CR Gruver Owner, Music Director, Piano Teacher
CR Gruver began his classical training at the age of nine, and by 13 he left formal instruction as a top student to immerse himself in the world of rock and funk. The next three decades were dedicated to perfecting his craft, touring the country relentlessly, and building a successful performance career. He is currently a member of the national touring band New Orleans Suspects in addition to being the active owner of School of Rock Metairie / New Orleans. His experience as a national touring professional and seasoned musical director makes him an ideal owner of a School of Rock, as he’ll be able to impart decades of wisdom and knowledge to his students and faculty.
Jessica Troske General Manager
Jess is a Louisiana native. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in English Literature from Northwestern State University and attended graduate school for English Literature at her alma mater. Jessica has a strong background in non-profit, financial and operations management and has worked in these capacities in both non-profit organizations and in educational sectors in New Orleans and Denver, CO. Her love for music began when she was a child where Rock music was always playing at home and listening to her father playing guitar. She played the flute in junior and senior high school and always sought out new music, attended as many live concerts as possible. Jessica moved from New Orleans to Denver, CO in 2013 and worked as the Assistant General Manager for School of Rock in Denver, CO, where she found her calling. She is a strong believer in the arts and the power music plays in the long-term effects on the growth and happiness of families. She believes in the School of Rock’s mission and programming and has a strong love and dedication to the city of New Orleans; she believes that those three things combined and with such an eclectic and community-driven city to operate in will yield a successful and dynamic school.
Jenna Hunts Singing Teacher
Jenna Hunts is a singer/songwriter, performer and recording artist. With her pop/rock style, she has a unique sound that audiences of all ages enjoy. Born and raised in New Orleans, she performs locally around the New Orleans area at events such as Family Gras, Freedom Fest and Gretna Fest as well as venues such as The House of Blues and The Howlin’ Wolf Den. She has been performing on a stage since the age of seven and has competed in nationally televised series, including "American Idol." Jenna is currently recording an EP in Memphis, Tennessee at CrossTrax Studios made up of all original compositions. Having taking vocal lessons for many years, she has a wealth of knowledge in technique and style. Jenna seeks to use what she has learned to teach those who are passionate about music and those who are striving to progress in their abilities. She is currently attending school at Loyola University of New Orleans studying music.
Anthony D'Antonio Guitar Teacher
Anthony D'Antonio, a New Orleans native, has been playing guitar for 32 years and has earned an Associate Degree of Music from Delgado Community College. He has played with numerous metal and rock bands in New Orleans for many years. He is currently playing with the band Alpha Tribe.
Anthony Del Barrio Piano Teacher
Anthony Del Barrio is an active performing pianist/keyboardist and music educator. Classically trained on piano, he is also well rounded to play more genres and styles of music including blues, rock, funk, R&B/soul, reggae, jazz and Latin jazz. Anthony also enjoys playing multiple instruments like guitar, bass, drums and percussion. After Anthony graduated from San Francisco School of the Arts High School, his experience in jazz, funk and Latin jazz among other styles led him to Berklee College of Music in Boston. His experience at Berklee provided an extensive foundation in performance skills and ensemble practice.
Sharing musical experience and knowledge is what motivates Anthony to teach young students how to learn an instrument and most importantly to play and perform music at their best. Anthony has been teaching out of his private lesson studio for over five years. Now he is looking to prepare students of all ages to play and sound great in a band setting at School of Rock so they can put on the best of live shows and performances for audiences that love live music.
Derek DeBlieux Guitar Teacher
Derek DeBlieux is a guitarist, songwriter and music producer living in New Orleans. While attending Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, he studied under some of the most accomplished guitarists in the world including Scott Henderson (Chick Corea Elektric Band), Steve Hunter (Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper) and more. After leaving school he pursued a few different musical projects and has shared the stage with national artists including One Republic, DNCE, Panic at the Disco, Plain White Ts, Kongos, Cher Lloyd and many more. His guitar playing can be heard on the movie soundtracks for "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Never Back Down 2," as well as on the television show "American Idol."
Kyle Melancon Drum Teacher
Kyle Melancon first fell in love with drumming at the age of nine when he saw Keith Moon in the film “The Kids Are Alright.” At that moment he knew that he was going to be a drummer. It seemed a foolish dream at the time but he was determined. In 1995, that dream became a reality when Kyle joined legendary Louisiana band Dash Rip Rock. With Dash Rip Rock, he toured the world for 20 years and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Kyle also plays drums for Emmy Award-winning children’s group Imagination Movers, touring the world entertaining and educating children of all ages. The education aspect of children’s entertainment made him realize that he wanted to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation of drummers and he couldn’t be more thrilled to be at School of Rock doing just that.
