Dréa Atkins General Manager
Dréa Atkins, photographer, mother of two School of Rock students and a rocker herself, became the school's GM in October of 2017. Possessing a BA in Theatre, and having a long history of teaching children of all ages in the creative arts world, she brings an exciting energy to the scope of performance that is offered. Dréa has worked locally with Children's Theatre of Charlotte, The Possibility Project and Playing for Others. Mentoring teens and fostering a sense of confidence and growth in who they are becoming is a mission close to her heart. Creating a welcoming environment that brings the best out of kids, inspiring them to expand their comfort zone of what is possible is her daily goal. When not serving the school or taking care of her family, she can be found holding a camera or a microphone, singing her lungs out.
John Harrell Music Director
John Harrell grew up in a musical family, and began playing seriously when he was 13. He’s played with various projects around the region, and currently plays in two bands: drums in the prog-funk-punk trio Hectorina, and guitar, keys and vocals in the experimental psych-pop band Dinner Rabbits. He has also released two solo albums, and performs frequently with other artists live and in-studio. His influences range from psychedelia, folk and punk to soul, glam rock and new wave. John loves fostering an appreciation of all styles of music in his students, and helping them find their creative voice so they can reach their full musical potential. He has been an instructor at SOR since 2014, and became Music Director in 2019.
Sydney Moore Studio Coordinator
Sydney grew up in a family of artists in Albany, NY until moving to Charlotte, NC in 2008. Since then she has been performing in plays and in music venues, including with Carolina Voices. She is currently attending University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a degree in English and a minor in journalism but loves working in the live show industry. When she’s not scrolling aimlessly on Pinterest, she is writing her own songs and more than likely, watching a musical. Her favorite artists include Mariana’s Trench, Childish Gambino, and FeFe Dobson.
Magdalene Criswell Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher, Bass Teacher
Magdalene Criswell teaches vocals, keys, and bass. She is a School of Rock Charlotte graduate herself, an active member of the Charlotte music scene, and a touring musician (whenever possible). She has had years of experience playing and taking lessons in various instruments, and studying the history and cultures surrounding rock music. She loves listening, teaching and playing all different kinds of music, but specializes in various kinds of alternative genres and performance.
Johnny Wicker Guitar, Drum, Bass Guitar, Piano and Singing Teacher
Johnny is a singer/songwriter/artist from Charlotte, NC. He has been writing and performing since age 12 when he was in his first band covering rock songs and writing originals. His favorite bands are The Beatles, 311, and Jamiroquai. These artists have provided inspiration to write his own songs from an early age to now. Johnny is an accomplished drummer who has played in various jazz and rock ensembles in the Charlotte area. He loves to play and teach all styles of music. Johnny is currently focusing on his solo career showcasing his original songwriting and ability to play multiple instruments. He continues to write, record, and perform on a regular basis. Johnny loves helping students find their own passion for music while teaching them the basics of learning and practicing.
Dylan Gilbert Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drum, Piano and Singing Teacher
Dylan Gilbert is a songwriter, producer and performer from Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a founding member of genre-bending punk band Hectorina. His compositions range from wild guitar-based indie rock to experimental electronic music, taking inspiration from artists such as Kate Bush, Talk Talk and Prince. Since 2005, he has self-released 9 solo albums, as well as 5 albums and 2 EPs with Hectorina. Gilbert began touring in his teens and has since performed over 800 times across the US with appearances at the Hopscotch Music Festival, CMJ Music Marathon, Indie Grits Film Festival, Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, Don’t Sweat It Fest, Art Party by Friday Arts Project, and the BOOM Festival.
Currently, Gilbert continues to work as a collective member at Goodyear Arts, creates with local Charlotte artists of all mediums, and teaches music at the School of Rock Charlotte. In 2020, he began releasing his 10th solo album, I’ll Be the Lakebed, a 10 song multimedia project co-produced by Justin Aswell that explores themes of spirituality and technology in 21st century America through avant-garde pop, ambient soundscapes and DIY performance art.
