Teddi Tarnoff General Manager
At the original School of Rock in Philadelphia, Teddi was one of the first-ever students and All Stars. She has taught voice and directed countless shows, as well as ran the All Stars program for a time and developed some of the curriculum at the core of the School of Rock program. Outside of that, Teddi has studied music both in the states and abroad. She has had the pleasure of working with such famed opera teachers as Enza Ferrari and Bruno Rigacci, and attended Temple University for Jazz Vocal Performance. At the tender age of 11, Teddi began studying classical violin at The Curtis Institute. Teddi was in two all-female tribute bands, Misstallica and Queen Diamond, and performs original music with her band Mother Mercury. She has performed all over the world with some serious musicians including Jon Anderson (Yes), Alice Cooper, Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Miriam Linna (The Cramps), Ike Willis (Frank Zappa), Napolean Murphy Brock (Frank Zappa, George Duke Band), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Dethklok), Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth) and Stuart Copeland (The Police).
Erik Carlsson Music Director
Erik Carlsson has been playing the guitar for the past 20 years. During that time, he has played in countless bands and been involved in many rewarding musical endeavors. Erik attended San Francisco State University where he received his B.M. in Theory and Composition. While in college, he focused heavily on performing jazz and metal on the guitar, while also teaching music at a local K-8 private school in Northern California. After moving back down to Southern California, Erik joined a heavy rap metal band named 3rd Strike and was signed by Hollywood Records in 2001. While in 3rd Strike, he was fortunate enough to be on the Vans Warped Tour in 2001-02, and also played Ozzfest. Other credits include heavy video play on MTV 2, a tour of the USA and Europe, music in "Ultimate X: The Movie," and a song on the "Tomb Raider 2" soundtrack. After leaving 3rd Strike, Erik was involved in several other projects in Los Angeles and has worked with producers such as Toby Wright (Alice in Chains, Korn), Mudrock (Godsmack), Bob Marlette (Seether) and Chris Lord-Alge.
Mario Ortiz Guitar Teacher
Hailing from Los Angeles County, Mario Vittorio Ortiz comes to School of Rock with over 10 years of experience as an educated, versatile and passionate guitar instructor with a comprehensive background in performance and teaching. Mario excels in offering a solid knowledge of music theory, technique and a wide variety of musical genres including rock, blues, punk, funk, heavy metal, soul and pop. Armed with a diverse sound/style and several years of charismatic live performances on many noted Las Vegas stages, Mario was also the lead guitarist, lead singer and main songwriter of the power trio At It Again. Focusing on music curriculum for beginner, intermediate and advanced guitarists, Mario helps students by teaching them to use their individual strengths and styles to develop unique practice rituals that incorporate theory, history, and the love and inspiration of music itself.
Adam Fisher Drum Teacher
Adam Fisher was born and raised in Las Vegas. With his father being a drummer, he has been around music his entire life, which helped to fuel his love and passion for it. At the age of two he picked up a pair of sticks and played on his first drum kit. After years of playing off and on, he began to take it seriously at the age of 15, playing with other musicians as much as possible. He then began performing with local artists with big followings such as punk/rock band Absent Minded, rap/rock band Cornerstone and various funk artists. After being in the local scene for a few years, Adam decided that he wanted, and was determined, to attend Musicians Institute located in the heart of Hollywood, CA. There he studied jazz, latin, funk, contemporary music and digital drumming/computer programming. After receiving his Associates Degree in Music/Performing Arts, Adam began his professional career as a musician/drummer/teacher. Shortly after graduating, he landed a gig with rap/rock artist RapScallions. His biggest success has been having one of their songs featured on the video game "Rocksmith" by Ubisoft for PS3 and Xbox. Adam then moved back to Las Vegas to continue teaching, gigging and doing studio work. Specializing in rock, he is now teaching at School of Rock and helping to share his knowledge and musical experiences.
