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.
Meg Frye Studio Coordinator
Meg Frye was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Meg grew up with a love for old time rock and roll. She studied Music Performance and Music Business at Delgado Community College. Meg is an aspiring songwriter and poet who enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. Her love of music is what inspires her to spark a passion for the art in the mind of young people, hopefully inspiring them to someday aspire to create and grow a love for music.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kentro Mason Singing Teacher
Kentro Mason is a singer-songwriter and dancer based here in New Orleans. Originally from Baton Rouge, he began performing on stages around the Gulf South as a toddler. He moved to The Big Easy to pursue an education in Vocal Performance and Ballet Performance at Loyola University New Orleans. After graduating, he began his gigging career with multiple local bands, playing all night in popping Bourbon Street clubs and entertaining grandiose party guests. Upon joining his own band, Jank Setup, they scorched the city's hottest live music venues from Joy Theater and Tipitinas to Gasa Gasa and One Eyed Jacks. Kentro is more than excited to share with the new generation his knowledge and expertise he has learned through decades of having fun on stage!
Conner McCready Guitar Teacher
Conner McCready is a multi-instrumentalist from Cleveland, OH now living in New Orleans, LA. He has been an active member of the Cleveland music scene for over 10 years and is now currently playing in various groups around New Orleans ranging from soul to bluegrass and hip hop. Conner is primarily a guitarist but is also proficient on drums, bass guitar and piano. He is very active in the recording scene as a session musician and engineer for numerous Cleveland and New Orleans based projects. He received his BA in "Music Studies" from the University of New Orleans.
Claire Gerling Little Wing Teacher, Rookies Teacher
Claire Gerling is a senior at Loyola University, majoring in Music Education with a concentration in Voice. Originally from Memphis Tennessee, she has always lived in cities known for their music and soul! Her love of music began in the 6th grade choir, and has since grown into a career path. She has performed with Opera Memphis and Loyola Opera, as well as in many choral ensembles through Loyola and St. Francis of Assisi Church. She has had experience teaching through Encore-Coda Summer Music Camp and through Field Experience in her major. Claire is very passionate about sharing her love of music through education.
Noah Albright Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Noah Albright is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in keyboards, bass, and music production. He has been on the New Orleans music scene for 10+ years playing with artists like Davell Crawford, Charmaine Neville, the Brassaholics, Tarriona "Tank" ball from Tank & the Bangas, Kermit Ruffins, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and many more local brass, funk, jazz and rock bands. He studied Jazz performance at NOCCA and later went on to study music at the University of New Orleans. Some of his favorite artists include David Bowie, Rush, the Talking Heads, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Ryan Clute Bass Guitar Teacher
Ryan is a native of Pittsburgh but moved to New Orleans in 1999 to pursue his passion for music. He fell in love with music at the age of 4 from being surrounded by his parents that taught at the local University. Ryan began piano lessons followed by learning the drums all at the age of 5. The moment he listened to Rush he fell in love with Geddy Lee’s bass playing. During his career Ryan has had the pleasure of working with Doctor John, Allan Toussaint, Gatemouth Brown, Bryan Lee, Gary Brown, and many more! In 2005 he began his transition into “Top 40” gigs, thus finding his way into The Phunky Monkeys were he holds the role as Lead Bass player. In Ryan’s free time he enjoys time with his two sons, Oliver and Miles - many say they’re the sweetest kids ever. Other than time with his children, you can probably find Ryan playing chess, practicing archery, studying cosmology, and many outdoor activities.
Kate Parker Studio Coordinator
Kate Parker was inspired to start her saxophone career in elementary school after finding a role model in Lisa Simpson. Through joining School of Rock in Chatham, NJ she discovered she had a passion not only for sax but also for singing, and picked up flute and piano along the way. During her time in All Stars she played iconic stages across the country including festivals like Lollapalooza and Summerfest. She developed a love of working with kids to build their confidence and help them shine through teaching Little Wing classes and working as a writing tutor for elementary and middle school students. Whenever she wasn’t buried in books working towards her degrees in Political Economy and English at Tulane, she wrote folk songs or jammed with friends at NOLA spots like The Willow and Neutral Ground. Kate is currently working on an EP with another former SOR All Star.
Elijah Witt Singing Teacher
Elijah Witt, vocalist of the New Orleans international touring band Cane Hill, has spent his musical career developing techniques that keep his instrument strong, healthy, and durable. Over the course of nearly a decade on the road, his experience has forced him to learn and understand the physical limitations of his voice & discover ways to transcend his natural abilities while maintaining conscious practices. It's this knowledge he strives to instill in students as his prolific vocal coaches did for him. Elijah understands that the strength of a singer is in their breath & that it only takes understanding how your body functions & manifesting the correct processes to unlock the potential they've had in themselves all along.
Casandra Faulconer Bass Guitar Teacher
Casandra (Cass) Faulconer was born into a musical Canadian family and began her professional career playing bass with her father’s band at age 15. She graduated in Toronto at Humber College’s prestigious music program, specializing in performance of contemporary pop and commercial music. Ready for new horizons and lured by travel, Cass headed out with an 11-piece show band cruising the Caribbean, and finally landed in her adopted city of New Orleans.
As a highly sought-after sideman, she has traveled the world to support and enhance many world-class artists and productions like local and national rock treasure Cowboy Mouth and the elite productions of Cirque du Soliel.
Casandra has also found time between her travels to share her experience and insights with young musicians. She’s been a guest lecturer at many music camps and colleges around the world and is currently teaching bass, guitar and ukulele to both adults and children.
Gabi Hawkins Studio Coordinator
Gabi Hawkins is a designer, illustrator, animator, and Hot Cheetos enthusiast residing in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of design in interactive design. Her passions include branding, illustration, motion graphics, and scrolling through Twitter.