As we begin the second month of 2022 and look out at the horizon – hopefully at a post-pandemic world – we decided it would be a good idea to reintroduce the members of our team.  My name is John Rihani and I am the manager of Encore Orchestral Strings.  Paige’s Music hired me in the spring of 2006 to be an orchestral strings specialist.  This was the same year Chops Percussion launched with the Indy Flute Shop to follow.

So, who am I?

I’m a Christian.  My faith is at the center of who I am.  If those who know me were to describe how my faith influences my life and how I live it, I hope they would quote John 13:35 and say they know I am a Christian because of my love for my fellow humans.

I’m a husband and father.  My family is incredibly important to me and I do everything in my power to maintain a work/life balance that allows me to invest in their lives.  My wife and daughters bring me immense joy!  If you visit me at the shop you’ll see their pictures all over my office.

I’m a cellist.  I love the cello.  My undergraduate degree from Butler University is in cello performance.  I still actively play and you can often find me in our basement practicing my beloved Bach cello suites.

I’m an audiophile.  I love recorded music and enjoy listening to it at the highest possible quality level.  Streaming services render my collection of music on CDs and LPs nearly obsolete, but I enjoy remaining a bit of a dinosaur…

I’m a billiards aficionado.  A nine-foot Brunswick Gold Crown pool table from the 1960’s lives in my basement and I love to play pool every chance I can.  I also love playing the other billiards games that either have gone out of fashion or enjoy popularity in other countries – 3-cushion billiards, snooker, one pocket, straight pool, etc.

I’m an amateur instrument builder.  Since I was a teenager, instrument building of all types fascinated me.  My original intention after high school was to attend the Violin Making School of American in Salt Lake City and become a professional violin maker.  While I ended up pursuing cello performance after high school, the dream of building a cello never died.  Thanks to having an excellent maker on staff here at Encore (Ben Parrott), I am now making my first cello.  I also tackled building an electric bass, which has been fun in its own way!

I’m a hugger.  Everyone who knows me knows I love a good hug.  While the past two years required me to stay socially distanced, I’m eagerly anticipating the day when a hug returns as a socially acceptable greeting.

I love to read.  I think we can wrap it up with this one.  When I was in middle school, I read a newspaper article about how a local student bet his parents $500 that he could not watch TV of any kind for a year.  I thought to myself, “that sounds like an easy way to make $500!”  My parents took me up on the bet and that year amplified my already strong love of reading.  I was so gripped by the desire to read that I would set my alarm an hour early throughout high school so that I could read for an hour before I left for school.

I also love pickup trucks, diesel engines, Thai food, pancakes with extra butter, “The Three Amigos”, winter coats even though I rarely wear one, coffee every morning, dad jokes, crisp fall mornings, MCM architecture, and any song ever written featuring vocals by Chris Cornell.