Meet The Technicians

Meet the Repair Technicians


David Zimet

As one of the owners of Hickey's Music Center, David Zimet brings his experience as a musician and a repair technician from his own Zimet Musical Services. David says, "As a player, I can see the changes that a good technician can make in equipment—in the way the horn plays and in the confidence it gives the players." David has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Hamilton College and holds a Masters in performance, bassoon, from Ithaca College. He also spent time working with Hans Moenig in Philadelphia. He has taught instrument repair at Ithaca college as well as presented clinics and workshops around the country. He is a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and has been repairing and managing shops for the last 40 years in "Woodstock, New York, El Paso, Texas and Ithaca, New York.


Gary McCheyne

After finishing his Master's degree in music and playing professionally in the New York City Metropolitan area, Gary settled in behind his bench at Hickey's in 1990. With a degree in Fine Arts and a passion for making musical instruments, repair of string instruments and brasswinds came naturally. Gary is a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and a member of the American Guild of Luthiers. He routinely attends seminars and workshops on advanced repairs techniques. His clientel come from all over the United States and includes an impressive list of major performers. Whether it's an antique restoration of a trombone from Hawaii, a violin from Denver, or a ¼ cello for a local 4th grader, Gary says he treats them all seriously. "My job is to help the artist be their best. That means keeping their instrument in its best playing condition." Recently, jazz legend Donald Byrd brought all of his trumpets up from New York City just to have Gary "make them right!"


Steve Jones

Steve's craftsmanship as a woodwind repair technician has earned him a portfolio of clients, from local artists, students and faculty at Ithaca College and Cornell University to performers in the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Binghamton Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Lyric Opera. He is a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and the International Double Reed Society. Always looking for opportunities to refine his skills, Steve has attended training seminars in flute overhaul and padding and has made a silver head joint with Jonathan Landell. Steve holds a Bachelor of Music in music education from the Crane School of Music, State University at Potsdam, and a Master of Music in Woodwind Performance with a concentration in oboe from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Paula Arzac

Paula Arzac believes that there is nothing quite as rewarding as helping a musical instrument get its voice back. When it comes to band instruments (from piccolos to tubas) Paula has fixed it all. Her repair training began in Elkhorn, Wisconsin at Badger State Repair School, where she was trained through extensive instrument overhauls. Since her move to Ithaca in 2013, she has worked at Cayuga Music Shop, where she has learned more delicate and advanced repairs under the tutelage of Steve Jones and Gary McCheyne. The repair profession always lends itself to innovative solutions to tricky problems and Paula loves to document her process on Instagram @pmarzac. Although Paula is a saxophonist at heart (B. Music Performance from McGill University), she loves to play a variety of instruments and performs in several bands. Paula lives in Ithaca with her husband David Baird and their cat, Finn.


Geo Kloppel

From an embryonic interest in general luthery, Geo Kloppel made a detour in 1977 to answer a call for specialists in the maintenance and repair of bows. He has filled this role ever since, earning a reputation that extends well beyond his native Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. Through the intervening decades Geo has worked in association with violin makers, dealers and repairshops in Ithaca and around the northeast, acquiring extensive experience with all kinds of bows and a repertoire of skills equal to the most demanding restorations. The insights gained during a quarter century of exclusive attention to this vocation inform his annual production of a small number of handmade bows for violin, viola and violoncello.