Adam InstefjordMusic Director
Adam Instefjord is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Hailing from the NW suburbs of Chicago, Adam first picked up a guitar around the age of 12. After mastering the art of the power chord, he devoted most of his free time to learning every song on every album he had. As a child of mid-90s punk, those first albums consisted of Green Day, Rancid, Offspring, Weezer, etc. Adam started his first band in the eighth grade and never looked back. He has since learned how to sing, play bass and drums, played countless shows with many bands, spent four years in Los Angbeles and toured the country. Adam also studied Audio Recording and Production at The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, OH. He uses those skills at his recording studio The Space, located at Music Garage Chicago, where he records, produces and mixes a variety of artists as well as his own bands.
Amy Renzulli, rocker mom and corporate marketer, is the owner of School of Rock Oak Park. Amy has spent most of her work life building her career in Sales and Marketing at Blue Cross and Blue Shield and at the same time pursuing artistic interests. While she developed her business skills in web marketing, sales strategy and technology adoption, she also hosted art shows, crafted and sold jewelry in local boutiques and galleries, and generally sought opportunities that would enable her to marry her business skills with her love of art. When her daughter, at the time, only 12 years old, attended summer camp at School of Rock Chicago, Amy suggested that they should consider opening a school in Oak Park. Amy learned that the School of Rock was a franchise opportunity and a light bulb went off. She knew that she would be the person to make it happen. In early December 2012, Amy and her ever-supportive husband converted a 50-year-old combination warehouse and office building into the vibrant home of School of Rock Oak Park.
Al WillisGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Al Willis has been playing and performing music almost since he was old enough to walk. From playing the bass for gospel artist Inez Andrews in the early 70s at the tender of age of 10, to performing in the Chicago all-city jazz ensemble with fellow School of Rock instructor Rafe Bradford in the 80s, his music career began at a young age. Al toured and recorded with Grammy award-winning choir, Rev. Milton Brunson and The Thompson Community Singers. He worked as a Nashville session musician in the 1990s. He has performed with Michael McDonald, Patty Austin, Ali Woodson, Jamie Foxx, Billy Paul and Aretha Franklin. He was formerly the guitarist for The Dells and is now touring and performing with The Isley Brothers.
Audley ReidSaxophone Teacher
Audley is well-known as one of Chicago's most lauded contemporary jazz and R&B saxophonists. Audley has a passion for process, technique and teaching that rivals his ability to play with great expression, soul and precision. He plays all saxophones and woodwinds but his favorite instrument is the alto sax. Audley's music has taken him around the world, playing venues across North America, Europe, Asia and his native, Jamaica. He has played with Buddy Guy, Ray Parker Jr, Phil Perry, Kim Fields, Will Downing, Nick Colione and many more. Audley is excited to be creating a sax performance program at School Of Rock. He will be on-site for private lessons and will work with directors to create an appropriate role for sax players in our rock performance program. Rock has been punctuated by great sax solos and features and we are thrilled to be giving this instrument its due here at School of Rock Oak Park! We are doubly thrilled to be able to do so by offering a high-end instructor like Audley Reid.
Chris ConnellySinging Teacher
Chris Connelly has been a force in independent music since the inception of his first band Fini Tribe in his native Edinburgh, Scotland in 1980. During his eight years with the band they released several singles, played extensively around the U.K. and recorded a radio session for the legendary B.B.C. program “The John Peel Show.” They scored a massive European hit with “Detestimony” before leaving to move to Chicago at the invitation of Ministry's Al Jourgenson to sing with the band and collaborate on many musical side projects. Chris went on to be featured as a singer and composer on three hit albums for Ministry. He has maintained an incredibly prolific career to this day, recently completing his 15th solo album. He has over 300 published songs both as a sole composer and a co-writer. Amongst the musicians Chris has collaborated with over the years are Shirley Manson, Robert Fripp, Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Killing Joke, Jah Wobble (Public Image Limited), Cabaret Voltaire, Rebecca Pidgeon, Steve Albini, Tim Kinsella, Duane Dennison (Jesus Lizard), David Sim (Jesus Lizard), Ruby, Bill Rieflin (King Crimson, R.E.M.), Chris Bruce (Seal, Wendy Lisa) and Bill Laswell.
Andy QuirkStudio Manager
Born and raised in Southern California, Andy has always been a huge music fan (specifically of rock and heavy metal!). Following his wife here from Denver to support her career (even giving up a promotion for it!), Andy found a second home at our school. Andy has an extensive background in customer service for large, national companies. His customer-oriented skills make him the ideal person to manage our front office and handle our customer relations.
Chris KimmonsGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Chris Kimmons moved from West Virginia five years ago to pursue a music career in Chicago. In that short amount of time, he has covered ground in many genres including rock, metal, traditional folk, jazz, fusion and electronic. Having studied music composition at Columbia College Chicago for his first two and a half years in the city, he has studied with many of Chicago's finest musicians. His bands, Can I Get An Amen and Actual Rhinoceros, show his diverse musical interests and his dedication to preserving music history while not allowing the past to inhibit the future.
