Baldwin 6000 Studio
(click picture for link)
Wayne Robbins, promoted to our principal technician Jan. 1st 2009, first worked for Cumberland Pianoworks as a high school student in the early '90's. Wayne was a quick learner and excelled at the detail work on repairs and rebuilding piano actions in the shop. Returning to Tennessee from Texas, Wayne began his student role with us in January 2005. For a season Wayne studied with Eliot in the field three days a week, learning tuning, diagnostics and on-site repairs and regulation. He also has quickly recovered his piano action refurbishing skills and is currently taking on most of these shop jobs. Wayne has proven to be a conscientious technician and is devoted to excellence in his work. Wayne is a professional trumpet player. He earned a Bachelors degree from Tennessee Tech in Music Education, and earned both a Masters and a Doctorate in Trumpet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Playing the trumpet is Wayne's professional passion but he finds that his piano tuning and service work fit well with his performance responsibilities. With Eliot's retirement in the Fall of 2012, Wayne takes over all the tuning and service work for Cumberland Pianoworks. He is seen above tuning a 7' Steinway grand (left) and a 9' Steinway grand (right) on stage at the Cumberland County Playhouse for two different concerts.
To schedule piano tuning or service email: Cumberland.Pianoworks@gmail.com
Emily Roberts, an owner, was our senior staff person. She began her piano career in Texas in 1969, working in the shop of a major dealer. Emily has retired from piano work after 38 years of providing piano moving, action service, expert soundboard and bridge repairs and refinishing and the finest old-style piano case refinishing, touch up and cleaning. She is focusing now on raising the finest old-style German Shepherd dogs. Her work now can be viewed on-line at
and on Facebook : www.facebook.com/RosehallLargeGermanShepherds
Eliot Roberts, (picture taken in an informal moment)
the other owner, began his piano career in 1979 as an apprentice in a piano shop in which Emily was a partner. Completing a 2½ year apprenticeship, he continued working part time with that shop until 1983 when Cumberland Pianoworks was formed (originally known as Cumberland Keyboards.) Eliot's interest in pianos started as a child, taking seven years of piano lessons but showing very little talent. (He likes to tell people that he wore out three piano teachers, the last of whom told him to 'go home, you're wasting my time and your mother's money.') Years later, not to be beaten by the instrument, Eliot purchased a Kimball 'Artist Console' off the back of a truck. He was determined to learn how to play but was not expecting the difficulty in finding a piano tuner who would show up when they said they would. When a tuner was found that really showed up, he turned out to be a customer that Eliot had worked with. One thing led to another and Eliot was visiting the tuner's farm and piano shop and he fell in love with the mechanical side of the piano. Those visits became an almost nightly routine as he entered into an apprenticeship relationship to learn the trade. Eliot never has learned to play well, but in 35 years of working on pianos, he has become an accomplished tuner/technician and re-builder. He often tells people that he is like the pit mechanic at the race track: He'd be dangerous driving the car around in circles, but he is certainly responsible for making it go fast!
Fall 2012 brought another transition in Eliot's life and the work of Cumberland Pianoworks. 33 years of piano tuning has taken a physical toll on his shoulders, especially the left which has supported the tuning lever up for many thousands of tuning pins. The act of tuning now has become severely painful and even through a season of curtailed work has proven to be a disability. Eliot is now retired from tuning and will continue to support Wayne by diagnostic consulting and assisting in various repairs from time to time. In his early retirement Eliot's life has 'gone to the dogs' and he now works with Emily's German Shepherds full time.