Shawn's Piano - West Hartford, CT - 860-953-8885

The Staff at Shawn's Piano

Shawn's Piano is staffed with people who know and love pianos and music. There are no "professional sales people," just information and quality craftsmanship backed by knowledge. Read below about the backgrounds of our key people who help to keep Shawn's on the cutting edge.

Shawn's Fast Facts

Master craftsmen

Industry expertise

Musical focus

No "professional sales people"

  • Shawn Hoar - Owner
  • Shawn Plays His Accordian
  • Shawn - Supporter of the Arts
  • Shaw at Work

SHAWN HOAR is the owner of Shawn's Piano and the team orchestrator for every piano that comes through his doors. His diverse background allows him to understand the complete needs of each and every customer — from soundboard restoration and bridge work to stringing and toning. Shawn has been in the piano business since 1975. He is one of the top master craftsmen in the country and is internationally renowned for his development of new technology in piano repair and restoration. As an apprentice to Ed DePillo of Goss Piano in the 1970s, Shawn learned the rudiments of piano restoration. Not satisfied with the depth of his knowledge, he was determined to master the entire instrument beginning with soundboard making and replacement. So, in 1983, he went to study with master craftsman, Wally Brooks. After creating the equipment to build and install replacement soundboards, Shawn plied his new trade for the first time in 1986 to a Chickering with great success. From there, Shawn continued to hone his craft, seeking the highest level of Steinway restoration. He continued to create new tools and technologies unique to his business and by the mid 1990s, was in demand at national conventions of the Piano Technicians Guild as a teacher who could share new ideas and innovations. Shawn continues to reinvest his time and energy to improve his products and services so that he can find the perfect sound for each and every customer.

Chris Pilon

CHRIS PILON, RPT, our Action Specialist and Regulator, has worked with pianos since 1983 and has been with Shawn's since 1986. He studied at the University of Arizona, the University of Connecticut and the University of Nebraska and holds both a BFA and MFA in Applied Music. At Shawn's, Chris rebuilds the front and back actions to perform at their optimum level. Anything in the actions that have felt or leather is Chris's specialty.

Norm Banta

NORMAN BANTA, our Showroom Tuner, keeps all of our over 100 showroom instruments in tune. Norman started tuning in 1968 at the Oakhill School for the Blind in Hartford, where he also learned about woodworking and chair caining. In the early 1970s, he began tuning at local showrooms. After high school, Norman pursued concentrated piano tuning studies at The Piano Clinic and Training Center and in 1975, he became a member of the Piano Technicians Guild. Today Norman has a wide variety of experience tuning many different types of pianos and has had the honor of tuning for Ray Charles, Kenny G., Lucy Arnaz and others. Norman is very proud and thankful to be a part of the team at Shawn's Piano.

John O'Connor

John O'Connor is our Field Technician. He works closely with customers on location to be sure that their instruments stay up to the high quality standards set by Shawn. John handles tuning, repairs, climate control installations and general service. He began his musical career at Pakachoag Music School in Auburn, Massachusetts at the age of eleven, and during high school John studied piano performance, tuning and technology under Royden Wilkinson, a senior piano technician with over 50 years experience. After his training, John worked in the action department for Mason & Hamlin in multiple stations of piano construction. He recently worked as a tuner and technician in the NYC metropolitan area. John is now settled down in central Connecticut as a piano teacher and a technician for Shawn's Piano.