Maggie was born and raised with an undeniable ear for music. Singing has always been her passion. Her mother told her that she sang before she ever spoke. Maggie has always had a knack for music. When she was 18 months old, she would hum to songs happily in key. Maggie believes that everyone has music inside of them, no matter what the age. She has been involved in many projects and studio recordings including The Rip Chords (University of Illinois), Molehill and Willy Dynomite. Her passion for music, paired with her obsessive organization, has led her to be the General Manager of School of Rock Evanston and Highwood. Maggie hopes to open the door to musicians in a way that she never experienced.
Danielle Piccolomini was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, where she was very active in local community and professional theatre. Her passion for music was sparked at an early age by her grandmother, who would sing to her every chance she got. She was immersed in theatre at age nine and started playing the flute, piccolo, piano and handbells soon afterward. After high school, she studied at The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in Corona, CA, where she had the opportunity to travel and teach music to kids all over the world for almost seven years. She moved to Chicago on a whim in August 2019 and found a way to combine her love of music and love for typing emails at School of Rock Highwood as an Assistant Manager. She hopes to continue sharing her musical and organizational skills.
Bryan Resendiz is a Music Director at the Highwood school. He teaches drums and manages the ensemble rehearsals. His path through the world of rock n' roll began when he got his first drum set in the 3rd grade. Bryan's musical inspiration came initially from his older sister's record collection. Throughout his teens, Bryan performed live in bands and in studio settings. In the summer of 1995 as a part of the Hello Dave Band, Bryan played in venues from San Francisco and New York to Key West. Between 2002 and 2005, Bryan played rock 'n' roll in the Pacific Islands, Asia, Europe, Africa and across the Middle East, culminating in an intense tour across Iraq. Bryan recorded a full-length album for Hello Dave, "Perfect Day," in 2003. Bryan left the Hello Dave band in 2005 in order to focus on freelance music projects and a successful teaching practice at Kevin Connelley Drum Instruction in Skokie. Bryan continues to maintain a busy gigging schedule with a number of Chicago bands.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Scott Balmoos is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and music educator. He started on his path in music while in middle school when he fell in love with the sound of The Beatles. It wasn't long before he was singing and playing guitar in his first rock and roll band. Over the subsequent years, the music in his life grew and expanded, so he continued to pursue his passion by studying at the Eastman School of Music with a focus in Vocal Performance. While at Eastman, along with singing opera, art songs and musicals, and against his teacher's wishes, he continued playing with his band The Shift. This energy eventually provided the spark for him to move to Chicago. Since 2003, Scott has been performing, writing and recording in and around Chicago, most notably with the roots reggae band Akasha. As a lover of all types of music, he believes that through it you can learn about yourself, how to use your voice, and reach out to the world from almost any song. He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and vocal instructor at School of Rock Highwood.
Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Ait Fetterolf is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and award-nominated screenwriter from South Carolina. Ait has been playing piano since the age of five, where his teacher told his parents after his first lesson that he had perfect pitch. After a brief stint as a piano performance major at Furman University and several years in punk bands, jazz ensembles, drum lines, and orchestras, his affections tended towards the theater where he performed in numerous musicals including as an actor and singer in The Lost Colony outdoor symphonic drama in North Carolina. He has also served as musical director and conductor for several stage productions, arranging harmonies and rehearsing vocalists for The Rocky Horror Show, Belz!, The Last Five Years, and more. In addition to teaching private voice, guitar, & drum lessons for more than a decade, he has also performed stand-up comedy at the world famous Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip. Ait loves to discover new genres and artists, and believes that a key component of musical education is providing a musician with a drive & desire to explore the totality of humanity’s harmonies.
Studio Coordinator, Vocal Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Miranda is an artist at heart, born and raised in Chicago. Her musical inclinations started at a very young age; her mom would often find her at the piano clumsily accompanying her own fanciful voice compositions. She was soon enrolled in piano lessons and later studied classical voice at ChiArts. Since then she has honed her songwriting craft and continues to release music under Rain Garden, her band which has been performing around Illinois for over five years. She also gigs as a cantor at churches in the Chicagoland area.
