Jessica Thaemert
Jessica Thaemert

Office Manager

Jessica Thaemert started with Volunteer Piano in July 2021. She received an Undergraduate Degree in Organizational Communication from Murray State University in 2008 and a Master’s Degree in Sports & Leisure Commerce from the University of Memphis in 2010. Jessica moved with her husband in January of 2013 to manage a music retail location in Knoxville, TN. From that job, she has developed skills in marketing, finance, accounting, bookkeeping, ordering, scheduling, and payroll that she is able to utilize with Volunteer Piano. Jessica enjoys exploring East TN and the surrounding areas with her husband, Wyatt, and daughter, Lennon.

Matt Belk
Matt Belk

Tuner/Technician, Piano Lifesaver/Dampp Chaser Certified Installer

Matt is a Knoxville native who began his new life with the Volunteer Piano family in 2014 studying as Josh Gaither’s apprentice. Before following his true passion of pianos, Matt had a 12-year career as a television technical director; notably at WVLT-TV in Knoxville. Matt never hesitates to pursue opportunities to grow both himself and his knowledge of music and the piano world.

Post-apprenticeship, Matt kept working in the field and shop as a professional tuner and technician. Late in 2016, he added Dampp-Chaser installation and service to his list of talents, then in November 2019 attended his first seminar at the Steinway & Sons factory in Astoria, New York City.

Matt’s patience and attitude towards learning are a good fit for a piano tuner, and he cares deeply for both the pianos he services and the people he meets. To help Volunteer Piano better serve you, Matt has earned certificates of completion in the following, and looks forward to adding more in the future:

  • Steinway & Sons Regulation and Touch Seminar
  • Dampp-Chaser Co. Piano Life Saver System Certified Installer
Ryan Stennes
Ryan Stennes

Tuner/Technician, Piano Lifesaver/Dampp Chaser Certified Installer

Ryan Stennes has been working for Volunteer Piano Since 2020. Previously, he operated his own piano technician business out of Chicago, IL. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition from UTK and a Master’s Degree in Architectural Acoustics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Ryan also holds a certificate for having completed the Piano Tuning and Repair course at the Piano Technician Academy.

Ryan has gained the proper knowledge necessary for piano tuning and repair through training at the Piano Technician Academy as well as mentorships by skilled technicians in Illinois and Tennessee. Ryan also previously served as the technician for American Music World in Elmhurst, IL where he repaired and tuned the pianos in-store.

Wyatt Thaemert
Wyatt Thaemert

Tuner/Technician, QRS Player Piano Certified Installer

Wyatt Thaemert moved to Knoxville in 2012 with his wife to manage a music retail store, specializing in pianos and fretted instruments. Through the 12 years of experience in musical instrument sales and repairs, Wyatt developed an extensive knowledge of technical and physical attributes of pianos that aid him in assessing an instrument’s needs to perform at the highest levels. He is also an experienced luthier, with more than 15+ years of experience in building and repairing fretted instruments. When he is not working on musical instruments, Wyatt enjoys disc golf, spending time with his 4-year-old daughter, and playing guitar.

Josh Gaither
Josh Gaither

Owner/Tuner/Technician, Piano Lifesaver/Dampp Chaser Certified Installer

Josh Gaither established Volunteer Piano in 2008 in Knoxville, TN. He has been a Knoxville resident for the past 30+ years and is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served as a Forward Observer. He attended Pellissippi Technical Community College, and later the University of Tennessee, where he studied jazz piano performance, music theory and composition, and ethnomusicology.

He has completed apprenticeships under and was mentored by the most respected piano technicians in the Knoxville area, where he gained extensive and valuable knowledge of all elements of piano tuning, service, and restoration. The expertise, dedication to perfection, and general knowledge of these technical masters of piano molded Josh into the piano tuner and technician that he is today.

Josh is a Steinway Approved Technician (SAT) and the go-to Steinway technician for East Tennessee. He has traveled to the Steinway factory in Astoria, Queens, NY to complete training courses in the following:

1. Steinway and Sons Voicing and Tone Production Seminar

2. Steinway and Sons Damper Installation Seminar

3. Steinway and Sons Regulation and Touch Seminar

4. Steinway and Sons Spirio Technical Training Seminar