Greg Shaffer - the other Mighty Tech!

Greg was born in 1955 in Mediapolis, Iowa in a log cabin he helped his father build.  Mediapolis is home to 1,650 people, a large assortment of dogs and cats, and the 1967 & 1973 State Girls Basketball Champs.

He was raised on the farm where his Mother was born, and where she and his father raised Corn and Soybeans, in addition to Greg & his younger sister.

Greg started piano lessons at age 7 and continued for 7 years, quitting only after old Mrs. Pinknessel, his piano teacher, was invited to be a permanent resident at the local Home for the Totally Disinterested.   He continues to pretend to play today.

Greg claims to have graduated (though no one has come forward to corroborate this) from Mediapolis High School, where his mother, father and (much later) his 2 daughters also graduated.  It’s a really old building.

After watching his father work in a factory for 20 years in order to support his apparently incurable farming habit, Greg decided that making .05 cents an hour farming was probably not enough to pay for the lavish lifestyle he had envisioned for himself.  He therefore decided to pursue a career that combined his love of music and mechanical things.  Unfortunately, NASA had decided not to pursue his idea of an Astro-pianist, so he was forced to follow his back-up plan.... studying Piano Technology.  Lucky for him the best school in the country was in Iowa, since the tractor he was driving only went 20 miles per hour.

Since graduating from Western Iowa Tech Community College’s Piano Technology program, Greg has worked as a professional Piano Technician (over 35 years now). Here are some highlights from those years:

  • Opened Shaffer’s Tuning & Repair in 1975
  • Expanded to selling new pianos in 1981.  Changed company name to Shaffer’s Music
  • Was Contracted as the Baldwin Concert Technician in Omaha in 1977
  • Tuned for Elvis Presley concert in Omaha 3 weeks before his death (Elvis’, not Greg’s)
  • Greg was a Faculty member at Western Illinois University for 10 years, caring for over 100 pianos.

During that time he performed well over 1000 concert tunings. Some of the artists and groups that Greg has worked with include Henry Mancini, Vicki Carr, Eddie Money, Alabama, Roy Clark, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, The Statler Brothers, Hank Williams, Charlie Pride, Mel Tillis, Lee Greenwood, Eddie Rabbit, Ray Stevens, BJ Thomas, Collin Raye Mickey Gilley and scores of others.

Greg operated his own piano store and rebuilding shop for over 20 years in Iowa, where he sold new & used pianos and rebuilt dozens of fine quality pianos.  Some of the brands he sold included Baldwin, Charles R Walter, Schimmel, Rippen, Young Chang and others.  In the rebuilding shop, Greg meticulously restored pianos by Steinway, Baldwin, Chickering, Mason & Hamlin, Knabe, AB Chase, Gulbransen, Kimball, and many more. 

One of his most gratifying jobs was the complete restoration of a 1970’s Steinway Model D Concert Grand.  The instrument had never performed up to the expectations of the concert hall that owned it.  Greg was contracted to make the piano into a world-class concert instrument.  What followed was an 8-month restoration, which included a new Soundboard, new Pin Block, New Strings and Tuning Pins, a completely new action (Hammers, Hammer Shanks, Flanges, Repetition Assemblies & Key Bushings), re-setting the touch-weight, new Dampers and Underlevers, and a Lyre rebuild.  The result was a resounding success.  After the dedication concert by a renowned concert pianist, the artist announced that it was one of the finest instruments he had ever had the pleasure to play.

Greg, his wife Sandy, and their two daughters moved to the Denver area in 2005.  He brings with him the knowledge and experience of over 35 years of piano service, sales, repair and restoration.  He now looks forward to caring for your piano with the same attention to detail that has been the hallmark of his career.

Holly

 

 

Phone: 303.761.6858 E-mail: holly@americanclassicpiano.com