Sarah Bryant General Manager
Our lovely Sarah is a native of middle Tennessee and attended Belmont University, graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music - Voice principle, with an emphasis in Music Business. Sarah was exposed to rock music by her father at a young age, and she has been very passionate about music throughout her life. She began taking classical vocal lessons in early high school and proceeded to take lessons throughout her college career. Sarah's main genre of vocals is rock, and she is also trained in and greatly enjoys jazz, pop and musical theater. Her piano experience started when she was eight years old, and she continued taking lessons throughout high school and college.
Music continues to surround Sarah outside of School of Rock as she writes new music with her bandmates, plays keys and is a co-vocalist in a rock band here in Nashville. She also frequents many concerts and music festivals with her friends and family around the country.
Sarah serves as our General Manager at School of Rock, continuing three years as part of the School of Rock family. Sarah’s top priority is that students can call School of Rock their second home and family, while learning to be the best they can be.
Angie McCreight Owner
Angie has loved music her entire life. One of her earliest memories is listening to artists like Elvis Presley, Elton John and more with her parents as a toddler. Angie started singing at the age of five, joining her church choir at the age of eight. In middle school, Angie was a member of the Ketron Singers who performed at the World's Fair in Knoxville, TN and continued to develop her vocal skills with private lessons. Angie continued to perform in high school with her jazz band and performed in the Tennessee All-State Choir, as well as at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts.
Angie continued her vocal training in college and participated in activities that allowed her to continue to perform. She went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Medical Technology and worked in pharmaceutical research for over 20 years. In 2011, after leaving her career in the pharmaceutical industry, she and her husband Kelly decided to open the first School of Rock in Tennessee in the Franklin/Cool Springs area and opened the Nashville location two years later. Angie is very passionate about providing this outlet for young musicians and has also seen her own children participate in the program and become School of Rock AllStars. Every day is a gift when she sees the students get excited about their music and performing in live music venues, even when they get excited about just being in the building.
Cole Thannisch Music Director, Vocal Instructor
Cole Thannisch is a graduate of Belmont University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Music. Playing piano since the age of four, guitar since the age of 11 and singing since the age of 14, Cole has spent the vast majority of his life as a performer in several capacities. He garnered years of experience working as a vocalist, instrumentalist, accompanist, teacher, band director, composer, artist and producer on stage and in studios. Cole’s life revolves around music 24/7.
Beginning as a voice teacher in the spring of 2016, Cole first directed the Warped Tour Show in Summer 2017 and went on to become School of Rock Nashville’s Music Director in October 2017. Cole’s mission is simple - to drive School of Rock’s program forward to become an elite performance program for young, aspiring musicians in Music City while using real-world examples and experience to prepare students for the life of a working musician. He is also a vocal instructor at School of Rock Nashville.
Amberly Winfrey Vocal Instructor
Amberly Winfrey is a singer, songwriter and teacher from Cincinnati, OH. With church musicians for parents, gospel music was her first experience with singing. Outside of church, she was exposed to funk, soul and R&B. In her early teens, Amberly began taking voice lessons and singing in choirs. In a search for “heavier” sounding music, she discovered her love for rock.
At Northern Kentucky University, Amberly received a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. For four years she was a member of the NKU Chamber Choir and NKU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Both ensembles competed regionally and internationally, including in gold and silver medal performances at the 2012 World Choir Games. She also performed as part of NKU’s Opera Workshop, R&B Combo I and JusTones New Music Ensemble. In 2017, she received her Master of Music in Commercial Voice Performance at Belmont University.
Outside of school, Amberly sang in funk, jazz, Top 40 cover and soul bands, and participated in community theater productions. Her love of music, combined with her love for teaching, is something Amberly has found joy in for years. She has taught a wide range of students with a very diverse range of musical interests, and continues to pursue diverse musical experiences in her own writing and performance. She encourages her students to do the same. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Nashville.
Anna Kline Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher
Anna Kline is a singer/songwriter and graduate of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music. While receiving her bachelors in Commercial Music Production she maintained a full studio of piano and vocal students. In addition, she has written and released her own debut EP titled "Undone," and a 10-track, multi-genre kids album for Cincinnati non-profit Clever Crazes. Most weekends you can find Anna singing at corporate/wedding events, or sharing her own music at local writers rounds.
Drew Kohl Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Drew is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He has taught lessons on piano, bass, acoustic and electric guitar for over nine years. He graduated with honors from the guitar program at the Atlanta Institute of Music. He was also accepted into the classical piano and music composition program at the University of Georgia. After studying at UGA he moved to Nashville, TN to pursue songwriting, performing and teaching.
Drew enjoys teaching beginners of all styles and intermediate to advance students on songwriting, music theory, rock, indie, folk, bluegrass and country styles. He has studied and transcribed songs from a variety of artists for students including The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and CCR, as well as contemporary bands such as Death Cab For Cutie, The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams and Modest Mouse to name a few. He enjoys working with students and helping them play the songs they love.
Drew Mechler Drum Teacher
Drew Mechler is new to the School of Rock Nashville staff but has been a member of the School of Rock family for quite some time now. Having played drums for most of his life, he jumped right into the Performance Program at age 12 at School of Rock Somerville in New Jersey, quickly joining the House Band soon after. He was a member of the school until he graduated and became a drum teacher for them in 2016. He then left for Tennessee to pursue a degree in Music Business with an emphasis in Audio Production. Drew’s many inspirations span everywhere from modern progressive rock icons Matt Garstka and Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders and Matt Halpern of Periphery, to pop and hip-hop artists such as Twenty-One Pilots and Logic. Drew currently plays in his band Ambrose, who just released their debut full-length LP entitled “Adama.” He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Nashville.
