Violin Shop Tampa & Sarasota



 Dereck Coons


  Dereck is a Master luthier with over 20 years of experience. He is excited to bring his passion and skill set 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, Indiana 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 training' such as Oberlin's Violin Making Workshop in Oberlin, Ohio. Dereck is the primary luthier for Violin Shop Tampa & Sarasota. Dereck prides himself on candid and personalized customer service, as well as his expertise on building, repairing, and restoring stringed instruments!


Ethan Morency 


Ethan is an expert violinist with over 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 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.





Tampa Shop Specialists

Janae Earl 

Janae has been a violist for the past 11 years and we are excited to have her on our team! A recent graduate of Howard W. Blake High School, this fall she will be attending University of South Florida and majoring in viola performance. She favors the viola due to it’s rich tone and versatility.  Janae plays a diverse role for Violin Shop Tampa, as she not only provides great service to our valued customers, but also assists with various other shop duties to help us run smoothly. As the only violist on staff, she is excited to work with our customers to ensure their needs are being met! Janae also manages all of the shop’s site, and is excited to keep our online community up to date on shop sales, new products, events, and projects taking place in our workshop!


Mikel Thomas

Mikel is a professional cellist who has been playing for 18 years, as well as teaching advanced students in a studio setting for the past 5 years. A Texas native, Mikel brings us a broad range of experience as a performer and we are excited to have him on the Team!  Mikel obtained his Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the Boston Conservatory and later studied at University of South Florida where he received his Master of Music, also in Cello Performance. While at USF, Mikel performed as a cellist for the President’s Trio and served as an Assistant to Professor Scott Kluksdahl. He was also mentored and trained by Alexander Ezerman, Rhonda Rider, and Helga Winold. Mikel has also served on the Board of Directors for the New Music Conflagaration. Mikel frequently appears as a soloist/recitalist at various festivals and masterclasses, while also performing professionally with local orchestras such as Sarasota Orchestra, Villages Philharmonic, and Southwest Florida Symphony. Here at the shop, Mikel is our lower string customer service specialist and is committed to providing outstanding and committed service. He prides himself on offering a unique and tailored approach for each player, working diligently to help our customers find the perfect instrument, regardless of their level of expertise or budget.

Francesco Muci 
Francesco is a professional luthier with over 18 years of experience, and we are excited to have him and his diverse experience on our team! He is originally from Morlupo, Italy, a small town just north of Rome. Francesco graduated from the International Luthier School of Cremona’s three year violin and bow making program in 2001. The prestigious program has also adopted the name, International Professional Institute of Violin Making and Woodcraft, and it has been in operation in Cremona, Italy, since 1938. For over four years, Francesco worked aside Sergio Gregorat, a famous Italian bass luthier, just outside of Rome, Italy where he strengthened his skill set. He also operated his own violin workshop in Italy for over a decade, where he built and restored stringed instruments, and offered repair work on both acoustic and electric instruments. His specialties include repair and restoration on upright bass as well as arch top guitars, although his broad skill set allows him to work on all instruments in the shop.


Tim Roy

Tim is a Florida native and has been playing upright bass for the past four years. We are excited to have him on our team as an apprentice, where he is being trained as a luthier by shop owners, Dereck and Ethan, and also learning from our fellow professionals. Tim is current graduate of the USF jazz studies program, and is also a 2013 graduate from Brevard Community College in Melbourne, where he obtained his Associate of Arts degree. He previously played guitar for four years, and had the opportunity to study jazz guitar and music theory under Michael Leasure, a guitarist/composer who specializes in jazz, classical, and acoustic guitars and original compositions. Tim has found his niche for touch-up work  in our workshop on top of doing repair work, set ups, and adjustments on violin, viola, cello, and bass.