Downingtown
School of Rock

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Downingtown

Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock Downingtown’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. From singing to drums to guitar, our Downingtown music instructors inspire and teach students to perform live.

Tom McKeeMusic Director, General Manager

Tom McKee is the music director and general manager at School of Rock Downingtown, where he has worked since 2007. Tom teaches piano and directs several shows each year. He oversees the school’s House Band, which performs regularly throughout Chester County. Tom has directed five tours with the School of Rock AllStars (2011-2016), raising money and awareness for various charities in the process. Tom has toured and performed in more than 40 states and much of Canada as a member of the band Brothers Past. He has contributed original music to the band's four official releases, including the 2005 release "This Feeling's Called Goodbye," which gained critical acclaim for its unique fusion of indie rock and electronic music. In 2006, he performed with Brothers Past at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, alongside Radiohead, Beck, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. In addition to his work at School of Rock, Tom continues to write and record new music.

Brian DavisGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Brian Davis has been teaching at School of Rock since 2004, not long after the school first opened its doors. Brian is the school’s Assistant Music Director and teaches guitar and bass. As the longest tenured member of our staff, Brian has directed dozens of shows, including some of the hardest music in our repertoire - Zapa, Rush, King Crimson (twice!) and lots more. When he’s not teaching, Brian can be found onstage performing or behind the mixing board in a recording studio. Brian works locally at Tribe Sound Studios in West Chester and tours as a member of the popular Talking Heads tribute Start Making Sense. Brian also writes and records his own music.

John NorcrossGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

John Norcross is a guitar, bass and drum instructor with deep roots at School of Rock Downingtown. John was one of the first students to enroll at the school when it first opened in 2004. He was also one of the first students from Downingtown to be named a School of Rock AllStar. John is one of several members of our staff to be immortalized on the school’s Wall of Fame. After graduating high school, John spent time touring the country with the metal bands Trasher and BSOM. During his time at School of Rock, he has directed all kinds of shows, ranging from metal to classic rock to working with the youngest students in our Rock 101 program.

Adam McCreadyGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Adam McCready is a guitar and bass instructor at School of Rock Downingtown. He is a graduate of The University of the Arts with a Bachelor’s in Music Composition and a minor in Music Business and Technology. Adam has been playing guitar for 10 years and currently serves as singer/songwriter/guitarist for adam+colin, a dynamic rock duo from the Philadelphia area. Beyond his guitar playing, Adam is skilled on the trombone and in the world of recording and live sound.

Avery CoffeeGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Avery Coffee began playing guitar at age 10 and has been a working musician for 20 years and counting in and out of the region. He currently tours as Chubby Checker’s lead guitar player, but cut his teeth playing in bar bands before settling into the Philadelphia music scene. Avery has performed with local favorites like Chuck Treece, JD Malone and Hezekiah Jones and has toured nationally and internationally, playing various styles. He is also a touring accompanist for the Philadelphia Boys Choir. Besides performing, Avery has always studied extensively, whether it be in a college setting or privately, and believes in teaching the most useful aspects of an academic approach mixed with years of real world experience on stage. His goal as a teacher is always to create a better version of himself, hopefully in less time.

Alex HarrerSinging Teacher

Alex Harrer has been singing and playing piano for most of her life. She began her journey with Downingtown School of Rock at age eight, when she performed in the school’s first Pink Floyd show. She was excited to be assigned the show, because “pink was her favorite color.” Little did she know then that she was beginning a School of Rock journey that would still be continuing to this day. Alex distinguished herself as a vocalist, first as a member of the school’s House Band and then as a School of Rock AllStar. Alex toured the Midwest with the School of Rock AllStars, which included a performance at Lollapalooza. After graduating from high school, Alex attended West Chester University, where she is finishing her B.A. in Communication Studies. She creates original music in a project called The Harrer Sisters, which includes her older sister (also a School of Rock Downintown alum) and her cousins. When she is not working on that project, you might find her touring as a backup vocalist with the Talking Heads tribute band, Start Making Sense.

Art StruckGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Art Struck began playing guitar at 14 after hearing Metallica's "Ride the Lightning." He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and grew up in Dallas. Art studied Guitar Performance at the Musician's Instititutes in Los Angeles and toured for three years all across America, Europe and Australia, sharing the stage with Black Label Society, Slayer and Def Leppard. He's taught private and group lessons for guitar, bass, ukulele and mandolin for over 10 years and when not playing or teaching he can usually be found eating Chinese food and watching World War II documentaries.

Brock BenzelGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Brock Benzel is a guitar instructor at School of Rock Downingtown. A recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Brock is no stranger to School of Rock, having cut his teeth here as a student. Brock performed as a member of the School of Rock AllStars, touring the country and raising money for charity in the process. Brock performs as a member of the math rock band Invalids and also writes and records his own music under the name Good Game. He is endorsed by Steinberg Guitars.

