Bono, the leader of one of the world’s greatest rock bands, once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” Dave LaSalle, owner of School of Rock Attleboro, has taken that quote to heart. Music teaches kids life lessons with every note. For Dave, School of Rock Attleboro is a culmination of his three great passions: playing music, starting businesses, and working with kids.
Dave’s love of music began at age 6, when he started playing his first instrument. By age 14, he was playing professionally in a very successful local band in the Rhode Island / Southeastern Massachusetts area. Dave capitalized on the discipline, team building, leadership, and perseverance that he developed through his experience with music when he co-founded a medical device company in 1999. Throughout his professional career he never forgot about his great passion for music. His commitment to creating and performing music has paid dividends over a lifetime.
While in the medical device industry, Dave joined the Taunton Area School to Career (TASC) Board of Directors and served as their treasurer. In addition to helping guide the organization, he has volunteered as a mentor to help numerous high school students explore career development opportunities.
Dave sees School of Rock as the right mix of business and fun. School of Rock is a music education company that operates and franchises over 300 locations worldwide. The company has grown because of a successful program that produces results. The school provides young people with a creative classroom environment where they are guided by professional musicians. Students who enroll get individual instruction, group rehearsals, and are cast into live shows that are performed at a major venue. Show themes may include: The British Invasion, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Motown, Funk, Reggae and many others.
Kim Washington is originally from Needham, MA. Although she spent 10 years studying piano, Kim went to Mount Ida College (now Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst) for Early Childhood Education, Framingham State College for Child Psychology, and UMass Boston for Applied Sociology. After retiring from many years teaching in the Attleboro Public and Private schools, Kim found her way to School of Rock Attleboro in 2016 hoping to add her knowledge of child development, child psychology, and sociology to the dynamic School of Rock teaching method. Kids have always played such an integral part in her life that it is important to her that she helps make that same impact on every kid that comes to School of Rock.
Wendy started her journey with School of Rock Attleboro as a parent in November of 2016 when her daughter, Michelle, started vocal lessons. Wendy quickly found herself immersed in the School of Rock Attleboro community by attending shows, taking pictures, promoting School of Rock wherever she went, and just hanging around the school for hours at a time. Wendy is an administrative assistant at a private school in the Attleboro area during the day and works evenings here as our Studio Coordinator. Wendy graduated from Regis College with a degree in Management and lives in Norton with her husband, Mark, and their two kids, Michelle and Christopher.
Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Ukulele Teacher
Chris Brunelle brings a passion for education and more than 20 years as a professional musician to School of Rock Attleboro. Starting as a jazz saxophonist in 1995, Chris studied with international recording artist Greg Abate and pursued a degree in Music education at the University of Rhode Island. In 2001, he joined Boston-based Ska/Reggae outfit Westbound Train on Sax and Vocals, touring with The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Flogging Molly, Hepcat and many others. But Chris grew up worshipping Rock legends like The Police, The Doors, Aerosmith, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, R.E.M., The Beatles and The Beach Boys. He began writing songs and shifted focus from Jazz and Reggae to Rock and Pop music, forming his own group, The Sterns, in Boston in 2003. With The Sterns, Chris released three full-length albums of his own compositions, cracked the CMJ charts and toured with Meat Puppets, The English Beat, Shadows of Night, Hard-Fi and The Romantics. The Sterns were nominated for two Boston Music Awards, performed at Fenway Park and had a song featured on the best-selling 2008 video game, Rock Band II.
A Rhode Island native, Chris earned his B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island in 2014 and plans to pursue a Masters in Education. Meanwhile, he has served as Music Director for School of Rock locations in Attleboro, MA and North Providence, RI since 2018. He remains active in the Providence and Boston music communities, freelancing as an arranger/ producer, vocalist, guitarist and saxophonist, while fronting a local cover band, and continuing to write, record and perform with The Sterns and his solo project, The Deadly Desert.
Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Steve grew up in a musical household, where both of his parents, stepfather, and twin sister were musicians. At age 7, Steve picked up the drum sticks himself, and began his own musical journey. Now a Berklee College of music graduate, Steve is a passionate Music educator, drummer, and leader in his own right.
Steve has over 20 years of playing experience, playing with artists Such as Guthrie Govan, Dave Larue (Dixie Dregs, John Petrucci) And Phil Collen (Def Leppard). Steve’s Band, “The Offering” boasts international success, and has opened abroad for acts such as Arch Enemy, Dream Theater, Parkway Drive, Bullet for My Valentine, and Many More. Steve spends his free time either working out, hanging with his closest friends, or staying quietly at home with a video game.
Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher
Betsy is a professional vocalist and acoustic guitar player. She studied voice with Annamaria Saritelli-DiPanni, founder of the Bel Canto Opera Company of Rhode Island. She credits her great ear, and time spent on stages at venues all over New England for over 30 years as her real music education. She can usually be found playing solo with her acoustic guitar, or in her duo called The Instructors. Betsy is an accomplished songwriter and a member of the Rhode Island SongWriters Association (RISA). She is currently recording her fourth cd , which is due out sometime in late 2021.
Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Brent Beissel teaches drums, percussion, piano, music theory, ensemble, as well as beginner bass and guitar. Brent’s first professional teaching job began immediately after graduating from Berklee College of Music in the Summer of 2007, teaching at the Drum and Percussion workshop Summer program. He has been a guest faculty member every year since starting in 2007.
