William Cloninger Guitar Teacher
William Cloninger is another Houston native, graduating from Dulles High School and going on to earn his bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University. William is a tireless scholar of music and guitar theory and specializes in finger-picking style guitar and music composition. He also dabbles in harmonica and vocals and can be found playing solo acoustic shows as well as in his recently formed (and yet unnamed) band. If you're into the latest guitar geek toys like loopers and effects, William probably has tried them out and would love talking about it!
Chris Moye Drum Teacher
Born and raised in Katy, TX, Chris had a natural ear for music from a very young age. In the beginning, Chris’s fundamental experiences were organic- learning to play by watching and listening to drummers of all styles. In junior high, Chris played with many bands, performing in school functions and at various youth venues in Houston and the surrounding area. Soon after, Chris joined Minderbinder, recording and performing at multiple venues across Texas including the Houston Marathon and South by Southwest. Chris continues to immerse himself in the Houston music scene, performing with several local and national bands and earning nominations from the Houston Press for Best Upcoming Metal/Punk Band. With his capacity to come into any professional environment and instinctively play exactly what is needed, Chris has earned a reputation as a veritable drumming ninja in the Houston area. Chris is passionate about drumming and about sharing his passion for music with others.
Evetier Barron Bass Guitar Teacher
Born and raised in Houston, TX, Evetier has been playing bass for over 35 years. He’s also played other instruments along the way including drums, fiddle and trumpet. Growing up in a city as large as Houston, he was exposed to many genres of music, learning to appreciate such styles as rock, blues, jazz, funk, R&B, country and Latin. Evetier currently gigs in several bands, playing with some of the best musicians in the city. Along his musical journey, Evetier has been lucky enough to learn from several accomplished teachers, including the late, great Conrad Johnson and Regi Wooten, a member of the renowned Wooten family and brother of the world famous Victor Wooten. Evetier draws from these experiences as well as his own professional career, helping to bring his love of music to his own students.
Nicole Starch Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher
A classically trained musician with a specialty in Broadway and jazz, Nicole says she never seemed to find her musical niche until she was casually introduced to the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Heart. Nicole has been a student of music from a very young age, starting with piano and later guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Now she focuses on voice as her primary instrument. As an educator, Nicole says, "Teaching a younger generation the power of curating an individual sound and vocal power is seemingly what I was made for." Professionally, Nicole has performed as an acoustic singer-songwriter for almost two decades with two completed albums, 2007's "Miscellaneous" and 2014's "Black Coffee and Key Lime Pie." She is currently the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Houston-based band Torpedoed Heart.
Zachary Cox Guitar Teacher
Zachary Cox was born and raised in Houston, TX. He has been playing music since the age of 13, slowly moving through different instruments before finding his calling as a guitarist. Soon after picking up a guitar and learning a few chords he was performing live for audiences. Zach started his first band, The Ramone Experience, named after his love for Jimi Hendrix and The Ramones, and won his middle school talent show. After that he was hooked. Growing up he has played multiple styles of music for various bands, including rock, blues, metal, punk and country. He then went on to pursue an education in the recording arts and is now an engineer at a professional recording studio. He has recorded most of his own music and has toured the country with it. Zach is extremely passionate about being able to share his love of music and help demystify the theory of music as well as the art of performance.
Stan Pillis Guitar Teacher
Stan Pillis is a seasoned performer, songwriter, composer, arranger and teacher with over 30 years of experience working with students of all ages and all genres. He is an expert in playing various styles of both guitar and bass and also sings. He is also an accomplished session player and recording artist. Stan has a wide knowledge of and teaches various musical styles such as rock, metal, pop, acoustic, classical, jazz, funk, fusion, world and blues. He has recorded guitar tracks on numerous commercials and has recorded multiple albums with numerous bands, as well as traveled the world on tour with numerous bands. He has taught all levels of instruction and skill sets (beginning, intermediate and advanced) and has provided instruction on sight-reading, ear-training, musical and chord theory, speed picking, pick techniques, rhythm guitar techniques, lead guitar techniques and explaining modal concepts. He is an expert in performance and has led many workshops on different types of methodology, as well as demonstrations of various types of pickups, strings, picks and pedals. He has prepared students for performances, auditions and festivals by also leading band performance workshops.
Steve Long Piano Teacher
Steve has been involved with music his whole life. His dad was a drummer and also played clarinet in a Dixieland band, so there was always music in the house. He bought Steve a marching drum when he was five and Steve would march around the neighborhood playing marching cadences with all his friends following behind. At seven, Steve took piano lessons and stopped when he was 14, then taught himself to play the guitar. He had a band in high school and college. After two years as a journalist in the Navy, he joined Channel Two News as a photojournalist. A few years later he got together with some of his neighbors and started Easy Money, a local band that has been playing all over Houston for 27 years. Steve retired from Channel Two after 40 years and now enjoys teaching a new generation how to rock and roll.
Larry Del Toro Drum Teacher
Born in Baytown, TX, Lawrence Del Toro has been playing drums for more than 40 years. Immersed in music from an early age, Lawrence was hooked on the drums after seeing Ringo Starr and The Beatles on television. Since then, Lawrence has performed in numerous bands, honing his skills behind the kit. Some of his bands have opened for such famous groups as The Drifters, The Platters, The Temptations, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Vaughan. Currently, he’s actively working the blues circuit with his nephew, 2017 Blues Award winner John Del Toro Richardson. In addition to the drums, Lawrence also plays guitar, keyboards and harmonica and enjoys his time in his own studio making music.
Abigail Armstrong Vocal Instructor
After developing a love of music at a very young age, Abigail Armstrong realized her talent and love for singing with the help of many teachers and mentors, but it was her time working in the worship ministry at her church that really shaped and grew her as a vocalist. She led worship and performed at several women’s ministry retreats. She thoroughly enjoys harmonies and vocal blending, and can often be heard adding her own special touch to music playing throughout the school. She encourages students to find their own true voice while learning vocal health and overcoming vocal boundaries. Her playlist includes a wide variety of music from Johnnyswim to Journey, Matchbox Twenty to Ed Sheeran and Leon Bridges to Nirvana, which allows her to hop on stage at dueling piano bars with ease. Her vocal influences include Adele, Lauren Daigle, Whitney Houston and Stevie Nicks. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Katy.