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