Tara Uncles Singing Teacher
Recent graduate and NOVA native Tara Uncles has been singing and performing for most of her life and attained a B.S. in Music Production and Recording Arts from Elon University. During her time in college, she participated in various ensembles such as playing guitar in marching band, singing in Jazz Band and Elon's Electric Ensemble (which focused on more contemporary pieces including originals) in order to expand her versatility as a vocalist and performer. She also is an avid songwriter and has arranged several songs for her ensembles while at school. Under the direction of several voice teachers over the years, Tara has trained in classical and contemporary music. She utilizes many aspects of her professors' guidance into her own teaching style by creating a balance between fundamentals of classical voice training and contemporary performance style to blend and allow for the voice to grow and develop as lessons progress. She emphasizes the importance of basic vocal training in order for the students to create their own style and grow into their own voice.
Bill Grier Drum Teacher
Bill Grier has been a fixture in our DC area Schools of Rock for over nine years. He started playing drums when he was 13 and living with his family in Taipei, Taiwan and knew he had found his "thing." Bill is a big believer in great mentoring and teaching and he counts himself lucky that he was able to have formal training with Bill Reichenbach, who played drums with Charlie Byrd for years. Bill spent 10 years in Los Angeles playing at famous venues like The Troubadour on Sunset Strip and as a session drummer. He's played around the DC area for the last several years and currently appears locally with the band Cover Story. Bill loves playing drums and teaching drums to the next generation of musicians.
Keith Butler Drum Teacher
Keith Butler, a Winston-Salem, NC native, is a drummer motivated by the tradition and future of the drum set. While at university in Wilmington, North Carolina he studied privately with Thomas Taylor and Michael D'Angelo. Prior to relocating to D.C., Keith was a member of several North Carolina bands including Onward, Soldiers, Mike Blair and The Stonewalls, Justin Lacy and The Swimming Machine, and Temple5. He has performed extensively as well as recorded several albums/projects with each group. In D.C. Keith is a member of two groups, Fiasco and The New World, and works regularly as a sideman for area jazz musicians. With influences such as Art Taylor, Joe Chambers, Tony Reedus and Billy Higgins, he seeks to support the band in any style and push the music forward. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Ashburn.
P'Nut Johnson Bass Guitar Teacher
A DC native, Ricardo "P'Nut" Johnson began his musical journey on the bass in the fifth grade when he received his first instrument, a Sears electric guitar. He enjoyed the guitar but then he heard the bass in Rufus and Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing" and from that point on he knew he wanted to be a bass player. Hearing of his new obsession, his uncle, a bass player in his own right, loaned him a bass and challenged him to see what he could learn by the time he got back from the road and the rest is history. During his years in the D.C. area, he played with various groups in a variety of styles. He played with the sensational vocal group Prim Degree, the cutting edge gospel group God's Creation, vocalist Gloria Brown and blues great Memphis Gold. In the 90s he toured Europe with the blues legend Memphis Gold. After years of playing onstage he decided to go get his music degree and attended the Music Tech College of Music, now called McNalley Smith, in Minneapolis, MN. After graduation he stayed in Minnesota for 10 years, where he was very active in the music scene and where he taught many aspiring musicians. He played with the blues group The HooDoo Kings, the 12-piece group Arayastone, the reggae mainstay Dred I Dred, the funk band Down with Gravity, jazz guitarist John Penny and a host of others. He is a consummate bass player and works at his craft continuously. In 2007 he attended Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey's Bass at the Beach and later that year he also attended Victor Wooten's Bass Nature Camp. He learned many things at these camps and has integrated them into his playing and teaching. Tired of the cold of Minnesota and homesick for the sights and sounds of D.C., he moved back to the area in 2011. He has played with a number of groups since being back and is happy to be a part of the School of Rock family.
Jessica Flores Studio Manager
Jessica Flores is the Studio Manager who keeps our school running smoothly and oversees the customer experience. In addition to her managerial skills, Jess has been a vocal teacher at a couple of Schools of Rock for many years and has also directed many shows at both School of Rock Silver Spring and School of Rock Vienna. She is well-versed in our programs and understands the School of Rock experience on a deep level and is always delighted to meet new students and their wonderful families.
On the music front, Jess began singing in elementary school, where she gave her first solo performance at the Pageant of Peace with her school choir in DC at age eight. In high school, she was always active in multiple choirs and the musical theater department. She then began classical voice training at Montgomery College, under the guidance of Molly Donnelly, and gained experience in a variety of styles ranging from classical to Latin jazz through multiple collaborations with the Montgomery College World Ensemble and Metropolitan Orchestra at MC. While at MC, she helped institute an outreach program with Wheaton High School, bringing the experience of performing with a professional band to kids who were just starting out in choir. She has also performed with the National Philharmonic Chorale and interned for their Summer High School Choral Program. Jessica is currently finishing up her undergrad at UMBC in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Education. She performs regularly with her band, Tesla's Cat, where she gets to practice being a rock star. She believes that studying music is an integral part of building stronger communities and well-rounded citizens.
