Dereck is a Master luthier with 20 years of experience. He is excited to bring his passion and skillset to the greater Tampa Bay area by offering storefronts in both Tampa and Sarasota, something that has been long overdue in this area! Dereck began his journey at Indiana University's prestigious Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington in 1996. While there, he studied violin making with Program Director Tom Sparks, as well as classical guitar performance with Petar Jancovic. Dereck excelled in the program and began building customized instruments for both faculty and students at the university. He also served as a Teaching Assistant in the violin making program at IU, where he was able to mentor luthiers-in-training. Dereck later became an apprentice at Casa del Sol Violin Shop in Indianapolis for three years, which allowed him to fine tune his skills in stringed repairs and restorations under the supervision of Master luthier, Al Stancel. He also resided in England for nearly two years, where he ran his own workshop building stringed instruments including violin, viola, cello, and bass. Prior to opening Violin Shop Tampa, Dereck spent 6 years at Atlantic Strings Violin Shop in Melbourne
, where we worked as the Manager and primary luthier for shop owner, Allen Gatchell. Dereck has had the opportunity to work with many world class musicians over the years, and also enjoys mentoring high-school and college students. He continues to broaden his own expertise by attending trainings such as Oberlin's Violin Making Workshop in Oberlin, Ohio. Dereck is the primary luthier for Violin Shop Tampa & Sarasota and also completes all bow rehairs and repairs. Dereck prides himself on candid and personalized customer service, as well as his expertise on building, repairing, and restoring stringed instruments.