Evanston
School of Rock

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Evanston

Our Experienced Music Instructors

School of Rock has experienced music instructors

Our Experienced Music Instructors

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

Sam Genualdi Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher

Sam Genualdi is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator, luthier and producer from Evanston, Illinois. Sam comes from a family of classical musicians and grew up playing in rock bands in Chicagoland. In 2017 he graduated summa cum laude from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music with a self-designed major in Contemporary Improvisation. After finishing his undergraduate degree Sam spent a year independently studying music in Scotland, Armenia, Peru, Brazil, Mozambique, Japan and Indonesia enabled by a Watson Fellowship. Comfortable making music in a very wide range of contexts, Sam has performed on many recordings of diverse genres and shared the stage with musicians in eight different countries. Currently Sam is in Chicagoland performing regularly in several groups and working on his second solo record. In his spare time he enjoys restoring vintage guitars and has a small business doing instrument repair/maintenance.

Sarah Rabin Assistant General Manager

Sarah Rabin was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. As a young child her mother would take her to choir rehearsals and sing to her every day. It was through this that she first discovered her passion for the performing arts. At the age of six Sarah began learning music by playing piano, which eventually led her to playing flute. Her greatest love, however, is singing. Sarah has studied voice since she was in fifth grade. Her love for voice eventually led her to majoring in Music Administration at The University of Illinois. She has been involved in many performing groups over the years, including concert choirs, a cappella groups, show choirs, musicals and more. Sarah has also performed on a national tour as the vocalist for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. Before coming to work for School of Rock she worked as an intern at The Walt Disney World Resort, and then as a production intern for Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. Sarah is excited to be working with the students of School of Rock as she is a big advocate for music education. She believes that music should be studied with great teachers and great music.

Bob Long Piano Teacher

Bob Long began his professional career as a jazz pianist over 40 years ago in Chicago and has recorded and performed most of his life there. He has also performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in New York, the Montreux Jazz Festivalin Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and the ChicagoJazz Festival twice.

In 2006, at the age of 56, Bob began graduate school to study Modern European History at the University of California, San Diego and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for 2011-12 for research in Spain. Bob received his PhD in history from UCSD in June of 2014 and taught there briefly as a lecturer that same summer. He has since been teaching as a professor and lecturer in history at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois and at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois, and as a piano instructor at School of Rock in Evanston, Illinois. He continues to perform as a composer and jazz pianist at the same time, and is a part of the jazz singer-songwriter poetry collective known as The Last Word.

Justin Radtke Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher

Justin has always had a deep love and appreciation for music throughout his life. He started playing guitar in 1998, and has over 12 years of experience teaching guitar lessons to people of all ages. Some of Justin’s guitar idols include Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, John Williams and Joe Pass. Justin started off playing rock, blues and folk guitar. At Valparaiso University, he studied Classical Guitar and played in classical guitar ensembles and various bands. He loves playing with local musicians and writing original music. Justin has a passion for teaching guitar and passing on the gift of music to his students. He likes to focus on technique, improvisation and theory so that students build a basis in music that allows them to play any style they wish. While teaching, Justin aims to inspire a lifelong love for music and the guitar.

Kelsey Mathes General Manager

Kelsey Mathes is excited to be part of the School of Rock family. Kelsey started as a vocalist and keys player, initially inspired by her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Valentine. Luckily, her parents supported her musicality and she went on to work professionally as an actor/musician/producer in New York City for the last 10 years. When she relocated to Chicago in 2016, she put all of her expertise in the arts and in managing a company together to become the General Manager at the Evanston location. Kelsey is thrilled to be helping to facilitate students learning music in a way that is fun, exciting and immersive.