Eli NamayGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Eli Namay has been working to develop a musical practice that is informed by social theory and political struggle. This has led him to an interest in symbolic deconstruction through non-idiomatic improvisation, experimental notation that gives rise to a multiplicity of outcomes, as well as liminal perceptual frameworks. Eli performs on both the electric and double bass, regularly collaborating with folks form Chicago’s improvised music, contemporary classical (new music) and folk music scenes. Aside from his main performance focus Eli also plays regularly with The Blue Water Kings jobbing band and has been teaching electric bass, double bass, guitar, piano and drums in the Chicagoland area since 2011.
Eli possesses a BA in instrumental performance from Columbia College, where he studied double bass with Dan Anderson, electric bass with Chuck Webb, and piano and composition with Dennis Luxion. Outside of school Eli has studied with Anton Hatwich as well as Greg Sarchet of the Lyric Opera Orchestra.
Evan OpitzGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Evan is a multi-instrumentalist composer with a primary focus on guitar and vocals. Committed to a life of practice and study for 15 years, he holds a bachelor's degree in Jazz Guitar from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with world famous musicians Larry Gray (Benny Golson, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Pass) and Jim Pugh (Steely Dan, Michael Jackson). Currently Evan plays with several different musical groups that write and perform original creative music exclusively. These groups include The Phantom Broadcast, Two Sets of Eyes, Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen, and Fiona Grey. His group Rebecca Rego and the Trainmen recently worked with Beau Sorenson (Death Cab For Cutie, Garbage) in the studio of Justin Vernon (Bon Iver/Volcano Choir) at April Base in Eaux Claire, WI. He has also recorded session guitar for quite a few artists including Travis Orbin (Darkest Hour/Sky Eats Airplane). Evan's multiple projects cross quite a few genres including indie rock, pop, hip-hop, folk, Americana, jazz, post-punk, prog and metal. After spending countless days and nights touring, writing, recording and networking, Evan hopes to share his personal experience instilling only the truest hope and desire of musical knowledge in his students.
Garrett McGinnGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Garrett McGinn began studying music at the age of three on the violin. He later picked up the tuba, bass guitar, double bass, guitar and various other string and percussion instruments along the way. After earning a Bachelors of Music degree from Columbia College, he has toured nationally in original bands, played in off-Broadway productions in the Midwest, and plays and records a wide variety of genres. Garrett's eclectic influences continue to shape and inspire his musicality.
Heidie FifieldSinging Teacher
Heidie Fifield has been charming audiences with her voice since the age of 11. A natural performer, she has proven time and time again that music is her calling and passion. Receiving her Bachelor of Music in Contemporary and Urban Popular Music from Columbia College Chicago, Heidie has gained extensive knowledge in Vocal Performance, Songwriting, Production and Music Business. She has also had the chance to perform and collaborate with several highly acclaimed musicians including Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriters Paula Cole and Jim Lauderdale, multi-talented singer/songwriter and guitarist Charlie Sexton, and the world-renowned Todd Rundgren through Columbia’s Master Class/Residency program. Currently you can find Heidie as a vocalist and songwriter for several independent music projects, and performing regularly as the lead singer in one of Chicago's top event bands, Shout Out. She is also preparing to release her first solo debut EP, “No Love Like Our Love.” Heidie is excited for her new role as Voice Instructor, and is honored to have joined the many incredibly talented musicians that are a part of the School of Rock Oak Park family.
Jennifer MaloneSinging Teacher
Jennifer has big plans to build our school into a force within the region and the School of Rock system by bringing simply the best in popular music education to our young people. In Chicago, she built a successful voice program, directed shows and served as summer camp director. Jennifer also draws from her vast experience as a performing and recording artist and background in theater education. She has developed a rock vocal process that enables her students to grow their voices and their ability to perform at a high level. Her lessons concentrate on freeing the natural voice, breathing techniques, power sourcing and understanding song structure, dynamics and interpretation. Her curriculum is designed to reach younger students as well as prepare mature students for professional programs and beyond. Jennifer holds a BFA in Acting from Kent State University and an M.Phil in Irish Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Her study and experience teaching performance skills, styles and stagecraft help her rock vocals students gain a better sense of freedom onstage. As a working musician herself, Jennifer helps her students understand the professional aspects of the music industry. She serves on the School of Rock Instrument Advisory Group and is an active member of CAEF (Chicago Arts Educators' Forum). Jennifer brings a wicked sense of humor and formidable energy to all of her work and is passionate about the School of Rock program.
Joel JanchenkoDrum Teacher
Joel Janchenko is a Chicago-based drum instructor, knowledgeable in a wide variety of genres and musical skill sets. He has played all over the states, including The Metro in Chicago, multiple House of Blues venues, Milwaukee's SummerFest and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. After studying at Berklee College of Music, he went on to teach at School of Rock. Currently, he plays professionally with Boy Band Review, a nationally touring tribute act. Excited to start this new chapter, the goal is to inspire the new generation of musicians.