Brent’s goal is to help students learn and excel on their instrument in a fun and creative environment. Several of Brent’s students have gone on to graduate from prestigious music schools like Berklee and Mass Amherst and carve out careers in music. Outside of teaching, Brent performs weekly in cover bands at Boston bars and clubs as well as a heavy wedding schedule all over New England.
Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Chris Rossi started playing drums when he was 13 years old. He was self-taught until he joined the Cranston High School East drumline in 2010. From there he went to CCRI where he received his associate degree in fine arts and currently attends Rhode Island College pursuing a bachelor's degree in music theory/composition. He is currently in a pop rock band, Letters to Jenny, where he plays drums. He can also play piano and bass guitar.
Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Born and raised in Providence, RI, Alicia was around the age of five when she began experimenting with her grandmother's piano and learning songs by ear. Naturally as a young child, she would also sing any chance she got. From there, the love for music only continued to grow. Singing was something ingrained in Alicia's soul and everyone could see it. Her father and mother both sang in choir and so she carried the torch and took her place in the preschool chorus. She continued chorus up through high school while adapting other instruments along the way. Her first real instrument was the flute, which she played until she found guitar. The rest was history!
Today, Alicia is a multi-instrumentalist, studio engineer, and producer in progress. She writes, records, performs, and currently knows how to play guitar, drums, piano, bass, and ukulele. As her journey continues, she will continue to learn more instruments and styles to continue improving her skills. Passing on this universal language is what she lives for and so it will always be her heart and soul.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Violin Teacher
Summer grew up always playing music. At age 5, she began to play the violin and taught herself how to play tunes by ear. At age 10, Summer learned the saxophone and she is self-taught on the piano. Summer joined many bands such as East Bay Woodwind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Concert Band. In high school, Summer focused heavily on vocals. She was in a multitude of performances at St. Mary’s Academy Bay View and had roles in shows at Stadium Theatre. Summer was also a part of Allstate and ranked top 10 her junior year.
Summer attended Wagner College where she earned her Bachelor’s in Theatre Studies. While in school, she took vocal lessons once a week while in school. She was a part of the Marching Band, College Choir, Treble Choir, and Chamber Choir. Summer also was the President and Music Director of Wagner’s Co-Ed a capella group, Good Vibratones. She arranged all of the music herself and taught it to the members of the group. As President, she made arrangements for concerts, set dates and times, and sent out invitations to other colleges to attend and participate.
At School of Rock, Summer teaches vocals, violin, piano, and pretty much whatever else the school needs! She is also the instructor for the a capella group.
Bass Guitar Teacher
Gene has been playing in bands since the 1960s and has deep music roots in the southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island music community. He has shared the stage with many musicians and bands including Smoke Shop, Kickin’ Brass, Alter Ego, Conviction, and The Noyz. Gene also sings and plays bass in The Strumdawgs and The Liz Spencer Band.
Piano Teacher, Drums Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher
Dave Garcia started his musical journey by improvising and recording goofy songs in a barn with his childhood friends after they had all taken a music theory class together. It was in that barn that he became proficient on guitar, drums, and keys. While attending UMass Lowell for sound recording technology, he studied jazz guitar and played drums for both a folk-swing band and for a punk-funk brass band that went on to tour the US. He has been writing and recording music in a wide variety of styles for over a decade and continues to do it for fun. After teaching public school general music for grades kindergarten through 8th grade, he came to the School of Rock Attleboro to teach students who are genuinely interested in music
Ed started his musical journey at age 11 when he started playing guitar. Being a self-taught musician, Ed spent his formative years playing and practicing for hours on end. He also started to write his own original music and played in bands during his high school years. After high school, Ed attended Berklee College of Music and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music performance. During this time he also began his career in becoming a guitar teacher. With over 20 years of experience, Ed has a love for all styles of guitar playing and excels in advanced guitar techniques. He loves being able to share and teach students everything he’s learned and watching them learn to grow and develop as musicians. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and his son.
Vocals Teacher, Rookies Teacher, Little Wing Teacher
Dierdre (they/them) started piano and voice lessons at the age of 4 and they were instantly taken with both. While formal piano lessons continued into adolescence, Dierdre's vocal training was left entirely up to them, performing for friends and family with a ukulele. At the age of 8, they took up the cello and progressed with it rapidly. Dierdre focused on cello and piano for over a decade, with musical theater performances an annual occurrence, performing in shows like Seussical, Annie Jr., Godspell, The Spitfire Grill, and Heathers. Once in high school, they performed at coffee houses, open mics, and weddings with their ukulele before finally starting classical voice lessons. In these two short years of private lessons, Dierdre realized they wanted to go to school to learn more about opera and went to the University of New Hampshire to major in classical voice.
Dierdre has a Bachelor of Music Performance in classical voice from the University of New Hampshire. During their time at UNH, they studied under Deborah Rentz-Moore, Jenny Cook, David Ripley, Carlos Martinez, and Alex Favazza Jr. They are an accomplished mezzo-soprano, having just recently starred in the university’s production of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as Queen Dido. Dierdre then went on to win the New Hampshire Upper College Advanced NATS category of 2022. Dierdre performed for three years with the a capella group Not Too Sharp, known nationally as a “formally all-male group full of energy and goofiness.” When not hanging out in the corner at School of Rock, Dierdre can be found caring for their extensive houseplant collection or playing with their cat, Charlie.