Matt Berger Guitar Teacher

Matt Berger is a Chicago-based guitarist and composer. After trials with the saxophone and piano, he picked up a $15 classical guitar at the age of 12, inspired by Van Halen and Metallica. Unfortunately he changed the nylon strings out for steel strings, which caused the fragile bridge-piece to explode. But with the help of his dad, they re-glued it, and before long he became obsessed with music, joining a metal band in high school and later forming a fusion power trio. He pursued his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating in 2006 (B.M. Performance Guitar and Composition). Since then he has performed across the country with his jazz trio, cello duo and various pop artists. At School of Rock, he challenges students to push beyond limits with methodical technique building and ear-training. Various guitar styles are explored, from finger-picking, blues and funk, to shredding. He strives to help students understand chord structures, improvisation and soloing.

Jesus Perez Drum Teacher

Jesus Perez, a former student of School of Rock, has gained a lot of knowledge from his experience at the school and now pays it forward to his drum students. Besides teaching drums, he also assists with the Garage Rock program. He has been playing drums for 10 years now and is currently playing in various band projects with his friends, as well as studying music at Oakton Community College. His musical influence comes from soul and Motown music, which he started listening to when he was only eight years old. He hopes to further his musical career and one day start a soul band of his own.

Dave Robison Drum Teacher

David Robison has been a drum set and percussion educator in the Chicago area for over 15 years. He began playing drums at the age of 15 and has toured internationally, performing his own music as a founding member of Chicago band ALAYA among other acts. His lessons offer a wide range of possibilities. Advanced students and professionals are encouraged, but all ages and skill levels are welcome. Students can learn music theory or experience a faster, extremely fun rock drumming crash course.

Macklin Suhre Drum Teacher

Macklin Suhre was born in Lake Bluff, Illinois. He attended Lake Forest High School studying music and drumming in the jazz band and wind ensemble. In 2009, he was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston as a drum set principle, where he spent four years studying with celebrated faculty members such as Mitch Haupers, Mike Mangini, Kim Plainfield and many more. Macklin graduated from Berklee in 2013 with a degree in Professional Music, and continues to perform with his band The Relevant Elephants, who will be releasing their debut album "Paper Walls" soon.

Sam Hudgens Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Sam Hudgens was born and raised in Evanston, IL. He started playing saxophone in the fourth grade and from there learned guitar and piano. After going through the music program at ETHS he studied jazz at North Park University. Currently Sam plays in a couple local Chicago bands and writes and produces original music.

Gordon Patriarca Bass Guitar Teacher

Bassist Gordon Patriarca has been a lifetime resident of Chicago. As a child in the 1960s, a transistor radio was a constant companion (under the pillow at bedtime). His relationship with the electric bass began at age 16, fueled by the inevitable sibling rivalry with a younger brother who had become an above-average guitarist in only four years of playing. Not to be outdone (and using Cream bassist Jack Bruce as a role model) Patriarca picked the four-stringed instrument and circumnavigated any comparisons with his junior kin. High school bands followed. There was a bit of formal study with (now L.A. studio bassist) Paul Zibits. After high school there were a couple of years of college (Northern Illinois University), where he was in an African percussion ensemble, and took various oddball music classes. The highlight of his college experience was probably his twice weekly shows as a DJ at the campus radio station. Leaving school to pursue the life of a working musician, Patriarca began his 25-year career. Patriarca has played in at least 50 local bands. Other recording highlights include working on the Icos album "At the Speed of Life," recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. He has toured Europe twice with blues-rock chanteuse Jan James. At this point he calculates he has done close to 4,000 gigs and remains active in the Chicago music scene.

Jake Loomis Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher, Singing Teacher

Jake Loomis was born and raised in Michigan, and has been performing as a vocalist, percussionist and pianist for many years. He studied performing arts at The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in Southern California. He then continued to spend the next four years traveling, performing and teaching all around the world with The Young Americans. He is looking forward to continuing his performance career in the Chicago area, and is excited to be working at School of Rock.