David Vincola Drum Teacher
Las Vegas-based drummer/percussionist and multi-instrumentalist David Vincola continues to provide a rock-solid groove and a sound as wide as they come for a variety of musical genres and performing situations across the globe. At various high points in his career, he has found himself performing onstage with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Krall, Quincy Jones and John Williams. Whether performing alongside some of the finest artists in the business or providing the rhythmic foundation for a few of the biggest hit Broadway musicals, he continues to adapt and evolve as a musician and share his passion for music with anyone he meets along the way. David has been teaching in private, group and classroom settings since his time at The University of Miami School of Music where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance. He continued his performance studies at The Boston Conservatory and soon after relocated to New York City, where he taught privately out of his studio in Brooklyn for more than a decade. Calling Las Vegas home since 2014, David has appeared in some of the most popular shows on and off the Strip, such as "Rock of Ages," "Million Dollar Quartet," "MJ Live" and "The Rat Pack is Back," as well as many other live music venues, theaters and lounges.
Brittany McKay Singing Teacher
Brittany McKay has been performing for over 10 years and has been introduced as a "raw soulstress with a jazzy tone and a hip edge." She is known as a singer, songwriter, producer and vocal coach that has recently worked in Los Angeles with various artists and producers in the entertainment industry. She attended Las Vegas Academy for vocal performance, then moved on to Berklee College of Music in Boston to study Vocal Performance, Education and Songwriting. Since then, Brittany has been in Las Vegas teaching, recording and performing alongside her seven-piece band. They have performed at various venues in Las Vegas and won the Brooklyn Bowl Battle of the Bands to play Life is Beautiful Festival in 2016. She is now approaching her fourth year teaching at School of Rock and recording her third EP. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Las Vegas West.
Andrew Caballero Guitar Teacher
Andrew Caballero is a Hall of Fame graduate of School of Rock Las Vegas West, as well as a graduate of Las Vegas Academy, having majored in Electric and Classical Guitar. Having played guitar for 10+ years, he's had many opportunities to play shows all across Las Vegas and go on tour throughout the Midwest and Southwest with the School of Rock Continental Tour. Along the way, he formed his own band with fellow School of Rock students called FSTR SPRNT. Andrew enjoys giving back to School of Rock in his role as an instructor, helping to inspire younger musicians and share the knowledge he has gained from both School of Rock and Las Vegas Academy.
Maria Wynants Studio Coordinator
Born and raised locally in Las Vegas, Maria Wynants represents the core ideals and charm School of Rock has become known for. Working as Studio Coordinator since 2016, she manages the flow of lessons between the teachers and students, offers full information to the program's details and benefits, and shares her musical knowledge with any who seek it. While she's outside the teaching program itself, Maria has practiced in a repertoire of instruments since very early in her life, including piano, guitar and flute. Singing being a vital passion in her life, Maria has studied and trained her vocal talents extensively over a variety of styles, such as classical and modern genres, and can also be found featured on a few independent singles online. Maria is essential to the school and its successes by keeping the environment fun, open, intuitive and welcoming to all who come through the door.
Liz Ofte Singing Teacher
Liz has been singing since she was a little girl. Music and expressing herself have always been in her blood, from playing trumpet and piano to singing in musicals, jazz choir, show choir, concert choir, barbershop quartets and state solo competitions in high school and college. She’s toured the whole state of Wisconsin two summers in a row in a traveling troupe called Kids from Wisconsin, performing 73 shows a summer. She went to college for Trumpet Performance at the University of La Crosse Wisconsin with a minor in Theater. Now she sings in the Las Vegas pop/synth/rock band Pet Tigers that she has fronted for six years, playing keyboards, trumpet and singing. She has also been in cover bands in her home state of Wisconsin, as well as in Las Vegas for years. She’s toured the west coast and the Midwest and played in the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as in music festivals in Las Vegas.
Niko Gemini Bass Guitar Teacher
Niko Gemini is a Russian-born musician and songwriter. He moved to the US in 2011 after graduating from Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory College to start his career as a professional musician. After joining Davey Suicide for their The Reckoning Tour, Niko became a permanent member of the band. In 2016 Niko started his new band, Cry Venom, together with Jacky Vincent (ex-Falling In Reverse). Their first full-length album, "Vanquish The Demon," was released via King Records (Japan). The band went on its first Vanquish The West Tour, following it up with a performance in Japan at Loud Park'17 music festival alongside Slayer, Devin Townsend Project, Meshuggah, Alice Cooper and others. In March 2017 Davey Suicide's new album, "Made From Fire," charted on Billboard. After performing at a few summer festivals, the band started the Made From Fire World Tour that so far includes North America, the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Russia. Niko is Vegas-based now, on and off the road, and brings a lot of industry expertise, along with his exceptional musicianship, to the School of Rock family.
