson County College in Dennison, TX to study piano tuning and repair. Upon completion of his studies at Grayson he returned to Oklahoma City and opened his own piano service business. Over the years he has specialized in the restoration of player pianos. He has been a member of the Piano Technicians Guild for several years and is currently a Registered Piano Technician and a Certified Tuning Examiner. He has been an instructor at regional and national PTG seminars. Norman is a past National PTG President.

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Luke Ehresman

Luke Ehresman - Charlotte, NC

Luke is a 20-year veteran of web-based software development. With a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Computer Science, he has spent his career developing software solutions for both small and large organizations with a focus on sustainable product development, artistic design, and user experience. His guidance has provided piano technicians around the globe with a long-term, sustainable product specifically designed for this industry. He is the co-founder of of the Gazelle Network and is helping piano technicians around the world build stronger businesses so they can focus on the things they love.

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Charles Faulk

Charles Faulk, RPT - Bella Vista, AR

Charles Faulk is a pianist, piano technician, and professional woodworker. He has 38 years experience in piano manufacturing, piano restoration, and concert level piano work, and has been making piano tuning levers since 1996. In addition to his work as a piano technician, he has worked as a theatrical music director, pianist, and actor in numerous productions across the Midwest. Charles also plays jazz and popular music in the Jack Mitchell band and many smaller ensembles in the region.

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Kevin Fortenberry

Kevin Fortenberry, RPT - Longview, TX

Kevin Fortenberry graduated from the Piano Technology Program at Houston Community College in 1993, under the instruction of James Geiger, RPT. Kevin served as the Staff Piano Technician at the Texas Tech University School of Music for 11 years before returning to private work in August of 2019. Over the years he has specialized in concert and performance work as well as maintaining a private clientele. One of Kevin's greatest joys is helping new or growing technicians as much as possible.

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Kelly Hollifield

Kelly Hollifield, Dampp-Chaser Corp. - Hendersonville, NC

Kelly Hollifield is General Manager of Dampp-Chaser Electronics, manufacturer of the Piano Life Saver. Kelly joined the company in 2004, becoming General Manager in 2010 and a shareholder in 2020. Responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business, including technical support, customer training, human resources, production management and quality oversight, Kelly has a deep understanding of the Piano Life Saver. Her comprehensive knowledge of the product and its impact on pianos shines in her classes, thanks to her experience in teaching and tenure in the piano industry.

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Don Mannino, RPT

Don Mannino, RPT - Cypress, CA

Don served an apprenticeship with a piano rebuilder during his final years attending San Diego State University as a piano performance major in 1979. After working for 11 years as an independent piano technician in the San Diego area, he held the position of National Service Manager for Young Chang Pianos, then Manager of Technical Support for Kawai Pianos for North America, and since 2003 has served as the Director of Field Services for Kawai America Corp. Don and his wife Patty are the editors of the Southern California Combined PTG newsletter. In addition to instructing workshops at PTG chapter meetings, regional technician seminars and PTG Annual conventions, he also has designed technicians tools and has published articles on a variety of technical topics in the Piano Technicians Journal. In 2010 he was certified in Japan as a Kawai "Master Piano Artisan" (or MPA), the highest level of technician for the Kawai company. In 2013 Mr. Mannino was honored to be inducted into the PTG Hall of Fame, and in 2018 he also was honored to receive the Golden Hammer Award from PTG. Don resides in Cypress, CA with his wife Patty. Their daughter Sarah is an elementary school instructor in San Francisco, California.

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Vince Mrykalo

Vince Mrykalo, RPT - University of Utah

Started my piano service business in NJ after graduating from the Empire School of Piano Tuning in January 1973 and started working at the Baldwin Dealership in Howell NJ. Moved to Utah in August 1974 and furthered my technical training by an apprenticeship with Lynn Hanson in 1974. I built an independent business servicing pianos from 1978 to 1986, joined PTG in 1976 as an apprentice (now Associate) and became a Craftsman (later RPT) in the PTG in 1978. From 1986 to 1989 I partnered with Kramer’s Piano Shop in New Midway MD rebuilding and servicing pianos. Since 1989, I worked as professional staff piano technician for several Universities and presently work full time at Oklahoma State University as their piano technician. I have been trained at Baldwin (1983), Yamaha (1993), Steinway (1993 to 2002) Kawai Shigeru (2010) and Mason & Hamlin (2011). Taught at my first International PTG convention in 1990, received Member of note in 2006, taught voicing classes with Jim Busby RPT at PTG conventions and recently at the PTG home office.

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Bob Putnam

Bob Putnam - Colleyville, TX

Proven, Senior Level Business Project Manager with end-to-end knowledge of business processes for several Fortune 500 companies including FedEx and RadioShack/Tandy Corporation. Leader, recruiter and talent developer of highly productive and motivated sales teams. Extensive, diversified experience in internal communications, business development, market planning and sales program development with full P&L responsibilities ($300MM-500MM). Additional skills include:

  • Contracts / Negotiations
  • Sales Process Design
  • Manager / Coach / Mentor
  • Communications / Event Planning
  • Training
  • Project Management
  • Real Estate Leasing
  • Analytical Problem Solving
  • Business Intelligence Analysis

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Shane Ohlson

Shane Ohlson, RPT - Wichita Falls, TX

Having a family history of piano manufacturing and a fascination with tuning, Shane began servicing pianos 20 years ago at a college in northeastern Oklahoma. At that same institution, he taught music courses as a lecturer for 5 years while continuing to learn and shape his skills as a tuner. After moving to Wichita Falls, Shane began a deeper study of the technician side of the business. After much encouragement from his peers and Ft. Worth chapter mentors, he passed the RPT exams. Shane enjoys tuning, regulating, and repairing primarily vertical pianos in the rural areas surrounding Wichita Falls, as well as refurbishing and rebuilding in his shop. He serves as Treasurer for both the Ft. Worth Chapter and SCRC. Shane is a very active jazz pianist in Texas and Oklahoma. He is also seen frequently touring as pianist with country artist Bryan White. "I love to teach - it engages parts of my mind that rarely are engaged while in the field. In that way, I always learn so much from every teaching experience!"