Matt St Germain Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Matt is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, experienced in performance and instruction on drums, bass and guitar. With years of experience teaching the School of Rock method at the School of Rock in Clear Lake, Texas, Matt has returned home to New Orleans to join the staff at the school here in Metairie / New Orleans and expand his skills by becoming one of their show directors.
Dani Kardon Singing Teacher
Dani spent most of her childhood in a School of Rock practice room. She enrolled when she was eight and has been hooked ever since. She is now a student in the Popular and Commercial Music program at Loyola University. She is excited to use her knowledge of the School of Rock program to help kids realize their own unique sound.
Kyle Thomas Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Throughout the last four decades, Kyle Thomas has gone from third grade trumpet player all the way to international recording artist. Having grown up in a household that relied on the arts as a source of income, Kyle understands as well as anyone the importance of a family's support in the artistic development of a child. After five years on the trumpet, he traded in the horn for rock. The early 80s music grabbed Kyle and he began to develop a love for the bass. After a few years of garage band action, eventually the backup vocals that he added took him to front and center as a lead vocalist. Throughout his teenage years, Kyle ended up being voted outstanding singer by his classmates in the Brother Martin High School Chorus, and also performed with the New Orleans Symphony on Beethoven's 9th, the "Ode to Joy," in two sold-out performances at the Orpheum Theater. Shortly thereafter, Kyle's career as a recording artist began its course.
Kyle has released five full-length albums on three different labels internationally, and has appeared on countless compilations, touring three continents. With many features and appearances in magazines, on MTV and live concert broadcasts, his writing and performances have helped influence and shape heavy metal as we know it today. He has written and performed songs with several world famous musicians and producers, including Joey Jordison of Slipknot and Max Norman of Ozzy Osbourne fame. In addition to his musical background, Kyle is a devoted and loving husband and father. Family is always first, but he truly believes that a family with a love for music is always a happier one.
Brayden Turner Drum Teacher
Brayden Turner is a drummer and multi-instrumentalist. He was raised in New Orleans and received a rich music education from some of the best musicians in the city (Johnny Vidacovich, Ricky Sebastian, Chris Severin and others). He also grew up playing and sitting in with his step-father, musician Billy Iuso. He is an alum of the Berklee College of Music, where he attended on a full scholarship. He has played at The New Orleans Jazz Festival and French Quarter Festival, and toured with two bands during his time at Berklee (Mosie and Lilacs). He played the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas with the band Mosie. In addition to drums, he also plays piano, bass, guitar and vibraphone, and composes his own music. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Metairie.
Sam Yoger Drum Teacher
Sam Yoger likes to play the drums. Originally, he grew up in northern California playing drums in his high school jazz band and attending a few classes at Berkeley Jazz School. He then moved to New Orleans in 2009 to study Music Industry at Loyola University. While at Loyola, Sam started performing in local rock groups and started touring northern America immediately after graduating college. Since then, he's been lucky to share the stage with some of his favorite artists and travel throughout the US playing music. He is a drum teacher, Little Wing teacher and Rookies teacher at School of Rock Metairie/New Orleans.
Jim Kolacek Drum Teacher
Jim Kolacek’s musical studies began at age 11 on snare drum at Lyman Ward Military Academy in his home state of Alabama. He further developed his drumming skills as an integral member of the Albertville High School marching band, where he also began writing percussion scores and features as the battery captain. Upon graduation, Jim moved to Nashville, TN to study music at Belmont University. There he studied under Chester Thompson (Phil Collins, Genesis, Frank Zappa) and received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance.
While a resident of Music City, Jim played in numerous bands and recording sessions, as well as embarked on several national tours, playing a myriad of musical genres from rock and country to jazz and experimental fusion. Jim’s musical journey took him through several recordings and performances as a highly sought after drummer and instructor in Huntsville, AL and Virginia Beach, VA before he relocated to Lafayette, LA in 2014.
Jim received his Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2016 and served as an adjunct professor at UL, teaching the History of Popular Music, Music Appreciation and a Music Critic course. Jim relocated to New Orleans in 2019 and currently performs with Andrew Duhon, Feufollet, and Lâche Prise avec Michael Doucet. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Metairie/New Orleans.
Ian Severson Guitar Teacher
Ian is a producer, engineer, writer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who began his musical training at age nine with piano lessons. In junior high, he played trumpet and then began playing guitar at age 13. Ian started his major career in music when he met Amanda Harris and formed the band Gingerjake in 2002. From 2004 to 2009 Gingerjake had five releases, and recorded at various studios in Minneapolis, MN and Los Angeles, CA with major label producers. In addition to Gingerjake, from 2008-2015, Ian was the lead guitarist and co-writer for the American post-grunge band Future Leaders of The World. Future Leaders of the World's 1st record produced the single "Let Me Out" in 2005.