Spencer King Piano Teacher
Spencer King grew up in Las Vegas and began classical training on the piano when he was six years old. In high school he played with a rock band until he graduated. Shortly after he moved to Boston, where he attended the Berklee School of Music, as well as gigged and toured with multiple bands. After two years, Spencer moved to back to Las Vegas, where he has since been gigging with multiple bands ranging from jazz to metal styles.
Rhaina Yasmin Singing Teacher
Rhaina began studying music at a young age in lessons, as well as participating in musical productions and camps growing up in New York. She moved to Las Vegas her sophomore year of high school and after three years of attending, Rhaina graduated from School of Rock Las Vegas West and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. During her time with School of Rock, she participated in two School of Rock affiliated tours, including a School of Rock AllStars national tour, playing at numerous well-known venues up and down the west coast. Rhaina is now studying Jazz Vocal Performance at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, focusing on improving her craft in performance, teaching and songwriting. In addition to that, Rhaina also creates original music and plays live shows around the city of Las Vegas with her band. Rhaina cares greatly for each individual student and strives to push them to their greatest potential, focusing on their unique talents as a growing musician in her position as a vocal instructor at School of Rock Las Vegas West.
Sawyer Schneider Guitar Teacher
Throughout Sawyer Schneider's career he's written and produced many songs, scored for film, mixed multiple artists and performed relentlessly. In 2012 he received his acceptance letter to Berklee College of Music and within four years earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Contemporary Writing and Production. After earning his degree he has worked as an audio production mentor for YOUmedia, produced contemporary jingles for ReelWorld, worked for the world’s largest live audio company, Clair Global, and now he resides with us at School of Rock Green Valley as a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher. The pursuit of knowledge and the necessity to be creative motivates him.
Lenny Widegren Guitar Teacher
Lenny Widegren received his Bachelor of Music from Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California where he is a faculty member. At MI he studied contemporary guitar performance, and learned styles such as Blues, funk and R&B, but his main focus has always been rock, and he also loves to play punk and metal. He has five full-length albums to his credit with original bands, and has also contributed as a studio guitarist on many projects. Lenny has toured internationally and in the U.S. and was also featured as the guitarist in the movie “Get Him To The Greek” alongside Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. He has shared the stage with many great musicians such as Ray Luzier (Korn) Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper band) Billy Sheehan (Mr.Big) Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses) Richie Ramone (Ramones) among others, and also opened for bands such as Drowning Pool and L.A. Guns. Lenny loves teaching and inspiring players, and loves to perform live. Other than his original band “Elegantly Wasted” he also plays in the ABBA tribute band “ABBA L.A.” and the punk rock cover band “DTH”.
Jim Papanek Guitar Teacher
Jim found his first love at around the age of 12 or 13 and has been playing the guitar ever since. He worked his way through college teaching lessons, as well as performing classical guitar at weddings and other special events. Jim earned his Bachelor of Music in Education from Roosevelt University in his hometown of Chicago. Jim has over 25 years experience in teaching that includes general music, private lessons, and group classes on several instruments. As a performer, Jim has played guitar and bass in a few rock bands during his college days. He has also been a part of worship teams at various churches for nearly 30 years. Currently, Jim uses his talents as part of the praise team at his church in downtown Las Vegas. He also plays guitar and sings in the Las Vegas based rock band Atomic City.
Chad Henley Drum Teacher
Chad Henley is a Las Vegas native. He is currently nearing the end of his undergraduate degree in music education at UNLV, where he studies both classical percussion and jazz drum set. He has performed across the valley alongside incredible musicians encompassing an array of genres.
From classical to popular, heavy rock to funk, hip hop to jazz, and everything in-between, playing and performing music is his passion. Outside the world of academia, Chad has been working with an all original alt rock band named Damaris, who is presently finishing up their second studio album. Chad has been teaching drums in percussion in both group and private settings since completing his Associates degree from CSN in 2015. Groove, and how it relates to the bigger musical picture, is an essential element in his teaching philosophy.