Staff

Jeffrey R. Judd

Violin maker and owner of J.R. Judd Violins, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Jeff began his interest in violin making and restoration as a teenager. He was trained in the European tradition of violin making, working as an apprentice with luthier Richard Menzel in Livingston, New Jersey.

Mr. Judd began playing the violin when he was five years of age and studied with violinists Iona Seigel, Mora Giannini, Fred Schmidt, Dr. John Maltese, and Francis Pittock. He also studied string bass with Henry Neubert. Mr. Judd has a B.M. in Music Education with an emphasis in voice and violin from Grove City College and an M.M. in Music Education with an emphasis in double bass from Ithaca College. Mr. Judd taught at the college level for three years and developed young string players for thirteen years in the Williamsport Area School District.

Jeff and his wife Ann reside in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Their older daughter Julie teaches Biology in Malawi, Africa and their younger daughter Jennie is a graduate student.

Jason Bamford

Jason is a 2015 graduate of Grove City College, where he earned a Bachelors in Music Education. Jason has played the violin for 13 years, including studying under Maureen Conlon at Grove City. In addition, Jason has been active in Boy Scouts since first grade, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He has been a scout camp counselor 5 years at Camp T. Brady Saunders. He had always been interested about the inner workings of string instruments, and when he heard about the job with the shop he thought it would be a wonderful opportunity. You can usually find Jason working on rental instruments in the shop, or out on the road making deliveries to schools. Jason and his wife Sarah married this summer and live in Williamsport.

Valerie Knower

Valerie is a 1982 graduate of Westbrook College (Portland, ME) with a degree in Dental Hygiene and a 1985 graduate of the University of Southern ME with a degree in Education. She has worked as a dental hygienist in private practice and taught dental hygiene on a college level. Her 30 years in dentistry have polished her interpersonal skills.

She started piano lessons at age seven and continues to play as an adult. She also played clarinet in her high school band and in her early adult years started playing the flute. She enjoys singing in church choirs and performing pieces for special music.

Aside from her love of music, she loves serving at her church, baking, gardening and reading. Valerie and her husband, Mr. Lynn Knower, reside in Williamsport. Lynn is a librarian at a local book distributor. Their daughter Rachel lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA and their son Phillip currently is attending Cairn University in Langhorne, PA.

Valerie greets you as you enter the shop, answers the phone and assists with all administrative duties.

John K. Lantz

After attending Millersville University where he studied string bass with Dominick Fiore, John K. Lantz apprenticed for three years at The Chimney’s School of Violin Making in Boiling Springs, PA. He created Lantz Violins, Inc in 1997 in Bethlehem, PA. John grew up in Williamsport and started playing the bass in 5th grade.

John worked for AT&T Wireless Services in retail management and staffing for 18 years but always continued building and restoring violins. His recent move to Lewisburg gave him the opportunity to concentrate on his passion and skill. After leaving AT&T John joined J.R. Judd Violins in November 2012 to work on cellos and basses.

He and his wife are renovating an 1875 farm house in East Buffalo township. Both boys play the violin and are active in the Lewisburg Strings program. Probably the most impressive engagement he plays is the Lantz Family Strings where he plays violin, cello, or bass with his two sons, his dad, his three siblings, his niece and two nephews.

Steve Loveland

Steve spends most of his time working on the shop website and is Adjunct Office Staff. Steve is known around the shop for his extensive knowledge of trivia and is also our unofficial Ambassador of Smiles.

 
 
 

John Panaccio

In 1993, John graduated from Temple University with a degree in jazz guitar performance. Shortly thereafter he took the next logical step and began apprenticing with violin maker Robert Brode. John found that shifting focus from music studies to apprenticeship was a welcome change and good fit.

A second fortunate opportunity arrived a few years later in the form of an apprenticeship at Wamsley Restorations in Haddonfield, NJ. The time spent learning from the staff and seeing fine instruments was priceless. There he gained many of the skills used in routine and more sophisticated restoration work.

John deeply enjoys and is humbled by the daily challenge of violin restoration and the continued learning and improvement which accompany this occupation. However, his greatest love and blessing is being with his wife and three children.

Rick Riggall

Rick Riggall works at J R Judd one day a week, where his focus is the repair, rehair, and restoration of bows. Rick’s interest in the craft of working on bows was sparked by visits to William Monical’s shop in 1974, which eventually led to his employment with bow maker William Salchow in New York in 1976. In 1980 he moved to the firm of William Moennig and Son in Philadelphia, where he became head of the bow department. In addition to his employment, Rick has participated in bow making workshops at Oberlin and exhibited his bows at early music festivals. In 2008 he left Moennigs to open his own shop. He is known primarily as a maker of historical bows, but also has established a reputation for fine rehairs and restoration of fine bows. Riggall bows are in a number of Early Music groups and university/conservatory collections. He is a member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers.
Rick is married to Linda, his wife of forty years. They have three sons, all of whom are married, and ten lovely grandchildren. What little time is left after family, service in his church, and work responsibilities, is given to the occasional pleasures of hiking, travel, and art museums.

Lindsay C. Shipman

Lindsay Shipman is a graduate of Bucknell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics. Lindsay manages the Rental Program and assists with all things administrative in our office. You might see her at the front desk, talk to her on the phone or hear from her via email.
Lindsay also enjoys tutoring math students, reading, baking, and being outdoors. She lives in Cogan Station with her husband Jared.

 
 
 

Ayrian Yasar

Ayrian is the Office Assistant for the violin shop and as such helps keep the shop organized. She started studying violin at the age of 5½ with the Suzuki method and has been playing the violin for 20+ years. She enjoys not only solo classical violin repertoire, but also Celtic and Bluegrass music. An accredited Suzuki teacher, she taught classical music for 8 1/2 years in the Seattle WA area in her private studio. She also volunteered in the Wintergrass Folk Music Festival for several years where she eventually became the director and developer of Pintgrass, a bluegrass music program for 4-6 year olds. Some of her fondest memories involve playing folk music with her two younger brothers and teaching folk dancing at social events. A graduate of Thomas Edison State College, she earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration in 2012 and her Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Westminster Seminary California in 2016. Ayrian enjoys all things music and has enjoyed working around the beautiful instruments at J.R. Judd Violins since her move to Pennsylvania early in 2017