I learned logic and discernment from the Jesuits and compassion from the BVMs. It is fitting that this shop be located in a BVM convent on the Jesuit High School campus. I am honored to be given this chance and this space, as a returning student who got the message right. I am also practiced and certificated in violin music education, and music as a vehicle for social change.
Some Grateful Acknowledgements
That said, I am a retired FedEx Captain and neither a professional musician nor a violin maker by formal education or stage experience. Post retirement, my first gig was directing the second violins, and later the cellos for the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project. It was also my first exposure to grievous instrument disrepair. Mostly I took things home, but it was here that I set up my first violin repair shop for kids. Later I would do the same for http://www.musicincchicago.org/
Paul Wargaski of Wargaski Violins was the inspiration. He has been my teacher and mentor and continues to do so. My first parts and supplies support came from Suzanne D'Addario of the D'Addario Foundation. I will always, always remember that.
Imagine you are a 10 year old. You are in and out of poverty circumstances with both housing and food insecurities on an always sporadic basis. Now imagine being handed a violin with some one showing you how to play, right there in the school cafeteria, and with helper kids when you're stuck. In a short time you can play snippets of Beethoven with your friends, or the Happy Birthday Song for your Mom. ...and so it is for the other Moms. When we have concerts and the families come to celebrate their kids, the common love of children bring grown men, and some tough looking older brothers to tears.
Music is like that.