Eric Lonning Owner, General Manager
School of Rock Virginia Beach is owned by Eric Lonning, a life-long Virginia Beach resident. Throughout his childhood, Eric took guitar and drum lessons, played in bands, and had success touring and recording with a great group of friends and bandmates. Later, Eric pursued a career in marketing before returning to music with School of Rock. Eric's mission is to create a music school where students will become outstanding musicians, but more importantly, inspiring and amazing individuals. Eric went to nearby First Colonial High School and attended Wake Forest University where he studied Communication and Religion.
Jennifer Lonning Owner
Jennifer and Eric Lonning own the School of Rock in Virginia Beach. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Jennifer pursued a career in Orthopedic Sales. She loved working with doctors and patients throughout Hampton Roads, but she jumped at the chance to join School of Rock full-time in 2017. Jennifer focuses on community outreach, early childhood music programs, camps and overall school operations. When she's not at School of Rock, Jenn keeps busy with the Lonnings' three children, Max, Emily and Izzy.
Hannah Brockman Studio Coordinator
As a child in Seattle, Hannah was a passionate School of Rock student. She was thrilled when she was later able to join the School of Rock Seattle as a staff member. After relocating to the east coast with her Navy husband, Hannah joined the School of Rock Virginia Beach, bringing valuable experience from a large and well established School of Rock location. Hannah handles much of the day-to-day School of Rock business, including scheduling, billing, and new member orientation. Hannah is also responsible for making sure every School of Rock student feels safe and welcome in our school.
Cary Greco Drum Teacher
Cary Greco started playing drums at the age of 13 and was a decorated musician in the national award winning Kempsville High School Marching Chiefs. Cary was drumline captain and recipient of the Top Percussionist and the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. In 2004, Cary won the Guitar Center Drum Off in Virginia Beach, VA. Cary has worked in local studios and most recently with Soul Haven Studios. He can be heard on The Right On Band’s Gold and Platinum Plus albums. He also had performed on a #5 hit on Billboard’s CD singles with “Never Alone” off of The Right On Band’s Platinum Plus album.
Cary is currently performing with “The World’s Greatest 80s Tribute Act,” The Deloreans Band. He has also performed locally and worldwide with 58 bands! Cary had the honor of performing with Steve Cropper at The Kentucky Derby and Smokey Robinson at President Obama’s first Commander in Chief Inaugural Ball. He has also played at President George W. Bush’s 2nd Inauguration, in the White House, in 3 continents, for 3 U.S. Presidents and many African Leaders, and in front of MILLIONS of viewers for the 2009 New Year’s Eve Celebration at Time Square Live on Fox News.
In 2017 Cary began teaching at The School of Rock in Virginia Beach. He has been a drum instructor, master class instructor, and even an instrument repair tech.
Johnny Smallwood Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Johnny Smallwood has done it all in the music business. Johnny's musical journey began with formal training in vocals and concert saxophone. Later, Johnny moved his focus to guitar and became an accomplished guitarist and singer in a variety of bands (Gasoline, Knuckle, Mindset). For over 20 years, Johnny performed and recorded original rock music. Johnny was signed to Universal records for six years and sold over 50,000 albums.
Performing is nothing new to Johnny, as his bands have shared the stage with Judas Priest, Incubus, Sevendust, Fuel, Clutch, Nothingface, Stuck Mojo, Rancid, Offspring, Bush, Joan Jett and Carbon Leaf. For the past eight years, Johnny has been the guitarist and singer of Vinyl Headlights, chosen as the top wedding band by "Virginia Living Magazine" four years in a row. Johnny lives and breathes music, performing over 200 times a year. Johnny has achieved great success in his music career and was attracted to School of Rock's music program as a way to use his immense gifts to give back to his community. He's passionate about giving his vocal and guitar students a serious education in music theory and performance. As a resident of Great Neck, he also enjoys his one-minute commute to work.
Jake Small Music Director
Jake has degrees from the University of Virginia in Music and Physics. Jake has been playing live music for close to a decade and has extensive experience teaching music. Jake began at School of Rock when the Virginia Beach location opened, and quickly moved from a guitar instructor, to Rock 101 instructor and Show Director. Jake has experience working with all age groups at School of Rock. As Music Director, Jake creates a safe and engaging environment for students to achieve their musical and creative goals. You can catch Jake's band, Pretty Ugly, playing throughout Virginia Beach, and they recently released their first album. Jacob is passionate about sharing his touring and recording experience with musicians of all levels.