When Miranda is not performing, teaching, or in the studio recording she enjoys reading, fostering cats, and being outdoors!
Macklin Suhre was born July 21st, 1991 in Lake Bluff, Illinois and has been drumming since the age of 10. He attended Lake Forest High School, studying music and drumming in the jazz band and wind ensemble. In 2009, he was accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston as a drum set principle, where he spent four years studying with celebrated faculty members such as Mitch Haupers, Mike Mangini, Kim Plainfield and many more. Macklin graduated from Berklee in 2013 with a degree in Professional Music, and continues to perform with his band, Tanzen.
Drew Littell is a professional drummer, percussionist and music educator from Chicago, IL. With over 20 years of playing experience, 10 years touring nationally and eight years teaching, Drew brings a wide spectrum of experience to private lessons at School of Rock. Starting as a percussionist in grade school, and all the way through a Jazz Studies major at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Drew has been trained in music at the academic level, but also has always been involved in some sort of independent, original music project. With 10 years of touring experience, he has played many styles of music from metal to bluegrass and everything in between.
Zoey has been playing guitar since 1987, playing music professionally since 1997 and teaching guitar since 2001. He has played all over the country and in Mexico at clubs, festivals, concerts, theaters and private events playing jazz, rock, country, R&B, bluegrass, blues, zydeco and pop. Over the years he has played with local and national artists like Maggie Speaks, Tributosaurus, The Jersey Boys, Nicholas Barron, Cathy Richardson Band, CJ Chenier and many others. Zoey is thrilled to be a part of the teaching staff at School of Rock.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Alex Zeravica was born in Georgia in 1990. He had a bad habit of banging on anything he could find around the house. When his parents realized it wasn't a phase, they bought him a beginner drum set when he was six or seven. After moving to Lake Bluff, Illinois at the age of nine, Alex started taking drum lessons and enrolled in school band. In middle school, Alex joined the jazz band, and also joined Midwest Young Artists, enrolling in their jazz ensemble and advanced percussion ensemble. He continued all of these throughout his time at Lake Forest High School. After graduating, he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, studying Film Scoring. Alex currently plays with a handful of different groups and records as a session musician, having played on dozens of different projects, from demos to full-length albums. He is a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher and drum teacher at School of Rock Highwood.
Tyler Damon is a drummer and instructor who has been drumming on everything within arm’s reach from an early age. Recognizing this, his parents presented him with a Pearl student model snare drum for his 10th birthday, unwittingly inviting years of percussive clangor into their basement.
Tyler has been recognized internationally for his work with Bhutanese guitarist Tashi Dorji and Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis, in duos and as the trio Kuzu, as well as for his drumming with Haley Fohr’s chameleonic Circuit Des Yeux. He can often be found performing around the city with Gerrit Hatcher & Joshua Abrams, Mars Williams, Eli Winter and many others. He also performs as a solo percussionist.
Over the last decade he has performed on over 50 recordings and has toured extensively in North America, Europe, Vietnam, & Colombia. In addition to his own teaching, Tyler is fortunate to study with world-renowned drummer, percussionist and educator Pete Magadini. His recorded output has been offered by a myriad of labels including Family Vineyard, Astral Spirits, Matador, Drag City, Trost, Aerophonic, Magnetic South, Feeding Tube and Auris Apothecary, among others.
Photo by Ricardo Adame.
Vocal Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Parker, a soprano from central Illinois, has been involved in music for over twenty years. She has experience with a wide variety of musical styles, including art song, opera, jazz, choral, and musical theatre, as well as pop and rock. Past opera and musical theatre roles include Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Gertrude (Seussical), and Belle (Beauty and the Beast), among others. Parker received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas in May 2022 and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Illinois University in May 2020. While her own training has been predominantly classically-focused, Parker loves applying healthy vocal technique and pedagogical concepts to any genre, helping students to understand the inner workings of the voice in the context of their favorite types of music. She has taught students
aged six through adult, and past students have received “1” ratings in Solo and Ensemble, passed auditions to sing in All-Region choir, and perform extensively in theatre and musical ensemble settings. Parker believes music is for everyone and is excited to share the joy of music with her students, no matter their age, experience level, or preferred genre. She hopes to inspire students to find confidence and power in the voice through incorporating healthy vocal technique and diction with true emotion and meaning in order to achieve genuine performance that is individual to the singer.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Chicago-based musician Justin Eisenbraun has been performing professionally for years as a soloist and in groups throughout the U.S. and abroad. He has also recorded with a variety of artists on dozens of records. He holds a degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Northeastern Illinois University and has taught guitar at UpBeat Music and Arts and After School Matters in Chicago. He currently performs with the Lydia Cash Duo.
