School of Rock Chesapeake is owned by Eric and Jennifer Lonning. Before opening the Chesapeake school, the Lonnings opened School of Rock Virginia Beach in 2015. 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 at 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 attended Wake Forest University where he studied Communication and Religion.
Jennifer and Eric Lonning own School of Rock Virginia Beach and School of Rock Chesapeake. 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.
Kyle Folsom has been a fixture in the Virginia music scene for years. Kyle performs as a vocalist and lead guitar player with several projects, including his original band, Woodwork, and a Grateful Dead cover band, Last Fair Deal. Kyle is an experienced show director, guitar teacher, vocal teacher and former drummer. Kyle worked for several years at School of Rock Virginia Beach, where he became known for his hard work, positive attitude, attention to detail and inspirational teaching style. Kyle's mission is to cultivate and maintain an inspirational music program where students are inspired and challenged to reach their full musical potential. Kyle enjoys being able to share his love of music to inspire his students to grow as musicians. He is the Music Director at School of Rock Chesapeake.
Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Zach Bridges is an accomplished pianist and keyboard player specializing in rock, independent jazz, pop, and commercial music composition, as well as music arrangement, production, performance, and education. Zach performs with a variety of R&B and jazz artists throughout Hampton Roads.
Zach has studied music extensively, particularly during his military service. He has completed several Berklee music courses and participated in DC-based Jazz Band Master Classes under Jeff Antoniuk. Zach is passionate about giving each student the tools to be a great performer!
Joe is a local legend and popular guitar teacher at School of Rock Virginia Beach. Joe has been playing guitar for as long as he can remember and recorded and toured throughout the east coast with his band, TRUCK. A mainstay at School of Rock, you will find Joe teaching guitar lessons, coaching bands, and fixing whatever is broken.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Briana has been singing since she could speak and performing since she was 12 years old. She has a bachelor's degree in Musical Theater Performance and a master's degree in Vocal Pedagogy for Contemporary Commercial Music. Briana has been teaching for a decade now and helps her students with songwriting, music production, scream technique, and music theory (beginner to collegiate level).
Alex is a former School of Rock student who loves giving back to the next generation of School of Rock kids. A terrific vocalist and guitar player, Alex loves teaching private lessons and coaching bands in our Rock 101 and Performance Program. Alex is working on his degree and hopes to pursue a career in music therapy.
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.
James runs the show from AC/DC to Zappa, creating a safe and cool environment for students to achieve their musical and creative potential. At School of Rock Virginia Beach, James focuses on providing top-quality customer service, including billing, schedule management, and communication. James has a BS in Business Administration from CNU with a concentration in Management. He has roughly 15 years of experience in education administration working with children and adult learners.
Cory Pettiford started playing guitar at age 9 and has almost 50 years of playing experience! Cory was awarded the prestigious C1 special skill identifier by the US Army Element, School of Music, indicating that his playing ability and musicianship was among the top 10% of all Army guitarists worldwide. Over the years, Cory has won multiple Guitarmageddon competitions put on by Guitar Center and was flown to Atlanta and Orlando to participate in higher levels of competition. Cory is well versed in rock, jazz, pop, and funk guitar styles.
Andrew "Roo" O'Donnell started drumming at 9 years old and was touring by the time he was 17 years old. Roo has been giving lessons since he was in his early 20s. After moving to New York in 2016, Roo found himself in dozens of bands and projects, thrust into the competitive but exhilarating session music scene. Roo has since relocated to Virginia and he loves teaching the future rockers at School of Rock Chesapeake.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Koren is a vocal and keyboard + piano teacher at School of Rock Chesapeake. She loves teaching students of all ages and also teaches our Rock 101 program. You can catch Koren performing around Hampton Roads and putting out new, original music regularly.
John relocated to southeast Virginia after living in New York City for many years. John has over 15 years of experience giving guitar lessons, playing in bands, and working in a variety of companies. John loves to teach and help School of Rock students conquer the stage!
Holly Milner was born and raised in Norfolk and was instilled with a love for music at a very early age. She began playing the piano at age three and the violin at 10, and is a passionate collector of vinyl. Holly has over ten years of experience at School of Rock, beginning her career at the School of Rock Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Holly serves as the Studio Manager in Chesapeake. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school, including scheduling, billing, student safety, and new member orientation. She feels lucky every day to have found an environment combining her two favorite things: helping kids and rock music.
Bass Guitar Teacher
Romanze Willoughby has been playing professionally on electric bass for 25 years and also has many years of performing classical upright bass. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces School of Music and he spent 11 years traveling and performing with the prestigious Navy band. After living internationally, he recently returned to Hampton Roads and jumped at the chance to work with the young performers at School of Rock. When he's not teaching, Romanze stays active performing, writing, and recording covers and his own original music. Romanze is a member of the American Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Black Rock Coalition (BRC). He is a bass guitar teacher and show director at School of Rock Chesapeake.