Nic Pugh Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher
Nic Pugh is a songwriter from the Charlotte area. He's written, recorded and performed since his teenage years, playing in an eclectic array of projects ranging from metal/hardcore to rock n roll and singer/songwriter while touring throughout the country. He is a self taught musician, focusing primarily on guitar, bass, and piano, and studied music history/theory at UNCC. He's shared bills with such bands as: Stone Temple Pilots, Langhorn Slim, and Judah and the Lion. He currently performs and records with his solo project Nic Pugh & The Bad News and rock n roll outfit Fixed Faces. When teaching, he strives to bring out his student's confidence and creativity by personalizing his lessons and setting attainable goals for each student.
Dennis Morency Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Dennis Morency first started playing drums at age 10, drawn to the instrument by the sounds of classic rock drummers John Bonham, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Nick Mason and the countless studio drummers that sweetened the sound of Steely Dan. A primarily self-taught multi-instrumentalist, with a splash of theory and notation imparted on him from time spent in the percussion sections of wind ensembles during high school, Dennis primarily writes and performs music as an element of his live performance art, which also includes poetry, acting, and comedy.
His passion for music has provided him opportunities to work with other musicians in jam sessions, open mics, bands, and as a live music audio engineer and comedy/music show producer. He tries to write a new song every week, and as a teacher, emphasizes the importance of body mechanics and feel. His mission as a performer is continually clarifying the connection between what motivates an artist to perform and why audiences are fascinated by art.
Alexis Mattey Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard and Drum Teacher
Alexis Mattey started playing music when he was seven by learning organ from the priest in the Venezuelan town where he grew up. From there he studied classical guitar and classical piano, and earned degrees in Classical Piano and Psychology. He has been playing in bands since the age of 13.
Alexis’s favorite genre is metal- everything from classic heavy metal to nu metal, spanning artists from Black Sabbath to Rob Zombie to Slipknot. Alexis has been teaching music in the United States since 2005. At School of Rock Charlotte, Alexis teaches guitar, piano, bass, drums and theory. Alexis is a bilingual instructor and specializes in making complex music accessible for students, and teaching kids how to play and perform music with skill and passion.
ALEX GREENBERG Drum Teacher
Alex has been drumming ever since he could move his tiny little feet and hands. Even before talking, this fella was banging pots and pans and rolling around to the Ramones. He has been playing in touring bands since he was in middle school, and continues to rock all over the country to this very day in his hand Mutant Strain! From jazz to death metal, this man has played it all.
Ben Bradford Guitar and Bass Guitar Teacher
Ben Bradford has been playing in bands since he was 16. Coming from a family of musicians, he was raised on all different kinds of music, but found his passion in guitar based rock, pop, and alternative bands. His top three favorites are Slothrust, The Fall of Troy, and Nirvana. Outside School of Rock he plays in a handful of Charlotte based bands. In 2018 he received his BA in Music from Catawba College. His favorite thing about teaching over zoom, is coming up with creative ways to keep students excited about learning music online.
Jon Lock Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher and Drum Teacher
Jon Lock is a bass, guitar, and drum teacher. However, he also has experience teaching introduction to music theory, piano, and vocals. He started playing music at age 12 playing cello in school. Once music got into his veins he gave up cello for the guitar. Playing rhythm guitar in local bands he was approached by another musician, at age 18, and asked if he had ever considered playing bass. This person suggested that he used so much rhythm in my playing he should start playing bass. From there, Jon’s musical world took off. Since then he has toured Europe, Japan, and all over the United States.
His musical styles range from punk, rock, funk, reggae, jazz, country, and even recently diving into electrical music. He has shared the stage with legends from Toots and the Maytals to Reba McEntire. His three favorite bands range from James Brown to Paul Simon to Portishead.
Phil Pucci Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, and Singing Teacher
Phil Pucci has been playing music for 20 years. He was inspired to learn guitar after seeing his cousin play Jimi Hendrix riffs. After being gifted a Squier Stratocaster starter pack, he learned how to play songs by Green Day, Nirvana and Weezer. He also started writing his own music right away. The first song he wrote was the pop-punk inspired "TV Ruined Me." Over the years, Phil also learned how to play keys, bass, and sing, and developed his home music production skills. Currently, he sings and plays rhythm guitar in the dream pop band Pullover, and also plays lead guitar and harmony vocals in the indie pop band Modern Moxie. His favorite artists/bands of all time are Stevie Wonder, Cocteau Twins, The Radio Dept. and The Beach Boys. He has been teaching at School of Rock for three years.