Joe Alfano Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Joe Alfano has been playing guitar for over two decades in various Westchester-based metal/rock/blues and cover bands. Joe also has been a music educator in NYC schools for 17+ years, where he shows his passion for all music to the next generation of musicians. Joe loves to play, write, produce and record all types of music. His favorite guitarists are Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Slash, Page Hamilton, Diamond Darrell and Jimi Hendrix.
Sean Lippin Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Singing Teacher
Since the Fall of 2015, multi-instrumentalist Sean Lippin has been teaching students at School of Rock everything from guitar melodies and syncopated drum beats to how to passionately belt out their favorite songs and show tunes. At age 13, Sean was inspired to learn every rock instrument and write songs after taking lessons and listening to bands like Green Day and Blink-182. He then channeled his inspiration by pursuing his craft in various lessons and bands throughout high school and college.
A graduate of SUNY Oneonta’s Music Industry program, Sean has led several seasonal shows and summer camps at School of Rock, with a teaching prowess and insurmountable leadership skill set. He is capable of conquering the most difficult of challenges that may stand in a student’s way when it comes to show time.
Sean currently writes songs and performs with his band Nerd Salad, which has recently released their debut EP, “Your Father and I Aren’t Angry, We’re Just Disappointed.” You can catch Nerd Salad all over the NYC metro area, Rockland County and here in Westchester.
Jim Heffernan Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
The new Music Director for School of Rock White Plains, Jim Heffernan, has had a long career in music and music education. He began playing guitar and cello at the age of eight. Since then, his life has been split between writing music, recording, touring, producing and teaching. Starting in Syracuse, NY in the late 90s, Jim began his touring career with Spark Lights the Friction. Jim moved to New York City in 2003 and began working at the post-production house Face the Music while starting his own record label and studio in Brooklyn. Between touring with several bands, playing drums, guitar and bass for other projects in the city and on the road, Jim began pursuing licensing work for television and film and has licensed music to such clients as Clarins, Garden and Gun, Walmart, Popular Mechanics and most recently Marvel Studios. He started the audio production company Time to Operate Productions, and composed the music for the off-Broadway musical "Dorian." He also wrote the songs and sound design for the Madonna bio pic "Physical Attraction." While working as a freelance musician, Jim has always valued the importance of music education. He started the Music Matters Program in the Lower East Side of Manhattan teaching young people guitar, vocals, recording and song arrangement. He spent the last two years as the Program Director for the Noel Pointer Foundation, managing music classes in over 30 schools around New York City. Jim excels at individual lessons for guitar, bass and drums, and has a passion for directing, producing and arranging new music ensembles of all ages.
Brian Carter Drum Teacher
Brian Carter is a jazz/comp/theory music major from both SUNY New Paltz College and SUNY Purchase Music Conservatory with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Fine Arts respectively. Carter has performed with Bernie Williams, Wynton Marsalis, Wallace Roney, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Danny and Wilfredo Reyes, and Westchester luminaries Tony Cimerossi and Gil Parris. Brian is a dedicated educator and believes in the Thomas Edison adage, "Talent is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” His commitment to education can be summed up in his own philosophy: cultivate the talents in every child and they will shine. Carter has created the Kids for Drums after school program, which allows young drummers to learn technical rudimental techniques at a young age. This successful program has been run in Westchester elementary schools like Central School in Larchmont, Mamaroneck Ave. School, Chatsworth Ave. School, Ward School, Trinity School and The Groove Academy. Through all these endeavors, businesses and community activities, Brian has become a fixture in lower Westchester.
Michael O'Rourke Drum Teacher
Michael O'Rourke started playing the drums in the fourth grade. He joined the school band and orchestra, and then soon started taking private lessons. He played the drums throughout the rest of elementary, middle and high school, participating in NYSSMA and marching band as well. Michael has 10 years of experience with teaching and instructing drums, and even a little on bass and guitar. He's taught in various music stores and participated in many workshops that instruct in an interactive way. He often tries to bring his guitar or bass playing into the lessons so as to give a full musical experience to his students.
Currently Mike is playing with two original bands. The first is called Soundswell. They are a jam-band based in Long Island and NYC. The other is called Darlene Graham and the Shades of Green Band. They are a music for children group that plays in the same area. The shows are interactive and fun for the whole family and often take on a theatrical component.