Audrey Harris Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
A lifelong singer, Audrey recalls fondly his earliest singing memory was in the children's choir at his grandmother's church. Even in elementary school, Audrey was always asked to sing at school events. This continued through high school and led him to pursue music performance in college. He started his first group consisting of a guitar, drummer, horn player and himself. They regularly performed on the local radio station's "The High Low and Hot Show" in his home town of High Point, North Carolina. Audrey received a music scholarship to North Carolina AT State University where he studied with Frank Boulware of the Manhattan School of Music. A versatile performer, in college he sang roles in "Show Boat," "Man of La Mancha" and various other shows and operatic arias of the classical and romantic periods in addition to various rock and jazz bands. Audrey was invited to sing in the master class of George Shirley (Metropolitan and International Operatic tenor) and has performed master classes at the North Carolina School of the Arts. In the course of his career Audrey spent time in New York and sang with Voices Inc., the East Side Singers, and for the bi-centennial performance of "US," a musical tribute to America's first 200 years. He also performed in an off-Broadway pilot of "New Breed is Now the Seed." Audrey has continued to sing with a number of small ensembles locally and has found his passion in teaching the next generation of vocalists at School of Rock.
Kevin Dickel Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Kevin Dickel grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia playing guitar in his school’s jazz band and playing guitar and screaming in South Jersey’s hardcore band, Davy Crockett. When he’s not rigging amps and speakers together like Dr. Frankenstein, he can be found trapped in a never-ending game of fetch with one of his dogs. Kevin’s favorite artists include Alkaline Trio, Dillinger Escape Plan, Queen, Black Sabbath, Sleep and SUNN O. Kevin currently plays bass in local cover bands Shut it Down and Earls of Kent. He provides material support for Philadelphia-based artists Holy Mountain and Hafsol, and publishes music under the moniker Church of Pain. He is a guitar and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Ashburn.
Joseph D'Abate Guitar Teacher
Joe D'Abate is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, with a minor in Theory of Jazz and Popular Song. He is also an accomplished audio engineer and was the supervisor of Berklee’s stage crew. Joe has studied/worked with many amazing musicians over his career, including Dweezil Zappa, Hiromi Uehara, Taksim Trio, Kaki King, Elliot Sumner, Steve Vai, Patrice Rushen, Livingston Taylor, Dave Fiuczynski, Kevin Belz, Jon Finn, David Gilmore (Berklee), Joe Mulholland, Dan Smith, Joe Carrier, Loudon Stearns and Chrissy Tignor. Joe is continuing his passion for sharing knowledge and finding interesting ways to help students reach their fullest potential as a guitar teacher at School of Rock Ashburn.
Lena Traynham Vocal Instructor
Lena Traynham was born to sing. Her musician father fostered her love of music and they often perform together. In high school Lena found School of Rock and quickly worked her way up the ranks through House Band. She was a School of Rock AllStar and has performed countless shows. Then, after graduation, she got a golden ticket to be on "American Idol" twice. When she’s not teaching here you can find her singing in her band Conor and the Wild Hunt. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Ashburn.
Matt Burridge Guitar Teacher
Matt Burridge is a guitar player and songwriter. He was in School of Rock Ashburn’s House Band and spent four years getting a degree in Music Composition from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Now he is playing solo and duo gigs regularly around the DC area, as well as playing shows with his band, Pulses, up and down the east coast. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Ashburn.
Laura Bollettino Owner
After running three schools for over 12 years, Laura Bollettino has seen the transformative power of School of Rock programs literally manifest in the thousands of students who have crossed our threshold. Not only the owner, Laura has been a School of Rock parent and knows that feeling of amazement as you see your child blossom on stage. She also saw her girls grow in confidence, leadership and teamwork skills as they developed into amazing musicians throughout their School of Rock years and is so grateful they got to have this experience. In college she studied International Relations and Business and spent over 20 years in the corporate world until she and her husband Jeff heard the call of School of Rock. Now she gets to say her job is inspiring the next generation of musicians to find their voice and express themselves on stage and in life. To know Laura is to see her energy and passion for helping her students and staff grow not only as musicians, but as people too. She adores her "kids” and finds each of them to have their own special sparkle.
Jonir Burgos Guitar Teacher
Jonir Burgos has been playing guitar for over 25 years. He has performed in rock and pop bands and in church settings. He studied music at Los Angeles Pierce College and majored in Classical/Commercial Guitar. Jojo is passionate and excited to share the gift of music with his students. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Ashburn.
Manuel Medina keyboard teacher
Manuel is a Peruvian artist that has been living in the Washington D.C. area for the last 15 years. He began taking piano lessons in Peru at the age of 11 and majored in Music and Music Technology with a minor in Jazz Studies from George Mason University. He has been teaching music for the last 12 years. Besides composing and teaching music, he also writes short stories in Spanish and practices creative drawing.