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.
Matt Kruft Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Matt Kruft is a guitarist, producer, composer and educator from Baltimore, Maryland who is now based in New Orleans. Matt recently graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies and earned a Bachelors Degree in Jazz/Commercial Music from Towson University in Towson, MD. He has performed alongside jazz masters Danilo Perez, Rufus Reid, Kurt Elling and Shannon Powell, in addition to many of the other greats in the New Orleans area. Matt has also been featured as a soloist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He has over 10 years of teaching experience, and had the opportunity to teach with Donald Harrison, Jr. through the Tipitina’s Foundation. You can find him featured prominently on original projects Atomic Jaguar, Medium Cheetah and various recordings in the Baltimore/DC area. He teaches all styles of music on electric and classical guitar, steel-string acoustic guitar and bass. He is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Metairie/New Orleans.
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.
Eryn Kelly Bass Guitar Teacher, Vocal Instructor
Eryn Kelly is a University of New Orleans graduate with a BA in Music Studies and is an experienced bassist and vocalist. In high school Eryn started learning music theory on piano, how to sing and how to play guitar. It was also during this time that she became an intern as a vocalist for the Tipitina’s Foundation in New Orleans under the instruction of Donald Harrison. Soon after she formed a band with other musical peers and gained experience playing live shows consistently on the north shore and on Frenchmen Street for the next few years. Eryn is an annual attendee of Music Master’s Camp Roots Rock Revival that takes place in Big Indian, NY. After years of learning and practice, it was at Roots Rock that she gained an intimate look at the Southern blues rock movement, The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and the music that formed the foundation of rock n' roll. Having attended the camp for four years and counting, Eryn has received instruction
from Butch Trucks, Vaylor Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Luther and Cody Dickinson, Bernard Purdie and more. She is currently working on her first album of original music and aims to have it out soon. As a vocal instructor and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Metairie/New Orleans, she seeks to guide students towards their natural talents and abilities by inspiring and treating them with respect as fellow musicians.
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.