Greg Hunter Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher, Vocal Instructor
Greg Hunter is a musician studying Classical Bass and Composition at Purchase Conservatory of Music. He has been playing and singing in rock bands since middle school and possesses a firm grasp of all typical rock instruments, including drums, bass, guitar, keys and voice. Greg also has a passion for music education, as he believes others deserve the chance to learn about music so that it might affect them as positively as it affected him. He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher, drum teacher, piano teacher and vocal instructor at School of Rock White Plains.
Jorge Hernandez-Rodriguez Drum Teacher
Jorge Hernandez-Rodriguez started playing drums in middle school. His earliest memories of music include great experiences in a similar School of Rock program in Miami, Florida. By participating in school/music shows a band was formed called Dead City Crown. Jorge has been the drummer of DCC for five years and has gone on multiple tours throughout most of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Boston, Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Montreal, Canada.
Jorge’s college education focused in fine arts and music at colleges like Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, University of Miami Frost School of Music and BCC in Bergen, NJ. Jorge has 15 years of experience taking drum lessons, teaching and instructing drums, and even a little on bass and piano. His teaching experience includes providing drum lessons to beginners and intermediate students of all ages, abilities and challenges. Jorge has also volunteered in various organizations to bring music around the world to places like Cuba, The Dominican Republic and Lourdes, France. He strives to ensure his students enjoy and benefit from the great world of drumming and music overall. With all his students Jorge works hard to cultivate an environment that stimulates increasing and ongoing music appreciation. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock White Plains.
Ted Gottsegen Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
In August 1989, Ted Gottsegen witnessed Stevie Ray Vaughan blow the roof off of The Beacon Theater and from that moment on he knew his life was going to be dedicated to playing guitar. He is a professional jazz guitarist specializing in jazz, swing, New Orleans and rock’n’roll. Ted received his Masters in Music Performance from SUNY Purchase, and for the past 15 years has been performing live and on TV in the Middle East, the US, Canada and Europe. He has extensive experience teaching privately, as well as leading instruction at universities through workshops and master classes. Ted loves teaching rock and the blues, and some of his favorite bands include The Black Crowes, The Cult, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deep Purple, Cream, The Who, Neil Young and Black Sabbath. He is a guitar teacher and bass guitar teacher at School of Rock White Plains.
Elizabeth Sullivan Bass, Guitar, Keyboard, Singing and Drum Teacher
Elizabeth is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist musician playing and teaching vocals, guitar, piano, drums, and bass. She spent her childhood in upstate New York and studied vocal performance at Ithaca College and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music from CUNY Hunter College. Her two greatest passions are music and sharing that music through teaching others to become the best musicians they can be. She is able to see each child’s unique musical gifts and nurture those qualities for them grow towards positive life changing ways.
Elizabeth moved to New York City to pursue her career as a musician and has performed at many New York City music venues including, The Bitter End, Tammany Hall, Sullivan Hall and Rockwood Music Hall. Elizabeth has experience in teaching students of all ages and running groups.
Kris Wong Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Kris Wong has been playing music since he was 8 years old. He quickly became one of Westchester’s best youth violinists, and participated in the Westchester All-County orchestra and NYSSMA festival. At the age of 11, Kris was fascinated by the band Queen and decided to drop the violin in favor of guitar and bass so he could write songs. Throughout high school, Kris and his band Bloodline played stages such as the Chance Theater, Webster Hall, The Knitting Factory, and recorded a full length record. He then went to study at and graduate from the Berklee College of Music, where he performed for Megadeth, Victor Wooten, David Davidson and studied with professors such as Tim Miller, John Kellogg, Colin Sapp, and Joe Stump. Kris has been teaching since he was 14, and has taught in the suburbs of New York and Massachusetts. He has a passion for teaching music, and genuinely wants to see his students succeed.
Alfred DalPino Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher
Alfred ("Alfie") has been performing in theater productions since he was a freshman in high school; however, he was first introduced to the piano at around the age of 8. Even though piano was Alfie's first instrument, voice has been his main area of study. He attended Lehman College in the Bronx where he completed an undergraduate degree in music. Throughout this time, Alfie has studied with various voice teachers throughout Westchester and NYC. His singing technique can be applied to any genre of music, which allows students to tap into their natural performing abilities, while maintaining a healthy technique. After performing with the Broadway hit show "Kinky Boots" for five years, Alfie has decided to pass along the wealth of information he has learned over the years, to his voice and piano students. He is excited to start this journey and be a part of the School of Rock family.
