Dereck is a Master luthier with 20 years of experience. He is excited to bring his passion and skillset to the greater Tampa Bay area by offering storefronts in both Tampa and Sarasota, something that has been long overdue in this area! Dereck began his journey at Indiana University's prestigious Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington in 1996. While there, he studied violin making with Program Director Tom Sparks, as well as classical guitar performance with Petar Jancovic. Dereck excelled in the program and began building customized instruments for both faculty and students at the university. He also served as a Teaching Assistant in the violin making program at IU, where he was able to mentor luthiers-in-training. Dereck later became an apprentice at Casa del Sol Violin Shop in Indianapolis for three years, which allowed him to fine tune his skills in stringed repairs and restorations under the supervision of Master luthier, Al Stancel. He also resided in England for nearly two years, where he ran his own workshop building stringed instruments including violin, viola, cello, and bass. Prior to opening Violin Shop Tampa, Dereck spent 6 years at Atlantic Strings Violin Shop in Melbourne, where we worked as the Manager and primary luthier for shop owner, Allen Gatchell. Dereck has had the opportunity to work with many world class musicians over the years, and also enjoys mentoring high-school and college students. He continues to broaden his own expertise by attending trainings such as Oberlin's Violin Making Workshop in Oberlin, Ohio. Dereck is the primary luthier for Violin Shop Tampa & Sarasota and also completes all bow rehairs and repairs. Dereck prides himself on candid and personalized customer service, as well as his expertise on building, repairing, and restoring stringed instruments.
Ethan is an expert violinist with 18 years of experience, and also a skilled luthier with 13 years experience in orchestral instrument repair. A native Floridian, he is excited to bring two full-service instrument shops to the greater Tampa Bay area, a service greatly needed within the stringed community! Ethan is a University of South Florida graduate where he obtained his Bachelor's of Science degree in finance and marketing. Ethan brings a diverse musical background to our team, as he has also played piano for 18 years and has spent the past few years incorporating electric bass into his expertise. Ethan developed his luthier skillset at Atlantic Strings Violin Shop in Melbourne, where he apprenticed under Allen Gatchell and Dereck Coons for several years. Ethan also had the opportunity to study violin with Igor Markstein for 6 years, and was a member of the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra for 5 years, where he achieved principal violinist in 2005. He is honored to have been the recipient of many scholarships and accolades during his orchestral career. Ethan is also the lead singer in a local band and enjoys recording new songs and playing at venues within the community. Ethan provides exceptional customer service to our valued customers, as his diverse background allows him to tailor his approach based on each player's needs, goals, age, and level of expertise. Ethan also handles many other aspects around the shop such as our rental program, participating in community and marketing events, and completing several of the shop's repairs to name a few!