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Geoffrey J. Seitz,
Meet the Staff
Geoffrey J. Seitz has been making violins, violas and cellos for over 25 years. He apprenticed in 1976 with Gold Medal winning violin maker Glenn T. Stockton in Spokane, WA. Geoff's instruments are noted for their beautiful design and rich tone. He has been at his current location in St. Louis for over 15 years.
His instruments have been featured in Strings, an international string instrument publication.
He also has an extensive collection of fine stringed instruments that he has amassed over the years. His long experience in the violin business and his keen eye makes him a sought-after expert in stringed instrument identification.
Geoff was raised in Lemay, MO on a strawberry and tomato family farm. His father, Frank Seitz, is descended from German immigrants who arrived in St. Louis in the middle 1800's. His mother, Mary Casalone Seitz was born in Monfiletto, Italy, near Asti. Geoffrey's great grandmother was a member of Italian royalty, a countess.
Geoff studied violin playing with Helen de la Fuente, Alberto Casabona (a student of Sevcik), Darwyn Apple, and Claude Williams. Though Geoff has studied classical violin he has numerous awards playing old-time fiddle music. He has won two national fiddle championships, one at the 50th Anniversary of the National Fiddlers Convention in Galax, VA, the oldest and largest fiddle contest in the world. He also won 1st place at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WVA. Geoff has been a judge at many contest around the United States. He has played in numerous string bands and is currently a member of the Ill-Mo Boys.
He has produced music
CD's including his own The Good Old Days
Are Here. His CD includes original compositions as well
as traditional fiddling. One of the tracks Ways of the
World was used for the NBC Miniseries Movie A
Will of Their Own. NPR used a cut for a "button" on All
Things Considered. Some of his other projects are an instructional tape
(soon to be CD) Common Fiddle Tunes Played Fast and Slow,
and a CD by Dave Landreth, banjo player, called Chairs.
Geoff's musical projects are on his record label Oceana Productions.
Marc Rennard has been repairing string instruments for over 30 years. He came on board with Geoffrey J. Seitz, Violinmaker in 1995.
Marc acquired his first violin at the age of 18, over thirty years ago. Within six or seven years he became an Arizona State Fiddle Champion and toured from El Paso to Seattle in the band Summerdog Bluegrass Experience and Mariachi Swing Ensemble.
Eventually he returned to his hometown of St. Louis to work in the corporate world but never stopped gigging in a long succession of diverse local bands including Arizona Bob and the Desert Sturgeons, The Unidentified Fiddling Objects, The Geyer Street Sheiks, The Flying Mules, The Ill-Mo Boys and others. In 1991 he triple-fiddled with Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum on the Grand Old Opry. He starred as a fiddler in a TV commercial for Revlon's "Charlie" perfume.
Marc's initial interest in restoring and repairing violins began around 1974 and has continued ever since. He currently has a violin under construction.
Kate Ryan has been
with us for many years now and has taken on many various jobs around
the shop. As it turned out, she became involved in mainly
working on the larger instruments, cellos and basses, and has a keen
knack for detail and problem solving. She is also a
Valerie Seitz worked in the corporate world for 30 years, 24 years spent at Federal Mogul (originally Moog Automotive). She was a industrial engineer and an SAP R3 systems analyst before coming to work for Geoff, her husband of 15 years. Her duties are office management and computer wizardry. She moved from a "cube" existence to a corner office with a view. One of the perks of the job is being able to bring her dog "Cookie" to work with her every morning.
the shop dog greets the customers with a wagging
tail and smile on his face. His other duties include holding the rug
down in the office and collecting treats from the bank tellers at the
bank drive-up window. Cookie may possibly have his own FAQ's by
children on this website in the future.