Julia Klot Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher
Julia Klot is a singer-songwriter and pianist based in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in the city, Julia has been performing from a young age at historic venues such as The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall. In 2019, Julia released her debut album “Brooklyn”, followed by her sophomore release “Ghost” and is now working on new material for an album! Julia is currently enrolled in the studio composition program at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, working towards her Master of music. She is a keyboard and singing teacher at School of Rock White Plains.
Tony Bellantoni Guitar Teacher
A bonafide guitar lunatic, Tony Bellantoni has been playing professionally for over 25 years. As an artist, he has written and released three self produced albums, all 'glorifying' his love for Blues-Rock and Funk traditions. He has shared the bill with acts like Government Mule, (Allman Brother) Oteil Burbridge, Sonny Landreth, Marc Cohn and Scott Stapp of Creed. As a BMI composer, his music productions have been used in TV/Film placements including MTV, VH1, NBC (as well as commercial and jingle use). With a degree in music and production technology from NYU, Tony is determined to make sure his students are inspired to create and develop their own 'voice' on guitar! It's all about 6 strings and smiles!
Claire Parcells Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Claire Parcells is a vocalist and guitar player in numerous projects but mainly their band Tula Vera. They released their sophomore record in early 2020, and have toured across the country and tristate area. Claire has years of playing experience and understands how important their music teachers have been in that process. They want to teach music so they can have that same positive effect on others. Claire grew up going to the School of Rock Montclair and is currently enrolled at SUNY Purchase College getting their BA in music in the Studio Composition Program. They are a guitar and vocal instructor at School of Rock White Plains.
Ghandi Gonzalez Drum Teacher
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Gandhi was introduced at a young age to the world of music by his father, first taking piano and music theory lessons. By the age of 14, he started his journey in playing the drums.
Gandhi holds a bachelor’s degree in music with a dual major in contemporary writing and production and drums performance. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA (2009-2012). Since moving to New York, Gandhi has established his career both teaching and performing music. He has a great deal of experience teaching students of all ages and levels in private settings and music schools that include The Piano School of NYC, Bach To Rock, Rock Island Sound, and now School of Rock of White Plains.
Gandhi has worked on many different projects with a variety of bands and artists in a broad palette of musical styles/genres. Highlights include: Victor Maldo, Irka Mateo, Manny Cruz (currently nominated in the Latin Grammys 2021 for Best Merengue and Bachata album), Fausto Rey, Association of Dominican Classical Artists Orquestra (NYC), The Redeemed Christian Church of God (The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn), The Journey Church, and Music Pros (Wedding/corporate band).
Chris Keeler Drum Teacher
A native of White Plains, Christopher Keeler has been studying, performing and teaching music for the past 15+ years. After numerous years playing in public school bands, Chris began privately studying drum set at the age of 13. He went on to study music in college, completing a bachelor’s degree and performance certificate program from SUNY Fredonia, and a master’s degree in music performance from University of Massachusetts Amherst on a full tuition waiver. While at UMass, Chris taught undergraduate courses on percussion pedagogy and music history. Well versed in many styles of music, Chris specializes in Metal, Rock, Funk and Progressive Music. He also has extensive experience performing in Classical/Contemporary settings and knows his way around the orchestra. Chris has worked with students of all ages/ability levels, and has been invited to perform with Grammy nominated and award-winning artists such as Arturo Sandoval and Sō Percussion.
Jonah Pomerantz Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Jonah Pomerantz has been playing music since he was 9 years old. Starting on Rock/Folk guitar, he has learned a variety of different songs from a vast spectrum of artists in his 13 years of music making. Jonah attended “The Fame School,” formally known as LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts, where he got to hone in on his musical ability for 4 years. For undergraduate he continued to pursue music, studying Jazz bass at The New School in NYC. He is currently pursuing his masters degree in music therapy at SUNY New Paltz.
In addition to playing in a variety of different bands over the years, playing Rock/Jazz bass, guitar, singing, and writing songs for the groups he performed in, Jonah has also been teaching music lessons. In alignment with his philosophy as an aspiring music therapist, Jonah believes that each lesson should be catered to the student’s skills, needs, and musical preferences, using the School of Rock method as a catalyst to give them a positive music learning experience that will facilitate both enjoyment and growth.