the Galloup Team

The quality of an education is tied directly to the quality of the instructors. The staff at the Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair were personally trained by Bryan at the school and hand-selected by Bryan for the skills they brought to the shop and the classroom. You will not find more qualified staff than the Galloup team and they are committed to helping you achieve your goals.

Bryan Galloup; Bryan is an industry leader in the preservation of vintage and contemporary fretted musical instruments. Galloup Guitars is a full-service guitar facility producing Bryan’s line of fine stringed instruments and is also home to the prestigious Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair.

Bryan is recognized as an expert in guitar tone development. In 2003, he developed his Computer Assisted Voicing™ approach. This opened the door for his Instrument Making System™, Wood Management™, and Sound Profiling™ software, which is changing the way the industry views guitar acoustics and design.

Bryan’s job as the Galloup Schools director is to keep the facilities in proper working order and personally develop new class outlines that keep the programs current and relevant. One of Bryan’s talents is his ability to see the gaps in the guitar making world and then invent procedures that will in time make it into the Galloup School curriculum. This equates to inventing the future of Lutherie, therefore Bryan’s students will always have an edge no other School of Lutherie can offer.

Jean Howarth; Jean is the office manager and all-around go-to person that keeps Galloup Guitars and the Galloup School on track. When Susan Galloup passed in 2013, Jean stepped in and guided the Galloup team through some very tough times. Along with handling all business, Jean is instrumental with helping students work through the enrollment and financial process.

With a degree in Business Administration and over 30 years experience as a business owner herself, Jean has taken on the roll of teaching the Galloup School’s Business Classes in order to help students make the transition to a career in Lutherie. This is a three-level lecture series (one for each term) that engages students, lays out their options and puts them in control of setting the course of their future.

Sam Guidry: Sam has been working with Bryan for 17 years. After completing his Journeyman Program, Sam completed a one-year apprenticeship with Bryan. He then joined the Galloup Guitars team where he helped expand the shop’s operations. Sam has worked in every department; from repairs and restorations, to instrument making and sound development.

Sam has become one of the worlds finest acoustic steel string and nylon string guitar makers, and is an expert in fretted musical instrument voicing. Sam’s masterful insight into making guitars sound better makes him very popular with the students.

Zack Balwinski: Zack has been with Galloup Guitars for 10 years. After completing a two-year apprenticeship Zack taught the archtop guitar portion of the Master Program. During his time as instructor, he took the student archtop guitar to a whole new level. Zack is an outstanding luthier with a unique style, which is very evident in the Balwinski Archtop guitar. So much so that one of Zack’s archtop guitars was purchased by George Gruhn. Now that’s a nice feather to have in your cap!

Currently Zack is working with Dan Erlewine and Bryan Galloup on the Albert King Flying V and Jerry Garcia Stratocaster projects. These are exact replicas of the guitars Dan made for Albert and Jerry in the early seventies. He also handles several of the Enrichment Class training sessions and is a driving force with Galloup Studio’s projects.

Matthew Zalewski: Matt finished his Master Program training with the Galloup School in 2012, then completed his apprenticeship two years later. He moved into the lead instructor’s position for the Technician Class and currently still holds that position. At the end on every session, Matt gets the highest student comments in the final instructor evaluation reports. This is due to Matt’s ability to keep the students on track while covering the required information and still making it an enjoyable experience.

Matt’s prime focus at Galloup Guitars is to keep all operations of the two-month Technician class in proper working order. He continues to work with Bryan to develop class outlines that keep the class current and relevant.

Tyler Robbins: Tyler is a Journeyman Program graduate who was immediately selected by Sam for a two-year apprenticeship. Tyler apprenticed with Bryan, and during this time proved to be a uniquely insightful craftsman. He has an eye for design and the hand skills to back it up. Robbins Acoustics are some of the most in-demand instruments offered today.

Currently, Tyler works with Bryan to make the Galloup personal line of guitars, while also making his own line of Robbins Acoustics. Tyler was instrumental in the development of the Galloup Studios and has contributed hugely to the conceptual design of the studio’s projects.

Ben Padgett: Ben (Skeddy) stepped in as the Master Class Archtop instructor after he completed his own Master Program training and a two-year apprenticeship. Along with being an outstanding craftsman, Ben is incredibly patient, making him an outstanding instructor. It’s not an easy task guiding students through the making of a carved top instrument, but Ben pulls it off every time.

Ben is currently working with Bryan to develop a Vintage Replica Class, in which the focus will be making era-correct replicas of dreadnought and OM class instruments. These class outlines are expected to be available as a Graduate Class by the summer of 2019.

Andy Kirby is a Galloup School graduate who also ran his own successful repair service for many years. Along with Bryan he currently co-manages  the repair and restoration department at Galloup Guitars.

Andy understands what players want because he plays many instruments himself and was a touring musician for years. This gives him insights that other technicians overlook. In the school, Andy teaches a session on setting up shop and working in music store setting.

Student Graduate Teachers

Danny Sharon finished his Master Class training then started his Student Graduate session with Bryan in the spring of 2018. As a student, Danny showed skill, patience and the ability to problem solve. This makes him a natural leader and popular at the Galloup School. He’s always available to help and his calm demeanor instills confidence for the students.  

Danny is also a multi-instrumentalist. This gives him a unique insight into how he wants his instruments to sound and feel. This is a quality that is a bonus that can be lost on less proficient players.

Tom Dalia is a Master Class graduate of the Galloup School who started his Student Graduate Session in the spring of 2019. As a student, his positive attitude and eagerness to learn caught the attention of the Galloup staff.

Tom stepped in as the computer specialist heading the CAD department. His skills as a CNC technician also proved to be at an advanced level. We are still learning about the skills Tom possesses, but it seems there is not much he can’t handle.      

Benjamin Kahler made and strong impression on school instructor Ben Padgett, as well as the rest of the Galloup School staff. He put himself through the Galloup School and showed total commitment to learn the craft of Lutherie. Ben’s work was at the top of his class, but where he seemed to really shine was his ability to quickly learn a wide range of topics.

Ben is working with the Galloup team to develop the new techniques Bryan wants to work into the Galloup School curriculum, as well as assist Ben Padgett with the Master Class Students.