The Candidates (in alphabetical order)
DICK BOAK manages the Wood Products Division of the Martin Guitar Co., and owns the “Church of Art” in Nazareth, Pa. He coordinated “Symposium '85” and “Symposium '88.” In his spare time he enjoys casual guitarmaking, woodworking, illustration, and writing.
WILLIAM CUMPIANO has been active in virtually every facet of the guitarmaking profession—handbuilding, production work, repair, supply, publication, and teaching—for almost 20 years. He has written for Frets, Fine Woodworking, American Lutherie, Journal of Guitar Acoustics, and the String Instrument Craftsman, and is author of the book Guitar-making: Tradition and Technology.
KEN DONNELL has been building and repairing all manner of stringed instruments for 12 years, as well as designing and manufacturing various tools and accessories. He is a frequent contributor to Frets, Guitar Player, and the Stringed Instrument Craftsman.
WILLIAM “GRIT” LASKIN has been a full-time maker of classical, flamenco, and steel-string guitars for 18 years. In addition to promoting luthiers' festivals and exhibits throughout his native Canada, Grit writes for Guitar Canada Magazine, and is the author of a guide to Toronto luthiers called The World of Musical Instrumentmakers.
CHRIS PILE is a full-time professional luthier and has been building and repairing guitars in his shop, “Six String Fever,” for over ten years. His writing has appeared in American Lutherie and he is a regular contributor to the String Instrument Craftsman.
TIM POLING studied under Peter Prier at the Violinmaking School of America and currently works as a full-time violinmaker and repairman. In addition to writing a monthly column for Soundpost Magazine, he is a frequent lecturer at several universities on violin history and maintenance.
JAMES RICKARD is a consulting engineer to the music industry. He served as chief engineer at Ovation Instruments from 1966–1985 and is currently chief engineer for the J. D'Addario String Co. For several years he wrote a technical column for Frets Magazine, and is the holder of 13 patents in the musical instrument field.
DUANE WATERMAN has been building and repairing steel-string and classical guitars for the past 16 years, and holds a degree in business administration in the field of product management.
TIM WHITE has built guitars since 1974, and is now working as a technical consultant in New Hampshire. He founded and published the Journal of Guitar Acoustics from 1979-1983. Tim holds a patent for a playable 12-string inflatable guitar, and is currently developing robotic self-tuning mechanisms for guitars.