Phil Martelly Owner
A graduate of the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, his passion for music is unmatched by few and is a driving force behind his bringing School of Rock to the Southern Mass/Rhode Island area. He is the definition of the word musician as he plays not one but several instruments: guitar, bass and drums. Phil has played with a lot of the area's hottest bands including Pappy Chulo as the opening act for none other than Incubus.
Shawn Garrity Owner
Shawn's musical journey began at age eleven when his dad handed him a guitar and taught him a few chords. As he grew, so did his love for music. At fifteen, he joined a band, began writing music and playing original and cover songs at clubs and venues throughout New England. He studied jazz and classical music at Western Connecticut State University and earned a B.A. in Music Industry from the University of New Haven. After college Shawn formed several bands which eventually resulted in the formation of his current band, VulGarrity. The band has completed three nationwide tours, signed an artist development deal with MySpace Records and won first place in 95.5 WBRU's 2011 Rock Hunt. Shawn has shared the stage with The Prodigals, Ra, Robert DeLong, The Heavy, Ra Ra Riot and Electric Six. Shawn continues to record music and tour with his sister and VulGarrity bandmate Tracy. With the use of loop pedals, the two play guitar, bass, drums and keys simultaneously while singing, often switching instruments during their shows, creating a unique live music experience. While Shawn enjoys listening to and playing a wide variety of music, he is most inspired by all things rock.
Stephen Kennedy Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Stephen Kennedy trained at Berklee School of Music and has been teaching and gigging in New England for 40 years. He has performed and worked with regional and national acts including Molly Hackett, Foghat and Aerosmith's Brad Whitford.
Cassondra Vinson General Manager
Cassondra grew up here in Norwood and graduated from Norwood High in 2013. She was a member of The Madrigals, a group of singers who dress up in Renaissance attire and sing songs in the round or a capella. She's performed at King Richards Faire, the Seaport Center, Symphony Hall and Mechanic Hall. Even after graduating, she still sings for fun and relaxation, as well as writes her own music. You can even catch her singing around the school at any time of the day. When she is not singing or working, she like to do Zumba and spend time with family.
Dylan DiChiara Music Director
In 2009 Dylan attended UMass Lowell as a Music Education major and by 2011 had begun teaching privately. In 2014 Dylan joined the School of Rock family, teaching drums, guitar, and directing shows for Rock 101 and Performance. As a drummer Dylan has performed locally and toured nationally with a diverse array of acts including The BoxBerrys, American Midnight, and Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers. Above all else, Dylan still considers himself a student of music and continues to study privately while maintaining a rigorous practice schedule.
Kevin Williams Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Kevin has well over 20 years of performing and teaching experience. He has had music featured on cable networks like The Discovery Channel, the BET network and others, and is best known as a blazing blues guitarist with Worcester, MA-based contemporary R&B act Blue Honey and his rocking blues combo The Kevin Williams Trio. He has toured and performed internationally and has been featured on several recordings as a guitarist, vocalist, bassist, keyboardist and as a producer.
Tyler Pompei Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Tyler's father bought him a bass guitar for Christmas when he was young. At the time it was the last thing he wanted. 11 years later, he has hardly been able to put it down. He's played countless gigs in the Boston/Providence area and around Worcester with his band Mr. Thinwheel at venues such as The Met, The Middle East and The Hard Rock Cafe. His band also performed live and interviewed on the Boston-based internet radio show WEMF. Tyler has been performing live since he was 14. He has taken private lessons for over 12 years and took a summer course at Berklee College of Music with teacher and renowned bassist Victor Wooten. Years after he picked up bass he learned to play the piano as well. His love for both instruments and what they allow him to express is what he wishes to impart on his students.
Josh Giaquinto Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Josh is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music producer. He started playing music when he was 10 years old and had his first drum lesson. By high school, he decided to pick up bass and eventually guitar when he was 17. Throughout high school, he performed with the marching band, Jazz band, and percussion ensemble. In 2015, he released his first solo album and knew he wanted his life to be surrounded by music as much as possible. He majored in music technology at Franklin Pierce University where he met his current band Milfoil, who has multiple albums on Spotify and plays shows in the New England area.
Ollie McKay Guitar Teacher
Ollie has always been invested in music, having taken piano lessons from age 6 and moving to the guitar at age 11. The initial spark of interest in Rock music came primarily from Nirvana's Nevermind, as well as bands like AC/DC and Green Day. Shortly after, he enrolled in School of Rock Norwood's performance program where he spent years getting valuable performance experience and branching out on his genres of influence and interest. He began listening to and playing Blues, Metal, psychedelic Rock, Pop, and more. In high school, he gained an interest in Jazz, participating in a number of ensembles. He attended the five-week Aspire program at Berklee College of Music, studying Jazz fusion and Funk music, his current areas of interest. He has formed his own bands with peers from School of Rock. He continues to seek out new opportunities to learn, teach, and perform music.
Sam Checkoway Drum Teacher
Sam Checkoway is a professional drummer with over 15 years of experience in both live performance and studio work. Sam has been playing drum set and percussion since age 10; he started out taking private lessons in addition to playing in jazz band and wind ensemble throughout his early education. Following high school, Sam was accepted to Berklee College of Music and also studied Audio Production at Bay State College. He has toured across the U.S.A. and Canada playing shows with artists such as Born Without Bones, Super American, Sleeping Patterns, & Oldsoul.
Amanda Mograss Singing Teacher
Ever since Amanda was 12 years old, she’s been up on stage performing in front of crowds. In her senior year of high school, she joined School of Rock as a student and ended up being the first student to graduate and age out from Attleboro School of Rock! Going to SOR changed her mind set and lead her on a path of Rock N’ Roll! Ever since, she has been apart of 2 different bands performing in local bars and stages! She now performs as the front woman of a band called Platinum Thrill! They perform covers of classic and hard rock with the hope to play and write originals! This band has taken place in a radio competition called Rockfest, winning 1st place and taking home the 1,000 dollar prize! She is well known for her wild amount of energy and powerful rock singing voice! Her passion for old music, with her old soul and young heart, will give these students a free spirited experience growing their confidence and making them express their inner rockstar!
Nicole Vinson Studio Coordinator
Nicole is artistic in more ways than one. She has been taking art for almost 7 years now, listening to music as a way to add emotion to her pieces. As a child she looked up to her older sister and, as a result, began singing as well. She has taken part in our performance group since 2020. She plans on attending a nursing program after high school to fulfill her dream job.