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Dean Reyburn

Dean Reyburn, RPT - Kent City, MI

Dean Reyburn passed his RPT exams in 1978 and has 35+ years tuning experience. He has served on the PTG Examinations and Test Standards Committee since 1996 and acts as Advisor and CTE skill reviewer. Dean has 12 years experience as concert tuner for the Grand Rapids Symphony and DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was the technician for the local Steinway and Yamaha dealers for many years and tuned for numerous concert and popular music artists. Dean attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago from 1976 to 1978 where he majored in electronics and learned piano technology from Virgil Smith, RPT and Robert Carbaugh (and met his wife Marty). Dean is a self-taught Software Engineer with 30 years experience programming in more languages and computer platforms than he'll admit. He enjoys rollerblading, tennis and biking in his spare time.

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Nate Reyburn

Nate Reyburn, RPT - Kent City, MI

Nate has been having fun with pianos and obsessing over tuning tools for his entire career. He works with with Reyburn CyberTuner and piano tuners across the country, tunes pianos in the “real world”, and makes the Golden Hammer Award. His pet peeves are people who don’t use turn signals, delayed pop-up ads, bad kerning, and the 3/8-30 TPI thread. He loves spending time with his wife and three girls (10 and under) and fixing things that absolutely aren’t broken.

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Jack Stebbins, RPT

Jack Stebbins, RPT - Pleasant Hill, TN

Jack Stebbins has been involved in piano care since the early 1980s. He entered North Bennet Street School as a student in the fall of 1981, and developed his technical skills under the direction of Bill Garlick and David Betts. He returned to NBSS to teach tuning, repairs, and regulation for 29 years.
From his elevation to Registered Piano Technician, Jack has been actively involved in Piano Technicians Guild tuning exams. By rubbing shoulders with such luminaries as Jim Coleman, Sr. and Michael Travis, he realized the exam room was the most valuable venue for building his tuning skills and expanding his arsenal of interval tests and checks. He has taught several different classes at the local, regional, and national levels. Jack has also served the Guild in a variety of capacities: Chapter President, Nominating Committee, Members’ Rights Committee, and, for many years, on the ETSC. Jack has also received the Examiner of the Year Award approximately 6 times, he was inducted into the PTG Hall of Fame in 2016, and most recently was awarded the inaugural “Jack Stebbins Examiner of the Year” named for him in 2018.

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Jenny Stokes

Jenny Stokes, RPT - Dallas, TX

Jenny joined the Piano Technicians Guild in 2016 and became a Registered Piano Technician in 2017. Her initial training came from Rick Butler through the Butler School of Piano Technology, and she has continued her education through regional and national seminars, as well as the 37 Steps Regulation Course offered by the PTG. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Music (organ performance emphasis) and worked for several years as a software engineer before discovering the world of piano technology. Jenny serves on the Board of both the Dallas and Fort Worth chapters, and is the current Secretary for SCRC.

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Fred Sturm

Fred Sturm, RPT - University of New Mexico

Fred Sturm, RPT since 1981, has worked for thirty years at the University of New Mexico, serving private and concert clientele as well. He has been active on the College and University Technicians committee, including trying to refine techniques for maintenance of heavy use instruments, to achieve long-lasting high level results. He has published many articles in the PTG Journal, and has taught regularly at annual conventions and elsewhere. His translation of Claude Montal's The Art of Tuning (1836 and 1865) was published recently by the Piano Technicians Guild Foundation.

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Jim Watson

Jim Watson - San Marcos, TX

Jim Watson is the owner and lead piano restorer at Watson Piano Works, LLC. He has over a decade of piano restoration experience working for himself and for Bernard Mollberg. Before pianos, he worked for fourteen years at a civil engineering firm, and studied music at university. Music continues to figure heavily into his life; he is a member of a popular, widely-touring band.

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Li Yeoh - Florida State University

Li Yeoh, Director of Piano Technology, joined the faculty at the Florida State University College of Music in academic year 2017/18. Dr. Yeoh directs the graduate degree program in Piano Technology, together with a series of piano technology courses for pianists, instrumentalists, and piano technicians. The Master of Arts in Piano Technology is a premier program worldwide and provides a real-world artistic collaboration between emerging students, world-class faculty, and guest artists.

Dr. Yeoh is a Master Piano Technician of America and a certified Damp Chaser installer. He has received the C. F. Theodore Steinway Technical Academy certificates at the New York Steinway & Son piano factory, the PianoDisc installer certificate at the Mason & Hamlin piano factory in Haverhill, MA and attended the Little Red Schoolhouse Academy at Yamaha Piano in Anaheim, CA.

A regular guest speaker and national clinician of the Piano Technician Guild and the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Yeoh appeared internationally as one of the premiere guest speakers at the 1st Mid Pacific Piano Technicians Conference in Honolulu, HI and the 18th Australasian Piano Tuners and Technicians Association Bi-Annual Convention and Piano Expo in Melbourne, Australia.

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