Justin has been with School of Rock since 2012 and his goal as an educator is to inspire a lifelong love of playing music in his students.
Guitar Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Daniel Jackson is a multi-instrumentalist who hails from Birmingham, AL. He spent the first 7 years of his career traveling in musicals like: Green Day’s American Idiot, Rock of Ages and the Buddy Holly story in the titular role. As a songwriter, Daniel has worked with artists like: Blondie Chaplin, Jason Robert Brown, Tom Kitt, Scott Weiland & more. Daniel feels honored to get to teach the next generation about the ups and downs of the performing industry.
For over 30 years, Steve Grissette aka Steve "Mac180" has worked in the music industry as an accomplished singer, songwriter, and producer. He has produced many gold and platinum albums including Nick Lachey & 98 Degrees, Regina Belle, Steve Bell, and The Dead Presidents' SoundTrack. For years, Steve's unforgettable soulful R&B voice and dynamic performance style has made him one of the most sought after lead male vocalists.
Steve has either written, produced or shared the stage with such artists as Stokley Williams, Jesse Campbell, Nick Lachey, Ellis Hall, Randy Jackson, Elton John, Dennis Edwards of the Temptations, Brian Simpson, Tony Bennett, Howard Hewitt, Billie Beck of the Ohio Players, Peter Cetera of the band Chicago, Richard Marx, Kashif, Marlon Jackson, Everette Harp, DC Talk, Walter Afanasieff, Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Jeffrey Osborne, Commissioned, Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Michael Omartian , Donnie McClurkin, Alan Gorie from the Average White Band, Alex Ligertwood formerly of Santana, David Hollister, and many more.
Steve and his wife, Amy, created "Read Along With Wayne", an edutainment CD that has been featured as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Toddler Rock program since 2005. This critically acclaimed CD has received top reviews by Ebony Magazine and Sesame Street consultants.
Trevor Mooney is originally from Germantown, Maryland and has a passion for electric bass! He grew up taking music lessons and playing in bands at an organization very similar to School of Rock. Throughout his teenage years, Trevor would be performing regularly, writing music, and preparing himself for Berklee College of Music. In 2014, Trevor attended Berklee where he met two friends he would later form a band with, and after graduating in 2017, he relocated to the Chicago area to pursue music with his band. Some of Trevor's favorite bands are the Grateful Dead, Yes, Bob Marley, and anything put out on Motown. Aside from his love of teaching and music, he can be found outside enjoying the sunshine or playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Michael discovered his love for music at the age of 13 when he listened to “Master of Reality” by Black Sabbath. From there, he bought his first guitar and started learning songs by ear until high school. Michael then went on to start a jazz trio, which exposed him to the great musicians in the Chicago scene under the guidance of Victor García.
In high school and college, Michael played in the top bands focusing on double bass with a major in composition. While studying at Loyola University New Orleans, he immersed himself in the jazz scene while balancing an intense gigging schedule. Since then, Michael has toured multiple countries in South America and Europe along with various U.S. states and has played with Grammy nominees and winners.
Keyboard Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Born and raised in Park Ridge, IL, Andrew began taking piano lessons around the age of four. It wasn’t until he was in middle school that he would join a band and music would become his greatest passion. Originally learning how to play classic rock songs on piano by transcribing guitar tabs, Andrew began picking up guitar as a teenager. In the decade since, Andrew has remained active in Chicago’s music scene and earned a BA in Music Business from University of Illinois at Chicago. When Andrew isn’t writing, recording, or performing with various groups, he enjoys watching classic films, and going to Sox games.
