Until recently, StringWizards never needed a bank account.  Everybody listed below gave what they had to spare to provide for others.  All this happened because the arts education world and the music trade and many individual others stepped up with support.  Here are the heroes of our story.













At the top of the donor list is Paul Wargaski of Wargaski Violins Chicago, who encouraged me to take on the task, and as a violin maker himself, was there to teach me the basics to get underway, and making choices about what tools and supplies to buy.  I was at least 40 or 50 hours in his shop in the early days and I've been a frequent visitor ever since with endless questions.  He is my primary mentor.  
















  • The D’Addario Foundation http://www.daddariofoundation.org/

    • My first foundation endorsement!

    • For violin, viola and cello strings 

    • For instrument tuners 

    • For aprons and shop supplies 

    • For offering a hand even before I asked.

















  • Hungry for Music  https://hungryformusic.org/

    • Hungry for Music is a non profit out of Washington DC that collects used instruments and then donates them to underserved children.

    • Their donations over the months and years constitute a majority fraction of our used instrument and used parts inventory.

    • As the picture shows they have been a vital source of parts for us.


  • Peter Seman Violins https://www.semanviolins.com/

    • A local major source for instruments, parts, and bows

    • For endless advice 

    • For our kick off initial cello inventory (above)

    • For routinely being there on short notice with parts or whatever I needed

    • My acquaintance with Peter pre-dates StringWizards 

    • I play a Peter Seman violin.  


  • The Glasser Bow Company  http://www.glasserbows.com/default.htm

    • For advice and encouragement

    • For free violin bows by the box full!

    • For offers of further help when needed

    • For their research and production of carbon-fiber cellos, which will be a big winter time help in the very dry public schools in Chicago.

  • Lashof Violins https://www.lashofviolins.com/

    • For repair advice and donations. 

    • For the donation of his 300-page book Violin Making and Repair for the Novice.  It is also an extensive reference book on bow issues and is in use all the time.  

  • L. R. Baggs Company https://www.lrbaggs.com/

    • for advice and a discount on the electronic amplification of a viola

    • Amplification provides a gateway to explore the blues and improv world.  This is a still a research project at StringWizards, but Lloyd and his team and Sam Walder’s Trala will likely play a part in experimental solutions to improve retention of otherwise departing graduates.















  • Safco Office Furnishings  http://www.safcoproducts.com/

    • For pro bono advice and parts for our new drafting stools. 

    • We went from very uncushioned wooden stools to top of the line drafting table chairs on casters with arm rests.  All this without cost of us.  We are deeply grateful. 




  • Triangle Strings https://trianglestrings.com/< >For Internet advice on violin repair techniquesFor on-going personal assistance when askedFor a lovely website full of advice for StringWizard interns

  • William Harris Lee Violins https://www.whlee.com/

    • For their on-going interest in Chicago and in serving the needs of our service population with their presence at el Sistema events

    • For their recent instrument case donations to Music Inc. 

    • For their offer of help to me. 


  • Vann Bow Company https://michaelvann.com/

    • For donated bow hair and re-hairing toolsFor a big discount on their bow re-hair how-to videos,For on-going advice and supplies when needed

  • We.Org and the Allstate Insurance Foundation https://www.we.org/en-US/

    • For recognizing our work with a recent national recognition award

    • For tomorrow’s promise of melodies yet to play.

That is Suzanne and I circa 2015 with Trinity and Jacob.

Replacing old, worn out strings with new ones, makes an incredible difference. 

That is her grandfather's violin.

The fingerboard is being removed.

Look closely to see the knife.

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