Who We Are

Founder, President and Artistic Director

John-Paul Buzard is president and artistic director of Buzard Pipe Organ Builders, based in Champaign, Illinois. He began his career in organbuilding by working as an apprentice organ technician in high school and college. He was appointed Curator of Organs for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign following graduate school, and began to lay the groundwork for his company through organ-building and restoration projects in the Champaign area. Realizing a life-long dream, he founded the Buzard organ company in 1985.

Executive Vice-President and Chief Engineer

Charles Eames is Executive Vice-President, General Manager, and Manager Member of Buzard Pipe Organ Builders, LLC, from 1994 to present. He is a member of the American American Institute of Organbuilders, the American Guild of Organists, and the Organ Historical Society. He holds degrees from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, 1972, and William Jewell College in Organ Performance, 1970. He has experience at Charles McManis Organbuilders, Visser-Rowland Associates, and St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

Tonal Director, Head Voicer, and Manager Member
Brian K. Davis is the Tonal Director, Head Voicer, and Manager Member of Buzard Pipe Organ Builders, LLC, from 1995 to present. He is a member and fellow of the American Institute of Organbuilders and the American Iris Society. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in Music in 1987. He has previously worked for Miller Pipe Organ Company, Independent Organ Projects, and Visser-Rowland Associates. Mr.
Service Department Director and Associate for Sales

Keith Williams is the Service Department Director and an Associate in Marketing and Sales with Buzard Pipe Organ Builders, LLC, since 2000. He is a member of the American Institute of Organbuilders, the American Guild of Organists, and the Organ Historical Society. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in Organ Performance, 1976.

Business Manager

Mark Dirksen joins us with the perfect balance of experience as a business person and as an organist and church musician. Dirksen is a native of Washington, DC, where he was a chorister at the Washington National Cathedral and graduated from St. Albans School. His degrees are from the University of Massachusetts (Organ Performance ) and Temple University (Choral Conducting) and he has served churches in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, and Massachusetts.

Service Department Foreman

 Dave Brown, a second generation organbuilder, Dave spent childhood days in the factory of Brown and Arkley, Organbuilders of Sydney, visiting big projects like Brisbane City H

Production Coordinator

Shane Rhoades joined Buzard January 1, 2007 and started studying the art and trade of organ building.  His training and skills as a carpenter were a solid foundation for this work.  A third generation carpenter and cabinet maker, Rhoades is a proud graduate of the Mid-Central Illinois Regional Council of Carpenters Trade School.  He also has college coursework in architecture and auto cad.

Service Technician

Stuart Weber’s earliest memory, from age six or seven, was writing down choir robe sizes on a phone call with his dad who worked for Fortress Church Supply in a Lutheran Church in Chicago.  He has been actively involved with church work for over 45 years and has sung in choirs since the age of nine.  He joined the organ industry eleven years ago and has been pleased to work at Buzard for ten years.  

John Jordan, Organ Technician

 John Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, where he studied organ with Dr. John Behnke, and voice with Dr. Patricia Weis. He worked with the organ building firm of T.R.

Service Technician

John Wiegand has worked at Buzard for over five years now.  He has distinguished himself as a master artisan at the art of chest and reservoir releathering.  His elegant and excellent work is some of the finest in the industry.  He is also a fine general service technician.

Chicago Representative for Sales and Service

Dennis Northway, is thrilled to serve at John-Paul Buzard as the Chicago representative for sales and service, and is a very active musician, organbuilder, teacher and author. Most recently he has written an anthology of inspirational music thoughts for choral groups entitled To Touch the Garment’s Hem; he also was the editor of the ChicAGO Centenary Anthology celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chicagochapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Cabinet Maker

Mike Meyers came to Buzard in April of 2012 and works with Chris and Shane in the wood shop. He did siding and roofing and also worked with the Champaign Park District. Mike has a BS in Recreational Management from the University of South Dakota where he also had a minor in fine arts, specifically sculpture.

Cabinet Maker

Chris Goodnight came to us from Chicago where he owned his own company. When his wife was hired by the University of Illinois, they moved to the Champaign/Urbana area. Chris works with Mike and Shane in producing our beautiful cabinetry. He joined Buzard Pipe Organ Builders in February of 2013.

Voicer and Tonal Finisher

Jonathan Young is a member of the Tonal Department. Working closely with Tonal Director Brian Davis, Jonathan works on pipe voicing and tonal finishing of both new instruments and sensitive restorations of instruments cared for by our service department. He is also finishing his Doctorate in Organ Performance at University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana.

Tonal Assistant and Voicer

Viktoria Franken is an experienced organbuilder and joins us, newly arrived, from her native Germany. She started building organs in 2008 at H.P.Mebold Organbuilders Siegen/Germany where she worked as tonal assistant (pre-voicing) and also was trained in the historic craftsmanship of organbuilding. She earned a "Certificate of successful completion" from the Oscar-Walcker School for Organbuilding in Ludwigsburg, Germany and also received a "Certificate of apprenticeship in Organbuilding" from the chamber of crafts in Stuttgart, Germany.