Cameron BrownSinging Teacher

Cameron Brown is a multi-instrumentalist who hails from West Chester, PA. He is a vocalist who also plays drums, piano and guitar. In addition to teaching vocals, Cameron works with some of our youngest students as a director of Rock 101. He is very aware of how powerful the School of Rock experience can be. As a former student of School of Rock Downingtown, Cameron studied drums and piano, and distinguished himself as a passionate and fiery performer with a knack for harmony. He was a member of the school’s House Band for several years, and also has a strong background in choral singing and musical theater. Since graduating in 2013, Cameron has attended West Chester University, where he is finishing his degree. Cameron produces electronic and rock music under the name Pleb Mahogany, performing in the local Philadelphia music scene.

Dan NazarioDrum Teacher

Dan Nazario has been playing drums for almost 20 years. A former School of Rock student, Dan teaches part-time when he’s not performing with his bands, Diff’rent Folks and Baloo, or attending classes at West Chester University. During his time at School of Rock, Dan distinguished himself as a member of the School of Rock AllStars, performing at Lollapalooza and various venues in the Midwest. He’s also performed at Summerfest, Gathering of the Vibes, Asbury Park, The Trocadero and World Café Live. Dan has released multiple albums with his bands, and also does session work for many artists in the Philadelphia and West Chester areas. Now as a drum instructor and working musician, he assists in helping build musical vocabularies so his students will have the power to sonically define their personal narrative.

Danny PiselliDrum Teacher

Danny Piselli began teaching drums right out of high school, and almost a decade later he remains one of our most dedicated and passionate instructors. As a former AllStar and student at School of Rock, Danny knows all too well how to help our current students navigate our challenging curriculum. His primary musical influences are metal, but he has had extensive training in many other styles including classic rock, funk, Latin and jazz. During his time as a School of Rock AllStar, Danny toured internationally with artists such as The Butthole Surfers and Brendon Small of Dethklok. He's currently drumming in several projects, including Fisthammer and Conflict Theory.

Karen WeaverSinging Teacher

Karen Weaver teaches vocals and serves as music director of our Little Wing program. She is a classically trained vocalist with a theatre arts degree from Wake Forest University. A singer and songwriter, Karen has been performing with bands and creating music since 1992. Following five years working with an original rock band, she is now performing locally and focusing on her new band, Free Rein. Karen is also an educator with 15 years of teaching experience and a Master’s Degree from Cabrini College.

Peggy Carroll-HenrySinging Teacher

Peggy Carroll-Henry has a Master of Arts in Teaching as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Voice from The University of the Arts in Philly. She has an extensive background in teaching, from musical theatre classes at Hedgerow Theatre to private teaching in everything from classical to rock. Peggy is very passionate about her students and believes there is actually a healthy way to sing rock music. She currently sings in the band Minerva, a rock/pop band that plays in Philly and the surrounding areas. Minerva has worked in the studio with Grammy-nominated engineers/producers David Ivory and Ritchie Rubini. She and her husband are co-founders of MECA Music Healsm an organization that helps empower and heal victims of child abuse through music. MECA just played their first benefit concert at World Café Live and has released their first recording, which includes well-known Philly artists such as Eric Bazilian and Dave Uossikkinen (from The Hooters and In the Pocket), Ben Arnold and Lauren Hart.

Ryan BergDrum Teacher

Ryan Berg is a dedicated drum set performer and educator with international touring and teaching experience. Ryan's educational background includes studies conducted at Berklee College of Music in Boston and extensive studies with world-renowned educator Gary Chaffee, whose former students include many of the top drummers working today. An active performer, Ryan has performed internationally in diverse musical settings with artists such as Project/Object featuring Frank Zappa Band alumni, composer Chris Opperman, indie rock band Strand of Oaks and folk/roots singer Phil Minissale. He's also appeared with many other artists in a variety of professional settings including improvised music, general business and musical theatre. When he is not teaching at School of Rock Downingtown, you can find Ryan on tour with the popular Talking Heads tribute Start Making Sense.

Ian BarrPiano Teacher

Ian Barr is a pianist, composer and keyboard instructor at School of Rock Downingtown. He has a Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition from Westminster Choir College, where he also had the privilege of performing with world class orchestras in New York and Philadelphia as a part of the Westminster Symphonic Choir. Some of his compositional output includes pieces for piano, organ, solo voice, orchestra and string quartet. Despite his classical training, Ian is a School of Rock alum who was first inspired by rock legends such as Yes and Frank Zappa to write music. He has a passion for any music that can be both ear-catching and complex. Ian's favorite part about teaching is when he's able to help students gain a deeper understanding of the music that they love most.

Dave HooperPiano Teacher

Dave Hooper has been playing piano for as long as he can remember. He began taking piano lessons at the age of seven and was classically trained for more than 10 years. While in school, he played clarinet, saxophone, bassoon and piano in various orchestral and jazz groups as well as sang in several chorus and musical theatre ensembles. Dave started his journey at School of Rock in 2004, when he performed in the first show at School of Rock Bucks County. It was the start of a seven-year journey as a student, which included several tours as a School of Rock AllStar. These performances included events such as Lollapalooza, the Zappanale Music Festival in Germany, Hangout Music Festival, NAMM, Gathering of the Vibes and a televised performance for VH1's "Sober House." He has also had the chance to play with musicians like Jon Anderson, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Perry Farrell, LeAnn Rimes and Adrian Belew, among others.

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