Thanos Papadopoulos Drum Teacher
Thanos developed a passion and need for music from an early age. He bought his first keyboard at the age of six and started writing, learning melodies by ear. He is still as passionate today as he was then.
Born and raised in Greece, he was exposed to a colorful palette of music like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong as well as bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple just to name a few.
By the fifth grade he had picked up accordion and began studying classical music, and at the age of fourteen he joined a contemporary orchestra and chose percussion and drums as his principal instrument.
While studying economics at University of Macedonia, Thanos was performing professionally as a drummer with rock and R&B artists across Greece. After graduating he joined the army and was selected as a percussionist for the military orchestra and marching band.
After completing his time with the army Thanos was accepted into Berklee College of Music with an academic scholarship. While at Berklee, he majored in Performance, Music Production and Engineering, studying under performance greats Ralph Peterson Jr., Kenwood Dennard, Dave DiCenso and multi-Grammy award winner Prince Charles Alexander. He also worked with professors in numerous projects performing in school festivals and summer music labs, teaching tonal harmony and music production as well as producing music for artists at the Berklee studios.
During his time in Boston he has performed in historical rock venues like the Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theater in New York City and Theater of the Living arts in Philadelphia to name a few. He toured along with legendary bands like the Dead Kennedys and G.B.H.
Al Lombardi Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher
Al Lombardi teaches keys and drums, and is also a very capable guitar and bass instructor, making him a valuable part of our school. Al grew up in New Jersey and started playing drums at the age of seven. Eventually he started joining bands with his friends and learning new instruments, which led him to move to Boston to attend, and graduate from, Berklee College of Music. Al has played in many different bands and draws inspiration from all kinds of music. He has performed for audiences up and down the northeast ranging from back yards, to rock venues, to concert halls, to stadiums. Having studied music education at Berklee, of course he also has a passion for teaching. Since graduating, he has been giving private lessons, and has also taught at multiple music camps. He’s excited to help students of all ages get off to a good start on their own personal musical journey!
Cooper Leardi Music Director
Originally learning guitar when he was 13, and later becoming a multi-instrumentalist and composer, Cooper has dedicated his life to writing, performing and living all that is music. Through years of international touring, artist management, behind-the-scenes production and playing, Cooper's abilities have blossomed into who he is today. Specializing in writing music for films, he graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2015. Since then, Cooper has had his music used for both TV and film placements including spots for the History Channel, Army/National Guard and Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival. He is the Music Director at School of Rock Natick.
Julia Chisholm SINGING TEACHER
Julia Chisolm has been performing and singing from a very young age. Her interest in music began when she started to learn the violin, and she would soon also begin taking up the piano as well. As she grew up she took part in many musical theater groups, chorus ensembles and a cappella groups. On top of taking formal music lessons she learned a lot of her musical knowledge on her own. Julia took her first professional music gig right out of college working for Carnival Cruise Line as one of the lead singers in the ship's rock band. For two years she traveled the country singing and entertaining thousands of guests every week, learning by doing, becoming very comfortable on stage, and mastering the art of entertaining a crowd and fronting a band. She currently works for Howl at the Moon in Boston as one of the piano bar entertainers and multi-instrumentalists. She plays piano and sings the heck out of songs from all different genres of current and classic music. She has also been seen playing drums and bass, proving that she knows her way around just about any song. Her love for music is infectious, and it shows in her performances. Julia hopes to pass on that passion to others through teaching and performing music. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Natick.
Alex Necochea Guitar Teacher
Alejandro, or Alex, picked up an electric guitar at age 12, having been enamored with 80s era MTV as a kid. Within months he was performing in local bands throughout central Pennsylvania with musicians many years his senior. By the mid-2000s Alex was recording albums and touring extensively with his 12-to-20 man band, Bang Camaro, with music and appearances in film, television and the widely popular "Guitar Hero II" and "Rock Band" game platforms. The band went on to appear at Lollapalooza, on "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" and on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Between tours, Alex became a fixture at School of Rock in Watertown, where he mentored students of all ages and skill levels in both lessons and the rehearsal setting. Recently, Alex continues to tour the world with Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles, The Andrea Gillis Band and his own heavy rock band, Worshipper. While performing is his passion Alex has years of teaching experience and is dedicated to cultivating the spirit and skill of rock ’n' roll in anyone that wants to learn. We couldn't be happier to have him on the team and to work with some of you.
Mark McCarthy Guitar Teacher
Mark McCarthy is a Boston-based guitarist and trombonist. His experience and talents gave him opportunities to open up for acts including Steven Tyler, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Jason Isbell, Four Year Strong, Hawthorne Heights and Lee Brice. Mark attended Keene State College in New Hampshire, where he graduated in 2017 with his Bachelors in Music. In college, he primarily studied classical and jazz music, as well as extensive music theory. Today Mark plays with many different groups, including his own band, Fordham Road, which mixes progressive rock with jam band elements. The band currently has released an EP and two full-length albums. He has also been a longtime lead guitarist for his sister and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Amanda McCarthy. Additionally, he is the lead guitarist for Whitney Doucet and Moonshine (a Worcester-based country band that regularly plays many local festivals, as well as events led by Ernie Boch. Jr.). He also plays with a couple jam/ska bands and a Russian wedding group, and regularly performs jazz gigs around Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Mark is excited to be a part of the School of Rock Natick crew, where he can pass on his knowledge to beginner and intermediate students as a guitar teacher. He hopes to bring a twist to the standard rock guitar education by weaving in other general musical concepts and introducing students to different dimensions of musical knowledge.
