Val Pena Guitar Teacher, Drums Teacher
Val is a guitar and drum teacher at School of Rock Overland Park. Val started playing drums at age six. He then later taught himself keys at age 10. Two years later he joined School of Rock Kansas City and his talent started to bloom. Val started learning guitar while playing in a thrash metal tribute show. Over the years he learned bass, vocals, mandolin and harmonica. He's opened up for Kansas, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Heart and Jason Bonham. He also has played at Kauffman Stadium, Starlight Theater, The Uptown Theater, The Community America Ballpark, Children's Mercy Park and even in Dallas, Texas. After 15 seasonal shows, Val graduated both School of Rock and high school. He now plays as Malcolm Young in High Voltage (A Tribute to AC/DC) in addition to teaching and directing at School of Rock Overland Park.
Jake Stone Vocal Instructor
Jake Stone, originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, was raised listening to rock music and has drawn influence from the genre ever since. At the young age of six, Jake entered himself in his elementary school talent show with “That’s Alright Mama” by Elvis Presley and has had a passion for the stage ever since. Throughout middle school and high school, Jake was heavily involved in choir, rock bands, vocal jazz groups, acapella groups and musicals. Jake also received All-State Choir honors during his junior and senior years of high school. He continued to follow his passion for music into college and received his Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Washburn University, where he studied classical music and operatic singing. It was during these four and a half years that he began to accumulate roles in operas around the Topeka, Kansas area and within the opera department at the university. Following his graduation from Washburn in December of 2015, Jake began to perform a solo acoustic guitar act at various bars and restaurants around the Saint Louis area, playing rock covers and original music from his EP titled "The Beginning." In the fall of 2016, Jake went on to begin a Master’s degree program at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. It was at Mizzou that Jake began to teach voice lessons to undergrad students as a graduate teaching assistant for the School of Music. In May of 2018, Jake graduated with his MM in Vocal Performance and moved to Kansas City, where he plans to continue to share his love and passion for music and performing. He could not feel more at home at School of Rock Overland Park as a vocal instructor and is beyond excited to teach the genre that first inspired him.
David Rice Music Director
David Rice is well-versed in all things music. He has been with School of Rock in the metro Kansas City area since 2006 and is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of musical educational experience. Presently David serves as the Music Director for School of Rock Overland Park. Starting out his musical journey in the school orchestra at age 10, David soon discovered rock 'n' roll and quickly branched out by adding guitar, bass, keys and vocals to his repertoire of instruments. In addition to his years of private study, David received formal training in his college years and is well-versed to teach many styles of music including, but not limited to, classical, rock, country and jazz.
In his spare time, David plays bass for the rock band Cimino with some of his fellow School of Rock colleagues. He also plays lead guitar for the horror-themed thrash metal band Full Metal Z that is best described as "The Walking Dead" meets Metallica. He also enjoys spending time with his family and studying science and history.
MacKenzie Reed Vocal Instructor, Piano Teacher
MacKenzie Reed is a pianist, organist, singer, composer, arranger, dancer, lyricist and performing artist. MacKenzie attended Ohio Wesleyan University (B.M., Piano and Organ Performance, summa cum laude) and the California Institute of the Arts (MFA, Performer-Composer).
MacKenzie started her career as a church organist at age 16, which she continues to this day. She also spent the early part of her career as a concert pianist and composer. She was a featured soloist at the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute Keyboard Festival Concert and has concertized in the United States, Germany, Iceland and Japan. Around 2010, MacKenzie began to incorporate original compositions into her programs, which were largely influenced by the sonic textures created by death metal. She also collaborated frequently with guitarist Lars Panaro. MacKenzie is a former Charlotte Street resident and a current member of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association and Mu Phi Epsilon. She is featured as a Listen Local artist for the Johnson County Public Library. She currently lives in Kansas City with her husband and is a keys and vocal instructor for School of Rock Overland Park.
Duncan Dempsey Guitar Teacher
Duncan Dempsey grew up in New York's Hudson Valley and went to college for Music Performance. While there he learned basic and advanced music theory, history and other skills that he now looks forward to teaching his students as a guitar instructor for School of Rock Overland Park. He also met Vision Serpent, a groove/death metal band that he played with for a year. He left the band to move to Kansas City and focus on writing and recording his own original music.
Nick Cecil Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Nick Cecil grew up in a musical family and was exposed to live music from a young age. His family would often play instruments together at family events. This began to spark Nick's interest in music early on. Nick began strumming the guitar around the age of six under the instruction of his older brother and father.
Additionally, in the fifth grade, he picked up the clarinet and played in school bands through high school. Playing clarinet and bassoon in the top high school bands grew Nick's appreciation for musical education and theory. Currently, Nick plays lead guitar in local Kansas City funk-fusion group Gekko. With this group he has toured the Midwest and has played some of the region's top festivals such as Wakarusa, Backwoods and Cosmic Reunion.
Nick prides himself on musical diversity and strives to excel in all genres of music. Keeping a balance of musical structure and free-formed creativity is one of his strongest suits. Nick hopes to show his students as a guitar and bass instructor at School of Rock Overland Park that music is a gift, and the ability to express yourself with your instrument is something that is irreplaceable.
Davis Ricker Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher
Davis Ricker is a guitarist, bassist, vocalist and songwriter based out of Kansas City. He has over a decade of experience playing professionally, both live and in studio sessions. He is the son of local Kansas City guitar legend Fast Johnny Ricker. He has won several songwriting competitions and in 2013 he was asked to delivered a Tedx talk on music, songwriting and sound in the natural world at the Nelson Atkins Museum. Presently Davis is a Rookies Director, Co-Director of Rock 101, Director of Performance Band and a guitar, bass and keys instructor.
Nico Manesh Vocal Instructor, Drums Teacher
Nico Manesh and his award-winning band Sidewise have toured nationally with bands including Sevendust and Godsmack. Sidewise performed at Kansas City's Rockfest in 2015 and 2017. Nico has won numerous awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year at Project Backstage Midwest Tock Awards, Outstanding Frontman by Banzai and Male Vocalist of the Year from "Heavy Frequency Magazine." He has been nominated for other local and regional awards. Nico holds a degree in Audio Engineering/Music Technology and has a background in music theory and music composition, earning a performance grant for vocal performance. Currently, Nico teaches as a vocal and drums instructor at School of Rock Overland Park.