John O'Brien Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
John O'Brien has spent most of his life making music. At the age of 10, he began learning the saxophone and started playing music through school programs. Picking up guitar by the age of 13, he knew that music would always be an important part of his life and sought out every opportunity to perform. School programs provided performance opportunities in wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, marching bands, pep bands, pit orchestras, jazz combos, show choir combos and saxophone quartets. Still needing more, John would form his own bands outside of school. These bands would emphasize original material and range in styles from blues and jazz to rock, pop and metal. Over the years he’s played hundreds of shows all over the Midwest, recorded several albums, and had his music played on commercial radio stations in Chicago and elsewhere.
Nathan Aronowitz Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Nathan is a multi-instrumentalist from Rogers, Arkansas whose roots are in blues and gospel music. Throughout high school, Nathan performed on the weekends with his band Nathan A. Blues, playing local music festivals such as Bikes Blues and Barbecue, Highberry and the Eureka Springs Blues Festival.
Since moving to Nashville to pursue a Commercial Piano degree at Belmont University, Nathan has backed numerous artists in the area and actively plays with his own progressive funk band, Down Boy. Nathan resided as the Minister of Music for Progressive Missionary Baptist Church from 2014-2018, has taught at various music academies throughout the years and is now a proud member of the School of Rock family.
Noah Miller Drum Teacher
Noah started playing drums at the age of 13. He grew up in New York City and then later moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia where he went to the Main Line School of Rock. He participated in the house band and eventually became a School of Rock AllStar. He attended Belmont University, graduating in 2018 with a degree in Commercial Percussion with emphasis in the Music Business. Noah's favorite bands are Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Tool and Jimi Hendrix.
Sydney Wilke Studio Coordinator
Sydney Wilke is a recent graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where she received a BBA in Music Business with an emphasis in Music Production. Born in Atlanta, GA, Sydney was introduced to music by her father at a very early age. She began piano lessons at age three and added vocal lessons along the way. She knew no matter what or where she studied, she wanted to be surrounded by music. Sydney is also culturally curious, studying in all parts of the world, including Greece, Brazil, Argentina and Spain. Throughout her travels and in her home, she became fluent in Spanish. Sydney is also proficient in French. Sydney is currently pursuing Latin pop music here in Nashville and is excited to continue promoting diversity as a Studio Coordinator at School of Rock Nashville.
Luke Fiadino Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Luke Fiadino is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and music theory enthusiast from Philadelphia, PA. He was introduced to music was when he was eight years old and began classical and jazz upright bass lessons, which aided him in learning other instruments and developing an understanding of music theory. He moved to Nashville, TN in 2016 and is currently a senior at Belmont University, studying music business and education. Luke is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and piano teacher at School of Rock Nashville, but also plays trombone, tuba and cello. Luke is the lead guitarist and composer for the progressive rock band Ambrose, but also has experience playing in orchestras and jazz ensembles. His main influences include Animals As Leaders, Deftones and John Coltrane. In his free time, Luke enjoys practicing guitar, eating great food and playing Xbox.
James Mellett Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Raised in Ambler, PA, James Mellett began taking folk guitar lessons at the age of 10. He picked up keys and bass shortly thereafter. With this foundation, he branched out to teach himself the music of Queen, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Megadeth. He performed classic rock, soul and blues around the Philly area during his teen years, but he was always captivated more by records than live performances. Then, sometime during those years, it happened: a friend introduced James to Steely Dan, the duo known for obsessively laboring over every detail of their records. Three years later he earned a degree in Record Production from Berklee College of Music. Along with that came some skills: ear training, music theory/composition, arranging, recording techniques, sound design and mixing. Now, he's excited to share his musical knowledge with aspiring pupils in hopes that it will bring them to have a more full understanding of what music even is. His influences include Steely Dan, The Beatles, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse, Beach Boys, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, The Four Seasons, Bob Dylan, Prince, Smokey Robinson, Glen Campbell, Shuggie Otis, Ray Charles and J Dilla. He is a guitar teacher and piano teacher at School of Rock Nashville.
Brian Sorenson Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Brian Sorenson has achieved a Master of Music degree in Classical Guitar and a Master of Music degree in Music Theory, both from the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music. While pursuing graduate school in Cincinnati, Brian was active as a teacher and performer around the city, and gained extensive experience as a theater pit musician. At CCM he taught as a graduate assistant in each of the Classical Guitar and Music Theory departments in separate years. He also taught music lessons at several schools around the city. Brian previously earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albion College in Albion, Michigan, double-majoring in Guitar Performance and Economics and Management.
In Nashville, Brian works as a sideman with various songwriters, performing both live and studio music on a variety of string instruments. He also works as a recording engineer and producer, and released his debut solo album, "Shape of Fire," in March 2018. The album was independently produced and recorded by the artist in Nashville and mixed and mastered by Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist). He is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock Nashville.
Paul Sukowski Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin native Paul Sukowski has spent his life surrounded by music. While he is a third generation musician on his mom’s side, it was his dad that inspired him to make a life in music. Through his Beatles and Beach Boys records, as well as yearly trips to Summerfest and other music events throughout Wisconsin, Paul found his home in music.
Starting with his family band at 15, to playing everything from jazz to rock, and classical to hip-hop, Paul brings over 14 years of professional music experience to his teaching. While primarily a drummer, Paul considers himself a proud multi-instrumentalist, playing bass, guitar, mandolin and lap steel, as well as many others.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a degree in Music
Business/Recording Technology in 2015, Paul made Nashville, TN his home. Keeping busy with touring the country (34 states and counting) and playing multiple residencies on Lower Broadway in Nashville, he is more than excited to start teaching at School of Rock Nashville as a bass guitar teacher and drum teacher. Outside of music, Paul enjoys cooking for friends and watching any and every Wisconsin sports team, especially the Green Bay Packers.