Michelle Hallman Singing Teacher

Michelle Hallman performs, records, writes/arranges songs and tours with many different projects. She has been a working musician for a greater part of her life, and thrives in live performances. She is a well-versed singer, perfecting a plethora of styles and genres. Even though she's a rocker at heart, she has always loved choral music and is extremely knowledgeable in vocal harmonies. Michelle is also an accomplished percussionist. She plays congas, bongos, djembe and all kinds of assorted hand percussion instruments. She has played the piano since age three, and took lessons for many, many years. She also plays the guitar and is striving to get better. Michelle has sung/played with the likes of Gregg Allman, Darryl Jones, Mr. Blotto, Umphree's McGee , Richard Marx, Vince Welnick, Freddie Jones Band and The Bodeans. Her bands have opened for Kansas, Steven Stills and Jazz is Dead. She's also been the voice of national commercial jingles. Michelle loves teaching at School of Rock, and is thrilled to share her knowledge and experience. She is so excited to see what the next generation of talent will bring.

Steve Kentala Drum Teacher

Steve Kentala drums for the Chicago 90s/pop cover band The Personnel. He currently performs 100+ shows a year in venues ranging from clubs, bars and festivals to private events. Steve has been teaching at School of Rock since 2009. Lessons are structured to cover technique, music concepts and drum set playing. He is an advocate for goal setting and playing with intention. Becoming a good drummer does not require talent - it is developed through patience and persistence.

Schaefer Hugebeck Guitar Teacher

Schaefer decided to play guitar in fifth grade when he became enamored with the guitar stylings of Jimmy Page, Hendrix and Carlos Santana. It wasn’t long till it was a full blown love affair between boy and guitar, causing him to study for over a decade with some of Chicago's finest musicians. Music is the first thing he thinks of when he wakes up in the later hours of the morning and the last thing he thinks of before he sleeps. Schaefer has been at School of Rock since 2014 teaching guitar and working with both the performance and garage rock programs.

Daina Fischer Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher

Daina Fischer is a mezzo-soprano in the Chicagoland area. Graduating in 2017 from DePaul University with a masters degree in Vocal Performance, Daina has sung all over the city of Chicago and also internationally, working with renowned conductors, coaches and teachers. Alongside her professional opera singing career, Daina also enjoys performing musical theater, jazz and a capella music with her vocal group The Peppermint Patties. Alongside her passion for singing, Daina also teaches voice and piano at three different studios in the Chicagoland area. She specializes in performance skills, languages, acting, Alexander technique and has given voice lessons to lead singers of bands.

Steve Knight Guitar Teacher

Steve has been a guitarist ever since trading his first skateboard for a guitar many years ago. He brings 20 years of playing and teaching experience with Carnival Cruise Lines, the New York Jazz Workshop, Emporia State University, The University of the Ozarks and The University of South Carolina, as well as countless musical theatre productions, weddings and corporate gigs. He believes that one-on-one mentorship lays a more solid foundation for lifetime musical appreciation, collaboration and achievement than anything that can be found on the internet.

Maggie Weber General Manager

Maggie was born and raised with an undeniable ear for music. Singing has always been her passion. Her mother told her that she sang before she ever spoke. Maggie has always had a knack for music. When she was 18 months old, she would hum to songs happily in key. Maggie believes that everyone has music inside of them, no matter what age they are. She has been involved in many projects and studio recordings including The Rip Chords (University of Illinois), Molehill and Willy Dynomite. Her passion for music, paired with her obsessive organization, has led her to be the General Manager of School of Rock Evanston. Maggie hopes to open the door to musicians in a way that she never experienced.

Camille McClellan Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher

Camille McClellan is an electric guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, composer/arranger and record producer with a dedicated music career spanning over 15 years. Often described by audiences as the female Slash, Camille has garnered years of experience performing at legendary venues around the country, including Fenway Park and The Whiskey A Go Go. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2016, Camille spent time in Los Angeles, where she wrote, arranged, pre-produced and co-produced her debut solo EP alongside a Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer. In 2017 she adopted the stage name Blake Red as an emerging alternative-metal recording artist.

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