Mike Morgan Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Piano Teacher
Mike Morgan is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing drum set and other percussion including congas, bongos and timbales. Mike also has significant experience on keyboard, bass and guitar. Prior to joining School of Rock Virginia Beach, Mike worked at the Norfolk location for over two years. Mike officially began playing drums when he was around 10 years old on popcorn tubs covered with towels and large pots. Mike still uses the same white CB percussion drum set he got when he was 16 for recording and gigs. Mike drums for several local bands in the Hampton Roads area, including Mosquito Cabaret, Janks, Saving Daylight and Ghost Town Union. He also records his own instruments and vocals for his one-man band project, Sundef. Mike's drumming influences include Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, jazz great Elvin Jones, Abe Cunningham of Deftones, Chico Hamilton, Poncho Sanchez and Santana just to name a few.
Jason Cale Guitar Teacher
Jason Cale is a singer/songwriter and guitarist from South Mississippi. After traveling the world performing all styles of music, he's made his home in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia where he regularly performs as a solo, duo, trio or with The Jason Cale Band (Contemporary Blues Fusion). When he's not performing music, you'll find him teaching at The School of Rock or in his studio where he enjoys writing, recording, and producing all styles of music. Jason has used his diverse talents with a number of different professional acts: Sandra Bernhard (celebrity comedian/actress), John Popper (Blues Traveler), Joe Bonamassa (Blues guitarist), The Conan O'Brien Show w/Jimmy Vivino and Grace Potter, Melina Leon (musician/actress), and many others!
Brock Bittner Guitar Teacher
Brock Bittner is a Virginia Beach native who is the lead guitarist in the popular band, Bennett Wales & the Relief. Brock has performed around the country and produced numerous records with the band. When he's not recording and performing, Brock loves teaching at the School of Rock. Brock is also an audio engineer and guitar luthier.
Jarvis Griffin Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher
Jarvis is a piano and vocal teacher at the School of Rock Virginia beach. Jarvis is a local musician and the lead singer of Paper Aliens, a popular band based in Norfolk. Jarvis grew up singing in the church choir and studied music as a teen in the Netherlands. He later studied music at Old Dominion University and participated in their Dean Chorale (the most elite). Jarvis reads music, has tons of experience performing, and is excited to work with all of the students at School of Rock!
Spenser Shapard Guitar Teacher
Growing up in a family of musicians, Spenser started playing guitar when he was 12 years old. He received a music degree from Indian River State College and taught extensively in Florida. Spenser then became a Navy Musician, performing as a lead guitar player and soloist in the elite Fleet Forces Band. Spenser has top level theory and performance skills and loves inspiring the next generation of rocks stars at the School of Rock.
Carlton Baker Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Carlton Baker knew music was his calling by the age of twelve. After sharpening his skills in church and throughout grade school, Carlton attended Norfolk State University where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music with an emphasis in Voice. During his time at NSU, he was on scholarship through the Concert Choir, which entailed extensive travel and classical performances. Carlton is also a self-taught guitar player which allows him to be a versatile singer-songwriter and performer. Carlton has a genuine love for cultivating young people’s gifts and wants to encourage them to share their talents with the world.
Igor Kuzmin Drum Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Igor Kuzmin loves to drum! Born in Russia, Igor moved to the US at age 9. Igor's love of rhythm began when he heard someone making beats on the table in elementary school. The rest is history! Igor's formal music instruction began with middle and high school band courses which ultimately led him to study music at Old Dominion University. Prior to teaching at School of Rock, Igor assisted the drumlines at Indian River and Granby High School. Since 2006, Igor has performed in ten bands ranging from grunge to jazz and everything in between. Igor joined School of Rock in 2017 and has yet to have a bad day.
Tyler Connelly Drum Teacher
Tyler is a Virginia Beach native who grew up learning from many of the area masters. Tyler is a multi-instrumentalist, but his true passion is the drum set. He loves taking advanced patterns and rudiments and applying them to the drum set. Tyler is an experienced performer, playing in punk and rock bands and even drumming for established country acts. Tyler has been a mainstay at the School of Rock, where students enjoy his laid back demeanor and care-free beach vibes.
Pat Spalding Bass Guitar Teacher
Pat Spalding has been a fixture in the Virginia Beach music scene for years. His Reggae / Funk band, SoPoz, is a regular at local venues and regional festivals. Pat is passionate about learning the fundamentals of great bass playing, and taking those skills to the stage. Pat loves working with School of Rock's talented bass players and helping them take their playing to the next level.