Joe Messina Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Joe recently moved to Boston from the Philadelphia area, where he was an instructor at School of Rock Cherry Hill in NJ. Growing up, he received classical training on violin, viola and music theory, eventually switching his focus to guitar, singing, songwriting and composition. During his time in Philadelphia he played in several bands, including Victoria Watts, Amsterdam, 88mph and Jackson Moe. Joe records original music as a solo artist and has composed music for productions at Good Good Comedy Theater in Philadelphia.
Joe is committed to giving students a well-rounded knowledge of music, so that in addition to knowing what to play, they will always know why to play it. He believes a quality music education requires an appreciation of all kinds of music and is excited to share his eclectic musical point of view. In addition to teaching and gigging, he is currently pursuing a General Music Studies Certificate from Berklee College of Music, studying keyboard, composition, recording and music business.
Ryan Bale Guitar Teacher
Ryan Bale is a Berklee College of Music graduate who actively plays, writes and records with his bands in the Boston area. Ryan attended School of Rock Charlotte in NC from the time he was 11 until he graduated high school. In that time, he went from beginner to a national AllStar, playing in quite a few bands along the way. After graduating high school, he attended Berklee College of Music, where he played everything from pop to jazz fusion. He completed a dual degree in Guitar Performance and Music Business, learning his craft while also becoming familiar with the business surrounding it. While at Berklee, he also formed The Cotones (a four-piece indie/alt-rock band) and Ansonia (an indie/electro-pop duo), two bands he remains actively involved with. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Natick.
Tim Clark Guitar Teacher
Born and raised just south of Baltimore, MD, Tim Clark's passion for music was sparked early on thanks to his father's fine ear for great songs. Music from all genres was present at home, from Van Halen, to Merle Haggard, to Parliament Funkadelic, to Norah Jones. Nothing was off limits. Tim began playing guitar and drums at the age of 12, focusing primarily on rock and blues music. Upon graduating high school in 2011, Tim was accepted to Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, but ultimately decided not to attend. A year later, he auditioned at the Berklee College of Music on a whim and has lived in the Boston area ever since. During his time in college, Tim's playing horizons began to broaden greatly thanks to professors Mike Williams, Jeff Lockhart and Thaddeus Hogarth, who he studied everything from country finger-picking to disco rhythm guitar with. Finding his niche in funk music, Tim enjoyed a short stint as the guitar player for Worcester-based soul/rock band Blue Light Bandits throughout the majority of 2014. After his first gig with BLB opening for Sublime tribute band Badfish in Syracuse, NY, Tim experienced shows at many different types of venues, from nightclubs and cigar bars to outdoor festivals and vineyards. Tim earned his bachelor's degree from Berklee in Guitar Performance in 2016, and has been teaching private lessons ever since. In the fall of 2017, he also earned a position as a music teacher at North Andover Public Schools, where he teaches guitar, piano and sound recording courses. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Natick.
Brittany Best singing teacher
Brittany is a Boston based singer from Youngstown, Ohio. She has been performing since she was four years old, and spent several years attending her local School of Rock in Ohio. Although Brittany is comfortable in a wide variety of styles, her roots lie in pop, rock, country, and musical theater. She is a senior at Berklee College of Music, majoring in Music Business. Brittany has several years experience in teaching lessons. We're excited to have her on the team, and for you to have the opportunity to work with her!
Molly McCoy Singing Teacher
Molly McCoy recently graduated from Longy School of Music with her Masters of Music in Opera. Originally from Manchester-by-the-Sea Massachusetts she has been singing her whole life. She has been teaching music for 5 years, loves working with kids, and will jump at any excuse to sing. A private voice coach as well as a professional Opera singer, McCoy has starred in numerous operatic and musical theatre roles and has been a featured soloist in a number of orchestras. Her true passion lies in Modern Opera and she regularly performs and cultivates the art. Though opera is her passion she loves any genre she can get her hands on. In her free time, she enjoys paddle boarding, cuddling with her cat, and anything Disney.
Bruno Cabrera Drum Teacher
Dr. Bruno Cabrera was an Adjunct Professor of Music at Taylor University where he taught percussion and was also a drummer and percussionist for The Ball State Department of Theater and Dance and Muncie Civic Theater. During his Masters degree, Dr. Cabrera worked at Indiana University’s Latin American Music Center as a performer, arranger, lecturer and coach for the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble, group where he shared the stage and wrote arrangements for great names of Latin American Music such as Grammy Award Winners Gonzalo Grau (Venezuela), Adam Del Monte (Spain), Grammy Award nominees Pablo Aslan (Argentina), Jovino Santos Neto (Brazil), and Michael Spiro (USA). Bruno also appeared as guest artist in the recording of "Latin Love Songs" by Grammy Award Winner Sylvia McNair.
Bruno started playing drums when he was 3 years old. His parents are amateur musicians and supported him to pursue a career in music. During his doctorate he researched music psychology, music cognition, and motor skill development, which helped him to develop a methodology to optimize the development of skills and musical knowledge of young students. Bruno worked for the School of Rock in Fishers Indiana before moving here and joining us.