EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: DALE WHITEHEAD

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Dale Whitehead was brought on as our Acoustic Shop Manager in 2010, just before Nashville’s great flood left countless pianos soggy and damaged. You could say we put him to work rather quickly.

Since Dale joined the Seale Keyworks team, he has proven his talents time and time again. He is the man we trust to complete the majority of repairs in our acoustic workshop, including key installations, restringing, and even complete piano rebuilds.

Dale began working with pianos in the seventies. His first apprenticeship was in Virginia under an elder piano tuner that used to maintain Dale’s childhood piano. Dale then joined Richmond Piano Rebuilders, where he honed his craft for 10 years. He has since brought his talents to Seale Keyworks and has remained at the helm of our acoustic shop for 6 years.

We asked him a few questions for this week’s Employee Spotlight.

What made you decide that you wanted to work with pianos for the rest of your life?

“Well, a piano is a machine that makes music. I had learned most of what I know about from music from my mother, who was a musician. And I had learned most of what I know about mechanics from my father, who was a machinist and welder. So the piano was a natural fit for me.”

How did you end up working at Seale Keyworks?

“I had known Damon for a long time– since first coming to town. I approached Damon in 2010  about working for his company and he was happy to bring me on board. It worked out quite nicely.”

What do you enjoy about playing the piano?

“I enjoy working with pianos, but I actually play guitar much more than the piano. I find it more fun to play.”

What is your favorite place to play in the Nashville area?

“My house.” (laughs) “I actually live on a blackberry farm in Franklin, where I host an annual music festival called The Blackberry Jam. We’ve hosted big artists like Michael McDonald, Delbert McClinton, and even groups from Canada like Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.”

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If you want to know more about The Blackberry Jam Music Festival (and possibly attend the next one!), you can visit their website.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: LARRY MITCHELL

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Larry Mitchell is the Lead Piano Technician at Seale Keyworks. He has been an employee of the company for about 15 years, but interestingly enough, his foray into the piano world began much, much earlier.

He secured his first job at a music store when he was just 14 years old. Although he was drawn to the music store to look at guitars, the store primarily featured pianos, and Larry was offered a job dusting pianos, cleaning windows, sweeping and mopping floors.

Fast forward 10 years, and Larry began moving pianos part-time for Otey Chrisman Music in Selma, AL. Here, he had several mentors in piano technology, including Earnest Harris, Elmer Guy, and Carl Pogue. Larry soon began tuning pianos at Otey Chrismas Music and worked with E. E. Forbes Piano Company and Ellis Piano Company in Birmingham.

When Larry made it to Tennessee, he was affiliated with Shuff’s Music in Franklin before landing at Seale Keyworks. He was also a Piano Technician at Samford University and Middle Tennesee State University, as well as the Production Supervisor for William Knabe Piano Assembly at Samick Music Corporation.

Next time Larry comes out to tune your piano, don’t be afraid to ask him a little about his experience in the piano industry. Clearly, there is a lot of wisdom behind his steady hands and knack for the keys.

 

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Holiday Early Bird Special: $99 Basic Piano Tunings!

The holidays are around the corner…

Be prepared for all of your upcoming family-and-friend-filled events!

Call now to book your tuning between the dates of November 30th and December 11th, and we’ll give you a discounted rate of $99*.

SKI Holiday Tuning Special

*Offer includes up to 30 round trip miles from Seale Keyworks. This special is only valid for pianos that have been tuned within the last 3 years.

Celebrate with us!

We are celebrating our 30th Anniversary of providing outstanding piano, organ, and keyboard services to the Greater Nashville area, and we want you to join us!

 

We are throwing a free, open-to-the-public event on Sunday, October 4th including free food, drinks, and giveaways. There will be a photo booth, karaoke station, and crafts for your entertainment, as well as a *special performance* at the end of the evening by Yamaha artist Jason Webb.

 

This event is open to all ages; bring your family and friends!

 

Event details:

Location:

Seale Keyworks

1121 Harpeth Industrial Ct

Franklin, TN 37064

 

Time: 4pm

 

Cost: Free

 

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1498903510430374/