Acknowledgements
I have had the good fortune to meet, work with, be inspired by, and befriend many extremely tallented and supportive people throughout my life so far.  Individuals that supported me through all my different interests and hobbies, perhaps took an insterest in what I was doing for some reason or another, offered their knowledge and guidance to me even though it was of no immediate benefit to them to do so, or even completely unknowingly or unintentionally helped shape my philosophies and interests.  I felt it only right to acknowledge some of these people here, as I almost certainly would not be doing what I do today without them having offered me at least some small part of themselves.   
 
- To my parents Bob and Cheryl, and my family, who have always supported my work and helped enable me to do it, no matter how strange it must certainly have seemed to them at times.  For showing me what love and acceptance looked like, and helping develop my character and patience. 

- To my loving and brilliant wife Cyndi, who has demonstrated so much faith in me, and remained by my side through triumphs and failues alike.

- To the Shumanov, Kostov, and Chavdarov families, for taking a chance on me and helping me turn my passion for music and musical instruments into a career.  For their guidance, confidence, and education, and encouraging me to explore new methods and concepts in my work.  For opening their shop to me, and not only trusting me to work on their instruments, but encouraging me to work on my own as well.

- To the Music and Music History facualty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, especially Professors Kuhn, Brauner, Burmeister, Noonan, Monhardt, and Rodger; all of you challenged me to look at music (and by extension, the world) in a deeper and more thoughtful way, not to succumb to binaries, how to navigate outside my comfort zone of understanding, and how find exquisite joy and intrigue in and around five horizontal lines, the dots that populate them, the people that penned them, and the stories wrapped around them.

- To the Ruth de Young Kohler Foundation, for their generous patronage of my work and interests, and their belief that I was someone worth investing in and capable of great things.

- To all the patient public school teachers, both within music and without, who imparted their knowledge and care to me while I went through the Sheboygan Public School system.  Your dedication to your work and extra time spent outside and beyond the classroom truly has and does make a difference not only to me, but the thousands of students who have sat in your classrooms.  If only we realized it more when we were sitting there.

- To Mrs. Buhr and Ms. Sindelar, who kindled my love of theatre and muiscals, and gave me exceptional and warm direction both on and off the stage.

- To Mr. Koczan, Mr. Block, Mrs. Mondohana, Mrs. Muellenbach, and the other orchestra teachers who imparted their love of the viola and violin, and taught me to love music.  You are, to me, the virtuosos and masters of the craft.

- To Mr. Warner, who unknowingly changed my entire musical trajectory in 2002 when he had the audacity to teach a squirmy bunch of his music students a few Irish jigs WITHOUT any written music.

- To Mrs. Muellenbach and Dr. Jacobs, who gave me so much freedom (maybe too much sometimes!) to pursue my interests and passions in music, and didn't care that they weren't part of the curriculum.


- To Mr. Wesley, who absolutely gave me too much freedom to build his sets and props, act in his musicals and plays, get involved in Forensics, and use his auditorium and resources to do things I still cannot discuss in polite conversation.  For believing in a weird kid with weird hair, sharing a lot of tough love, and sharing more than a few Mountain Dews and trips to the Chinese buffet.

- To Mrs. Van Hammond and Mr. Kroll, for all of their hard work, early mornings, and late nights helping to turn me into an at least semi-credibly Forensicator, and a fearless speaker.

- To Tommy, for his friendship, experience, laughter, long conversations, excellent ideas, practical jokes, and passion for the luthier's craft, which has permiated into my own work and shaped my views on the work we do and the kind of people we should be.

- To Mark, for his guidance in the world of violin repair and restoration, for helping to show me the ropes in a new situation, for inspiring my own work and craftsmanship with his own fine work and solutions, for being a great friend, and sharing many fine fermented beverages.

- To Dana, for her (usually!) good-natured joking and assorted hijinks, and for the inspiration her tallent in playing and teaching violin has given me.

- To my many friends, close and casual, whom I have met and had to fortune of getting to know over the years in high school, college, and beyond, and will take too long to list here.  You have all influenced me in profound ways and been part of my life in different capacities, but even if we haven't spoken in years or only occasionally connect, your camaraderie has helped to give me the will to keep pressing on and remind me that even when things seem dark, there is still so much goodness in the world. 

- To my Brothers at Libertyville Masonic Lodge and in northern Illinois, for your acceptance, guidance, education, friendship, and demonstration of the true Masonic values in your everyday life and transactions with all mankind around you.

- To the unnamed craftsman: the European luthiers who plyed their craft in the factories, providing their part to the instruments which were mass produced by many hands (and the luthiers world-wide still continuing this model); the woodworkers who fashion beautiful furniture, furnishings, and appointments under workshop names and major brand names; anyone who uses their hands to make something that, even if it seems insignificant, enriches the lives of others and helps add to the human experience.  It is noble to be a craftsman, and craftsmen build the world around us every day, unnamed, unacknowledged.
 
- To my Grandpa, Del Hamann (1923 - 2016).  Grandpa was many things, including a Navy veteran, big band aficionado, clarinetist and saxophonist, model railroader, and a truly wonderful man.  I will always fondly remember weekends at Grandma and Grandpa's as a kid, the huge basement model train layout and keen eye for modeling details, A&W soda, conversations about music and his experiences, and the constant encouragement and interest in my own artistic endeavors.
- To my mentor, Mark Cooley (1956 - 2014).  I became one of Mark's private viola students as an 8th grader.  Mark was a very gifted multi-instrumentalist, and virtuosic on violin, viola, and guitar.  He shared my interest in Irish music, and we immediately bonded over it.  He was also the primary luthier in Sheboygan at the time, and through a round about conversation one lesson, he asked if I would like to build an instrument.  We worked together through out my high school years, and kept in touch while I was away at college.  Mark was very passionate about everything he did, and never did anything half way.  He is responsible for kindling my love of music history, fine tools, musical instruments, luthierie, Mr. Bean, P.D.Q. Bach, and my general love for old and oft neglected things. 

Mark suffered from terrible chronic back pain, exacerbated by a surgery gone awry.  I was very privilaged to be in close contact with him all the way to the end, help him with his own instruments, and witness his final recital.  He confided in me like a family member and trusted me with a lot of information, something I never took lightly, and had never before been prithy to on such a level from anyone that was not immediate family. 

Although he never recieved the acclaim and wider spread acknowledgement that his tallents deserved, I earnestly try to carry on his spirit as a living legacy, and emulate his zeal for teaching, woodworking, and music, doing what I can to help pass it on to others with interest.