Helen was born and raised in Alabama, and began her Tennessee residence at University of the South in Sewanee. After graduating in 2018 with a B.S. in Natural Resources & the Environment, she made her move to Nashville.
Helen took music lessons in her youth and music continues to surround her daily, in and outside of School of Rock! Some of her favorite bands and artists include The Revivalists, The Beatles and Van Morrison. Outside of the school, Helen likes to draw, hang out with her dog Akela, watch horror movies and go out to see her musician friends’ play shows around town.
Being the Assistant General Manager, she loves to see the students have fun playing in bands together and making friends, especially playing music that she loved as a kid!
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Karlie Bartholomew has always had a passion for music. While shy as a child, she was able to use music to find her voice. She started writing her own songs at a young age, participating in every talent show she could beginning in elementary school. Following in her father’s musical footsteps, Karlie taught herself to play guitar on his old acoustic while she was in high school.
Karlie graduated from Berklee College of Music in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in professional music, focusing in contemporary writing & production and performance. She moved to Nashville a few months after graduation to pursue music.
Outside of School of Rock, you can find Karlie performing at local venues and writing songs. She released her debut EP titled "A Way to Start" in December 2021. Other hobbies she enjoys are reading, hiking, and taking care of her plants.
Associate Music Director
Born and raised in the Nashville, TN area, Sean McCreight first picked up the guitar at age six but didn't become serious about playing the guitar until he was in sixth grade, when he started taking private lessons and learned about the band KISS. Sean's first guitar influence was Ace Frehley, which led to his first live performance in a KISS tribute band and other performances, including the Halloween KISS House right off of the square in Franklin, TN. To this day, Sean can still play every Ace Frehley solo. Eventually Sean became a student at School of Rock and quickly began to learn about more genres of music and develop a love of the blues, progressive rock, Motown, classic rock, jam bands and many more. As time went on Sean's influences grew to include Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks, Gov't Mule, The Grateful Dead, The Aquarium Rescue Unit and his all time favorite, Widespread Panic. During his time at School of Rock, Sean was a member of the House Band for five years and was a three-time national AllStar. After graduating high school and School of Rock, Sean attended Belmont University and majored in Commercial Music - Guitar and quickly formed his band Sonic Voodoo, a seven-piece fusion rock band based in Nashville, TN. Sean's band has played many high-profile gigs, including playing at the Nashville Predators games and Plaza Parties, as well as opening for Echosmith. The band released their first EP on Spotify and iTunes in March of 2017. Sean is continuing his music education in the Segue 61 program in Nashville, TN and continues to record and perform live with Sonic Voodoo and other artists around town.
Angie has loved music her entire life. One of her earliest memories is listening to artists like Elvis Presley, Elton John and more with her parents as a toddler. Angie started singing at the age of five, joining her church choir at the age of eight. In middle school, Angie was a member of the Ketron Singers who performed at the World's Fair in Knoxville, TN and continued to develop her vocal skills with private lessons. Angie continued to perform in high school with her jazz band and performed in the Tennessee All-State Choir, as well as at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts.
Angie continued her vocal training in college and participated in activities that allowed her to continue to perform. She went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Medical Technology and worked in pharmaceutical research for over 20 years. In 2011, after leaving her career in the pharmaceutical industry, she and her husband Kelly decided to open the first School of Rock in Tennessee in the Franklin/Cool Springs area and opened the Nashville location two years later. Angie is very passionate about providing this outlet for young musicians and has also seen her own children participate in the program and become School of Rock AllStars. Every day is a gift when she sees the students get excited about their music and performing in live music venues, even when they get excited about just being in the building.
Regional Music Director
Steve Rossi brings many years of experience to the Franklin School of Rock as a seasoned performer. Steve has performed on stage with Rock legend and guitar virtuoso, Peter Frampton on his North American tours, as well as other well-known artists such as vocalist extraordinaire Taylor Dayne, 80s rock legends Cinderella (North American tours), 60s rock n' roll pioneer Gary U.S. Bonds, and many other high profile bands and artists across several continents. He has appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Arsenio Hall Show" and NBC's "A 70s Celebration" with Taylor Dayne. Steve has also appeared with headliners The Bee Gees and other notable 70s artists. Other appearances include Solid Gold with Gary U.S. Bonds and on MTV's "The Grind." Steve's album credits include Stevie Wonder, John Kay, Steppenwolf and various other artists. He is an independent composer/producer of music for television multimedia. Clients include ABC/Disney, AE, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon Networks and The Travel Channel, as well as various other corporate and independent clients. Steve scored two seasons of "Surprise by Design," hit home improvement series on Discovery Channel, and is currently composing and producing original, in-program music for "Good Morning America." He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and piano teacher at School of Rock Franklin.
Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Alex is a studio drummer, music producer/engineer, and orchestrator based in Nashville. With a passion for developing new music and young musicians, he’s spent the last several years teaching, recording, and writing music across the US, Canada, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Serbia. Outside of School of Rock, you can usually find him recording in the studio, or writing music for orchestras, world instruments, and choirs. In 2019, Alex graduated from Berklee College of Music with a dual degree in Contemporary Writing & Production and Music Production & Engineering.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Spencer is a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where he studied classical guitar and composition. He's a multi-instrumentalist with years of keyboard, percussion, guitar, and bass experience. He was a School of Rock student himself in the Philadelphia area where he developed a strong passion for music theory and an equally strong love of rock. Treating music as both a science and a beautifully robust language capable of infinite expression, Spencer dreams of a world where everybody plays an instrument, understands the music they create and hear, and strives to explore and experiment with the creation of music.
When he isn't playing guitar with Nashville-based psychedelic rock band, The Mango Furs, he is likely petting a cat or getting lost in a good video game with an inspiring soundtrack.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
Joe Markferding is a songwriter, artist, and producer from the Philadelphia area currently residing in Nashville, TN. A former student of School of Rock, he graduated from Belmont University in 2020 with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Music Business. Joe has also attended Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy to study music as well as Malvern Preparatory School in Pennsylvania.
Since graduating, Joe has produced and played on numerous releases for upcoming artists in the Nashville, NYC, Philadelphia, Denver, and LA areas, and has created and released numerous singles and an album of his own music as Joemarkk. Joe is a dedicated student of music and life, and strives to share his passion and outlook through communication both musically and through teaching.
Joe teaches guitar, bass, keys, and vocals at School of Rock in Franklin, TN, and has experience working with all types of individuals in all age groups teaching a range of musical skills.
Niko Tripodis has a bachelor's degree in Commercial Music with a performance emphasis from Belmont University. Niko has shared the stage or recorded with artists such as Will Rosedale and the Lowly Entourage, Carter Faith Jones, Max King, JERZY., Bill DuBois, Chloe Hogan, and Jack Zondlo. While touring and gigging around Nashville, he has opened for various acts, notably, Cole Swindell and Lawrence. Apart from recording and playing live, Niko composes, teaches, makes charts, and transcribes music for a variety of genres.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Matt Drummey is a musician from Kingston, MA. A versatile player, Matt is equally comfortable as a bassist or guitarist. Years of performing and teaching make him an excellent resource for any aspiring musician. His playing style is an exciting blend of a wide range of influences. Over the course of his time playing Matt has studied blues, classic rock, jazz, neo-soul, bluegrass, funk and many more.
Matt received a degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music in 2011. During his time at Berklee he studied under master guitarist Tim Miller. His time at Berklee also led to him being one of the co-founders of Boston jam band Skyfoot. During his time with Skyfoot Matt performed over 200 shows, spanning over 20 states. Skyfoot released their debut album "Eternal Bend" in 2011. This album features Matt on both electric guitar and bass. His deep understanding of both instruments gives him a unique perspective on playing and teaching. In the spring of 2016 Matt relocated to Nashville to continue to pursue a career in music.
As an instructor Matt’s goal is to make lessons a fun and engaging environment for students. His sense of humor and approachability make him a great fit for all levels of students. Matt puts a strong emphasis on helping students learn their favorite songs and discover improvisation. Matt can teach music theory, reading, ear training, improvisation concepts, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, fretless bass techniques, various musical genres, songwriting and more.
Drum Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Chris was born in Los Angeles and moved to Nashville when he was four years old. Now at 21, he is passionate about teaching piano, and being a freelance producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, animator, filmmaker, and audio engineer in his professional home recording studio in Franklin, TN. Chris attended School of Rock in Nashville in middle school. He is a Blackbird Academy audio engineering graduate and attended Lipscomb University, studying music production and animation. He was awarded a scholarship to Berklee School of Music for songwriting and was a member of the Curb Youth Symphony and MTSU Honors Orchestra for many years. Having had his own band and having been a member of multiple bands, Cris developed a great skill for performance and bringing the best sound to the stage.
Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Ryan Venable is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has just recently moved back to Nashville after spending 8 years performing and teaching music in LA. He is a classically trained pianist, but his main instrument is the guitar. Ryan has played for a few bands as the guitarist and lead singer and also performs solo acoustic shows. He also has an album and a couple of EPs out on all streaming platforms. The projects are all self-produced. Ryan currently teaches guitar and vocal lessons at School of Rock Franklin!
Jason began playing guitar at the age of 15 after seeing a solo by Eddie Van Halen. That was and is the catalyst that has inspired his pursuit of the instrument to this day. At the age of 21, Jason attended the Atlanta Institute of Music with an emphasis on performance and theory. After school, he performed and taught guitar full-time for years. Most of his experience was as a studio musician where he was blessed to have worked with many notable artists in the R&B, Jazz, Rap, and Christian industries in Atlanta at that time. After years of studio work, Jason decided to pursue engineering, mixing, and production. He was blessed to have worked in many of Atlanta's flagship studios during that venture. Jason's passion now is to continue to press on to become the best musician he can and to invest himself in others to help them to fulfill their musical goals.
Show Director, Singing Teacher
Annalee Condiles is a current student at Belmont University majoring in Music Business (live event management) and minoring in dance. She first got involved with singing through musical theater and still to this day can call herself a proud theater kid, although the School of Rock program is really where her love grew.
Annalee attended School of Rock Main Line in Pennsylvania where she was a proud House Band member and an AllStar in 2019 and 2020. Her rock inspirations range from Earth, Wind & Fire to No Doubt to Black Sabbath. She is so excited to share her passion for singing with the School of Rock Franklin community.
Originally from Westchester, NY, Tara Curran has been singing since she was 6 years old and began her School of Rock journey at the age of 9 with the Bedford, NY location. She was raised with various musical genres, including classic rock and metal, but found her calling in the blues, gospel, funk, and soul. Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin, and Susan Tedeschi are among many on her long list of influences, but don’t let that fool you! Tara’s sound is entirely her own. Her soulful, powerhouse vocals and her unique and captivating stagecraft have been a mainstay of the Westchester County/New York City music scene since she began her professional career at 11 years old.
Outside of her early School of Rock training, Tara trains with renowned vocal coach Don Lawrence, focusing on the Lawrence Technique, a technique used by artists including Lady Gaga, Mick Jagger, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, and Axl Rose.
In 2022, Tara was invited back to School of Rock Bedford as a vocal instructor before moving to Nashville for a 2023 study-away program, where she fell in love with the city, the music scene, and the people. She has spent the last year gaining industry experience at Big Machine Label Group, focusing on Promotion, Streaming, and Marketing. Currently, Tara plans on transferring to a school in Nashville and hopes to continue to learn more about the Music Industry and release music soon!
Tara’s goal is to create a trust-based relationship with her students, and she is so excited to help cultivate their love of singing and performance!
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
James Weiss is a musician, guitarist, performer, composer, and educator from the DMV area. His playing and teaching experience span jazz, blues, rock, folk, metal, and musical theater. He graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies in December 2021.
Following his graduation, James taught and performed locally throughout the DMV area for two years before moving to Nashville in September 2023. During his time in the DMV, he performed with cover bands, blues bands, jazz bands, rock bands, and musical theatre companies. His goal as an instructor is to inspire within his students the creativity, self-expression, and joy that music has given him.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Joe Thomason has had a passion for music since he first picked up a guitar in a music class in the seventh grade. Throughout his over 15 years of playing, Joe has prided himself on exploring as many different genres as he can. Starting as a huge Metallica fan, he began exploring every corner of the world of metal. He eventually fell in love with in genre of progressive metal, creating multiple bands and projects that challenged his playing and his understanding of what music could be.
Through these experiences and his time working at School of Rock, Joe's musical interests began to expand toward genres that challenged him including jazz, funk, prog rock, fusion, experimental rock, and improvisation. Joe began moving into the world of music production in 2017; after getting certified, he has made it a hobby to mix, produce, and master his own work and others' music.
Joe's teaching style revolves around simplifying music theory while applying it to the instrument and learning improvisation. He believes that those skills in addition to the songs learned in the School of Rock program can help students find a unique way to express themselves through music. Joe has been based in Chicago for most of his musical career but recently moved to the Nashville area. He is excited to see what new musical journeys and challenges await him!