Our Instructors

Our instructors have spent decades learning the fine art of making and restoring stringed family instruments and bows.  Some have entered the field through playing, while others from various technical fields.  All are accomplished artists in their own right and many are award-winning makers, some having received recognition in competitions with the distinction of Hors' Concours from the Violin Society of America.  This is an important honor received after having earned three gold medals in VSA International Competitions. This qualifies the honorees to judge competitions making them an excellent resource for information.  We hope to pass their extensive knowledge and experience to the next generation of makers and restorers through demonstrations, instruction, and professional example.

 

Tom Croen is an award-winning violin maker working from his studio in Eugene, Oregon. He has been actively making instruments for nearly 40 years and is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the Violin Society of America, where he has served on the Governing Board of both organizations. Tom has earned the distinction of 'Hors Concours' after having won 3 gold medals from Violin Society of America International Competitions. Tom stays challenged and inspired by being a workmanship judge at VSA competitions and writing publications on the subject of instrument acoustics and other aspects about the craft of violin making and repair.
Christopher Dungey is a violin maker specializing in the new making of cellos, passing the milestone 100th cello in 2012. He has worked in Los Angeles for Hans Weisshaar and Thomas Metzler learning the fine art of restoration. He is a current member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and has won numerous awards for his cellos. In 2012, Mr. and Mrs. Dungey relocated to Grand Junction, Colorado.  He continues to build cellos in his 'dream shop' that was completed in July 2013. His new shop has a view looking towards the Colorado National Monument. 
David Forbes is an award-winning bow maker with two gold medals from the Violin Society International Competitions, and numerous Certificates of Merit from VSA competitions, the City of Paris competition and Manchester Cello festival. David trained with William Salchow in New York and Stephane Thomachot in Paris.  David is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and served on its Board of Governors.  David has been the Director of the Oberlin Bow Making Workshops since 2005. 
Christopher Germain makes award-winning violins, violas, and cellos from his studio in Philadelphia, PA. Chris has served as the President of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers as well as the Violin Society of America and has served on the Governing Boards of both organizations. He also is a member of the Entente Internationale Maitres Luthiers et Archetiers d'Art and has served as a judge for numerous international violin making competitions.
Rodney Mohr has been actively making bows for over 35 years and is a member of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers, where he earned the degree of Master of Bow Making. Mr. Mohr has produced over 1,000 bows, making him one of the nation's most prolific bow makers. As one of the country's leading restorers, Mr. Mohr also has restored a countless number of fine bows. Mr. Mohr holds the distinction of Hors' Concours by the VSA along with numerous other Certificates of Merit and a medal from the City of Paris Competition.
David Orlin works out of his studio in Ann Arbor Michigan. He was elected into membership of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers in 1996. David has participated in the Violin Society of America's Oberlin Bow Maker's Workshop in 1996, 1997, and 2000, and has been a Co-director since 2003.  He has taught bow repair and restoration at the National String Workshops in Madison, Wisconsin since 1993, and has exhibited and presented at conventions of the AFVBM, VSA, and the American String Teachers Association. He also lectures frequently about bows. 

After graduating from West Dean College in England with a focus on making a gamba family of instruments, Sarah went to work at Stringers of London for a year and a half before leaving for New York to work at William Monical & Son.  Under William Monical's tutelage, she was provided the opportunity to work more intensely with Baroque instruments and was able to study their history and development.  In addition, she was able to work with players to achieve optimal sound quality and playability through sound adjustment and proper set-up for both Baroque and Modern instruments.
Joe Robson [Violin Varnish, Ltd.] makes varnishes, grounds, and colors, and varnishes violins and violas in his shop in Trumansburg, New York.  In 1992, Joe and his wife, Esther, established Tried & True Wood Finishes; a line of environmentally safe linseed oil furniture finishes that grew out of this research.  Joe has been involved in the research, history, and development of finishes for the violin. Joe has published several articles and editorial reviews for Strad Magazine, including the current "Scarlet Fever": the research and development of the Stradivari Cochineal Varnish.
William (Bill) Scott is a violin maker working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He earned Hors Concours in 2006, with his 3rd Gold Medal for a viola at the Violin Society of America's International Violin Making Competition. In addition to these awards, he has won numerous other medals and certificates for violin, viola, and cello. Bill began his apprenticeship at the shop of Hans Weisshaar in Los Angeles. He has contributed to Strad Magazine, VSA Conventions as a presenter and as a workmanship judge. Over the past decade, he has been on staff at the Violin Makers Workshop in Oberlin, Ohio.
Stacey Styles has worked independently as a restorer of violins, violas, and cellos since 1995. She is located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Ms. Styles particularly likes a challenging restoration project but also enjoys the balance and insight afforded by working directly with musicians in fine adjustments for tone and performance. Ms. Styles credits Hans J. Nebel, with whom she studied for many years, for instilling a high standard of excellence in restoration, and a deep appreciation for a finely honed edge.
Chris is a founding partner of Indianapolis Violins, a full-service violin shop in Indianapolis, where in addition to his own making he manages the repair workshop and rental fleet. He enjoys participating in educational and outreach activities, including collaborating with the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Indiana History Center and Indiana State Museum to create exhibits related to violin making. He has taught long- and short-term apprenticeships focusing on various topics, from varnish application and set-up to instrument building from the ground up.