Ian has also recorded and co-written with a number of reputable engineers and performed live with artists such as Cameron Webb (Social Distortion, Deftones, Motorhead, Tenacious D, Pennywise), Ted Bruner (Katy Perry), Duane Baron (Ozzy, Motley Crue), Tim Pagnotta (Sugarcult, Disney), John LeCompt (Evanescence) and Todd Fitzgerald (Johnny Lang, Michelle Branch, Semisonic). He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Metairie/New Orleans.
Stephanie Guevara Little Wing Teacher
Stephanie Guevara was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently studying Musical Education with a concentration in Voice and Piano at Loyola University New Orleans. She is currently a piano teacher for the PREP program at Loyola University and is a choir member at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Stephanie has been in productions with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Loyola Opera Theater. Currently, she is the President of the National Association for Music Education Chapter at Loyola University. Lastly, in 2020, she founded a new musical group called Mariachi NOLA. She is a Little Wing teacher at School of Rock Metairie/New Orleans.
Devin Clark DRUM TEACHER
Devin Clark is the drummer in a world-renowned heavy metal act known as Cane Hill. Music has always been his drive to become the most successful person he can be. Drumming has been his passion for over a decade but teaching has become the most self-rewarding experience of his life. Being able to watch and learn from drummers like Vinnie Paul, Phil Collins, and James Gadson has been so important to his journey. Being able to pass on knowledge has always been a key factor in Music History. He is so happy to be a part of the School of Rock family.
Joshua Strawn guitar and bass guitar teacher
Joshua Strawn is a writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist known best for his work with experimental metal band Vaura, electronic/industrial project Azar Swan, and postpunk band Blacklist. While growing up in Roanoke VA, Strawn met Jeremy Kolosine of Synthpunk pioneers Futurisk who invited him to join a band. Starting on keyboard, then moving to guitar and lead vocals, Shakespace was Strawn's first band experience since metal cover bands in high school and first experience with original compositions. That band would give Josh his first experiences with studio recording and the southern alternative rock scene in America, most notably with R.E.M. producer Mitch Easter.
Years later in New York, he became involved with Wierd Records, a weekly party and record label coordinated by visual artist Pieter Schoolwerth that focused on dark postpunk. Strawn's band Blacklist was part of New York's early 2000s postpunk resurgence along with bands such as Interpol. Blacklist split in 2010 and Strawn teamed up with virtuoso guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and Kayo Dot mastermind bassist Toby Driver to form Vaura while at the same time delving into synthesizers and electronic production in Azar Swan. Vaura has released three LPs, two on Profound Lore Records, and shared the stage with Alcest, Deafheaven and Krallice. Azar Swan has toured the U.S. with industrial legends Front 242 and regularly tours the electronic music underground in Europe and the UK.
In 2019, Blacklist reunited. Vaura and Azar Swan are each working on their fourth LP. 2020 will see the renewal of Strawn's collaboration with Jeremy Kolosine with the debut LP by The Red Window on which Josh sang and played saxophone. Also in 2020 Strawn's first local collaboration since moving to New Orleans, Desolation Colony with Justin Vial of Kindest Lines, will release its debut of apocalyptic EBM on Berlin-based Mannequin Records. In the Spring of 2020 Strawn also announced a collaboration in the works with 4AD veterans Pieter Nooten (formerly of Clan of Xymox) and Warren Defever of His Name is Alive.
Ryan Long drum teacher
New Orleans based drummer/composer Ryan Scott Long continues his life long fascination with music. Long is the founding member of numerous bands including AND THEN CAME HUMANS, Booker Long Duo, Bandaid Army & BroJazz.
With his teaching approach, Ryan is happy to work with students of all ages and all skill levels by focusing on each individual student's needs. He has been teaching for over 8 years and constantly works to implement new ideas to better his approach from the inspiration he gets from his students.
Currently Ryan is on tour most of the year with his close friend Mike Sopko in their group AND THEN CAME HUMANS. With ATCH, Ryan is expanding his creativity on drums by combining his drumming with synth/keys and vocals forming eclectic sets of music. The band released their debut effort “IN HEAT WAVE” in September 2018. Their unique friendship and playing experience has allowed them to form a universal sound that closes the gaps between indie jazz, rock n’ roll, funk, blues and singer-songwriter folk music.
With his forward-thinking approach powering what may be an exciting new style of drumming, there's a bright future in store for Ryan as he continues to make his mark.
Sabrina Graham guitar and keyboard teacher
Sabrina Graham, from Franklin Lakes, NJ, is a guitarist and pianist. She has a background in musical performance and composition, as well as stage production and marketing for live events. Having graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, Sabrina is proficient in music theory and harmony, melodic and rhythmic dictation, and composition analysis. She has also studied Western musicology, music in religion, modern American music, and opera. Having worked in the New Orleans music industry for 4 years, Sabrina also currently works as a Veterinary Technician and is the guitar player for local New Orleans based Indie Rock band, Heartworm.