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Jeannette's Stemple Music nears 35th anniversary

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Stemple Music on Harrison Avenue has been open more than 30 years.
Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit
Tim Stemple repairs, refurbishes and rents instruments in his Jeannette shop.

A favorite at the Hofbrauhaus located in Pittsburgh's Southside Works, Tim Stemple has been in the music business in Jeannette since 1974.

Born and raised in Jeannette, Stemple graduated from Jeannette High School.

While in high school, Stemple was a member of the band. He took note of how often the band had to send instruments out for repair, noticed that it took a long time to get them back and the fact that the cost of repair was very high.

He thought it sounded like a good business plan to be on the other side of that equation.

With that in mind, after graduation he enrolled in Western Iowa Tech School where he major in instrument repair. After attending school in Iowa, Stemple returned to Jeannette and started a repair business in his home.

In 1979, he opened Stemple Music Inc., at 1618 Harrison Ave.

“We take old (instruments) and make them look like new.”

According to its website, Stemple Music is, “…a world-class band instrument repair shop, including all of the latest tools, equipment and technology, we still rebuild, restore and refinish the old-fashioned way with meticulous attention to detail.”

Today, the business serves most of the high school bands in the area, in addition to schools in New Brighton, North Hills and Blairsville. Seton Hill and Indiana universities also have their band instruments repaired and refurbished at Stemple Music. Stemple does pick-up and delivery of instruments for the schools.

Along with repairs and refurbishing instruments, including brass and woodwind pieces, Stemple also runs a rent-to-own instrument program for school students. Prices begin at $35 for the first four months and then $20 per month. Saxophone rentals are a bit higher due to the complexity of the instrument.

Stemple Music also carries a full line of accessories, reeds and oils for instruments. Stemple believes he may be one of only a few music repair shops left in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area.

In addition to having his own business, Stemple is also a director in the Jeannette Community Band where his children, Erica Stemple Carlton and her husband, Matthew, and his son, Christopher, play as well. Both of Stemple's children have music degrees. Stemple is married to the former Diana Murphy, also a lifelong Jeannette resident.

In addition to their two children, the couple has one grandchild, Emily Carlton, and one on the way. Their son Christopher and his wife, the former Bree Albright, are expecting a baby in June.

Stemple also plays in two different bands at the Hofbrauhaus, the German restaurant and entertainment venue; Alpenglow and the Haus Band.

“My older brother Ronald does that with me,” Stemple said.

The Stemples play from two to four nights per week and this year is the fourth anniversary of the Hofbrauhaus.

“My location is very good,” said Stemple. “Route 130 is easy access to Penn Township, Trafford and Pittsburgh going west and Greensburg going the other way. I've been here forever and I'm planning to stay here until I retire. My hours will be a little bit different then. I'll work when I want.”

Hours of operation for Stemple Music are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment.

For more information, call 724-527-5235 or visit

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.