Ray KiddMusic Director
Ray grew up in a highly musical atmosphere, living under the same roof as a music minister, band instructor and singer for the Vocal Majority. From a young age, he gravitated towards Elvis and The Ramones instead of the 80s new wave of the day. A cancerous tumor left him deaf in one ear, but that didn’t sway his love for music. Living in Grand Junction, Colorado, young Ray decided he wanted to learn guitar. His parents took him to a member of their church, the guitar-tech-turned-guitar-player of the 80s hair metal band Quiet Riot. Ray picked up guitar with ease, as he seems to do with any instrument (except vocals!).
When the Frisco School of Rock opened in north Dallas, Ray was a perfect fit as an instructor. Working under Marty Morris, Ray quickly learned that his passion could become a reality and a career. Ray worked his way up to becoming the Music Director of what became the second largest School of Rock in the nation, leading him to later train and work in multiple locations in the Dallas, TX area. After six years, Ray and his wife were offered the amazing opportunity by their school’s franchise owners to move out to Southern California and lead a cultural revolution by opening up multiple brand new schools from scratch. About a year and a half later, the Kidds moved back to Dallas, TX to work with 27 locations across the US in a leadership role. Ray still actively teaches in the Dallas and Rockwall School of Rocks, using them as a training ground for new staff.
Andrew WhitingGuitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Andrew Whiting is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer. Having a father who played guitar in a band in the 80s, Andrew grew up loving music and entertainment and was inspired to start playing music himself. Starting guitar at the age of 13, he played in many bands into his late teens. Whiting's band Attack Attack! was signed to Rise Records, an independent record label, in the summer of 2008. After five years, three studio albums with sales in excess of 450,000, and a rigorous world touring schedule, headlining American, European and Australian festivals, the band dissolved in 2013. Now 27, Andrew has moved to Texas and has quietly continued his music career and enjoys teaching the youth of the world about the power of music.
John Paul ThomasDrum Teacher
John Paul Thomas became enamored with the live music scene when he was 10 years old. Being in the quaint area of deep east Texas, the only opportunities to see live music were at Rodeo's, where he befriended an artist by the name of Neal McCoy. After a year of friendship Neal showed up to John Paul's 11th birthday party and gifted him his first guitar. Grateful and eager, John Paul threw himself into classical guitar lessons for three years. At 14 years old, his parents relocated the family to Rockwall, Texas. John Paul put down the guitar for a year to readjust and adapt to his new surroundings. During that time he discovered the music scene in Deep Ellum and would go to shows every single weekend. On drives, while listening to his favorite records, he would catch himself drumming on whatever he could. The floor was the kick, the side panel of the car was the hi-hat/snare and the dashboard served as his two toms. His parents noticed his passion and natural rhythm and made a deal with him. If he kept his grades up, they would look into getting him his first kit. He obliged and did everything he could to expedite that process. Too young to have a job, he would constantly find things to do around the house or at neighbors’ homes to earn extra money for his first set. On Christmas Eve in 2005 he opened a box that had two pairs of drum sticks inside of it. His heart nearly burst out of his chest, because he knew that he finally would be able to play on an actual set. After some time practicing he began sending videos to local bands much older than him that were touring. He also started multiple bands of his own throughout high school. He lived for the weekend to either go to a show or play a show. In 2010, right after high school, he found the band that he knew was the one for him. They began touring relentlessly. The first was a Texas run, the next was the West Coast, after that the East Coast and then the Midwest. His band, Dead Words, would leave for three weeks, be home for one and then head right back out on tour. In 2012 the band embarked on their longest journey yet- a full U.S. and Canada tour. There was little pay and hard times, but nevertheless he was the happiest he'd ever been. He was living the dream he'd been obsessing over since he was 10 years old. He continues to tour today, and loves coming home and sharing his passion for drums with the students of School of Rock.
Mason SteegerBass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Mason began his musical journey with rock music by picking up his dad’s old guitar in middle school and teaching himself how to play different riffs and chords. Once in high school, Mason began playing percussion in the concert band program and fell in love with the drums. This led him to apply for SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in order to pursue a degree in Music Education. While at college he met up with Sterling Gavinski, a singer/songwriter who played in the band The Happy Alright. Sterling asked Mason to join his band as a bassist and the rest is history. With several tours and studio experience behind him, Mason continues to play, write and tour with The Happy Alright while teaching at School of Rock in hopes that he can inspire kids and teens to start a band and make music of their own.
Eddie BetancourtPiano Teacher
Eddie Betancourt is a piano/keyboard instructor originally from Los Angeles, California. Formerly a professional boxer and boxing coach, Eddie has always incorporated music in all his trainings. He started with a small keyboard at the age of eight and later became obsessed with the piano and movie music. At age 12 he joined his middle school orchestra, playing the violin. Learning to be part of an orchestra helped him with his beginnings in his pursuit of film scoring. Later he graduated from UCLA with a Film Scoring Degree. Recently a School of Rock instructor, Eddie has found a new love in teaching music. Eddie continues to pursue his film scoring career while experiencing the Texas culture.
Brooke PeoplesSinging Teacher, Piano Teacher
Brooks Peoples is a musical artist. She exercises her craft as an artist performing skills in teaching guitar and educating awareness in the arts of music and vocal training. Her education is a mix of both the formal training of a university setting and the invaluable knowledge gained through extensive performance experience. Brooke's musical talent and education enabled her to develop the gift to create, perform and educate. Brooke's experience allows her to effectively share this gift with others. It is her goal to use her talents, training, experience and versatility to touch as many people as possible. The creation of her music comes from the observations and experiences of life. From an early age, she began playing the piano, guitar and later sung in many concert choirs from grade school to college. She learned the methods to effectively sing, articulate and arrange music, soulfully singing and playing music that conveys deep emotions, beauty and energy.
Chanel LynchGeneral Manager
Chanel, born and raised in Dallas, Texas, discovered her love of the stage early. By age five, her parents knew that was where she belonged. Chanel was drawn toward the musical stylings of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars and Yuna. A love of music led her to use her vocal talents by singing on the praise team at church, as well as the school choir from sixth through 12th grade. Her talent was instantly recognized as she was crowned winner of the inaugural talent show at Horn High School in Mesquite.
She continued to study and develop her passion after being the first vocalist to be accepted into the Music program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Although life circumstances prevented Chanel from completing her music education degree, she continues to gravitate towards any and all areas of life that allow her to continue to keep her fire for music alive. Her passion for all things music led her to join the School of Rock family here in Rockwall. Her experiences here are allowing her to share her love of music and the stage with the students at School of Rock. Not only does she get to live and breathe music every day, but she is able to guide and influence the children of the school as well as her own. Chanel’s two beautiful little girls love music just as much as their mother and have already been able to experience how much School of Rock has to offer. Chanel couldn’t be more excited to be a part of School of Rock Rockwall. She is super excited to see where this journey leads her, and, more importantly, how brightly the young musicians at School of Rock will shine.