Aidan S Cramer is a Guitarist, Producer, and Audio Engineer based in Chicago, IL. Upon picking up the guitar at age 10, he knew that was his calling. After graduating from Evanston Township High School in 2017, Aidan attended Columbia College Chicago, receiving his B.A. in Audio Design and Production in 2021. As a former School of Rock student and House Band member, Aidan takes pride in providing the same level of instruction and support to his students as he received himself. He brings the same vibrant energy to all of his endeavors and works as an Audio Engineer throughout the Chicagoland area, where he records, mixes, and masters records, as well as runs live sound for various bands and venues.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Daniel is a musician, instructor, songwriter, and producer with over a decade's worth of experience. Having spent years in music education and in the music, recording, and touring industry, he has been teaching music lessons to students of varying ages and skill levels for the last several years.
Daniel takes a fun and intuitive approach to lessons and loves fostering skills in all his students. He loves making music, writing, creating, and going for walks with his family. Daniel is currently working on a few musical projects in the pop, sync, and songwriter genres.
Eric has over two decades of experience teaching and playing music in Chicagoland and all over the country. He currently plays lead guitar for Trippin Billies, the country's largest Dave Matthews Band tribute act.
Eric is primarily a guitar player but he has taught and played professionally on multiple instruments including drums, bass, and keys. He also has a lot of experience playing musical theater including as a swing musician for the Broadway in Chicago production of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys. Eric enjoys teaching all styles of music and loves playing and listening to pop, jazz, funk, and R&B.
Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Daniel Jonak is an enthusiastic world-music composer and multi-instrumentalist specializing in guitar and piano, as well as being deeply steeped in rhythm and percussion. At 9 years old, Daniel began his adventure on the baritone euphonium which gave him a first-hand appreciation of brass and orchestral music, all the while fiddling on his older brother’s guitar with great intrigue. By his sophomore year of high school, Daniel had joined the jazz band, HP jazz trio, and the band “Xazz” playing guitar. During this time he displayed a strong interest in fusion music, and would later delve into the Indian Carnatic tradition.
At the age of 18, Daniel received a platinum scholarship to Berklee College of Music for writing a rap song and studied under Jack Pezanelli for chordal jazz guitar. Daniel’s teaching style focuses on elements of the Suzuki method, literacy in reading music, jamming with our instrument, and music theory supplemental material.
Daniel has worked with names such as Frank Catalano, Artur Wnorowski, and Justin Boyd, as well as various artists around Chicago. Daniel looks forward to playing, teaching, and investigating more types of music from around the world!
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Jackson started his musical journey at the age of 5 with piano lessons from his mother. His focus turned to the guitar at age 9 when he received lessons from his father's friend, bluesman Detroit James.
Jackson built his musical foundation on blues improvisation, playing in several bands around Chicago from age 9 through 18 when he moved from Chicago to Montreal. There he majored in music at Canada's top music school, McGill University. It was in Montreal that Jackson started music production and produced records for many artists around the Montreal and Toronto areas. These artists performed his productions all over Canada and one even opened for Imagine Dragons on every stop of their Canadian tour. Jackson just moved back to Chicago and is excited to play with his band here and teach at School of Rock Highwood.
Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Jesse Lear is an up-and-coming acoustic and electric bassist, composer, arranger, teacher, and audio engineer in the Chicago area. His aim as a musician is to create accessible music deeply rooted in the visceral, human experience to inspire movement and dance. Be it a rock concert or a jazz orchestra with strings, his performances initiate interactive and organic dialogues with his audience. Diverse music genres inform Jesse’s artistic expressiveness. He draws connections between rock, pop, jazz, Afro-Cuban, classical, and other styles to creatively craft songs into a magnetic, musical journey. His artistry as a musician is emboldened by the works of Steely Dan, Chicago, and the Beatles, as well as artists like James Jamerson, Ahmad Jamal, and Avishai Cohen.
Jesse received his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies at Northwestern University. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jesse began exploring composition and arranging as well as audio engineering. These three fields, in addition to his groove-driven bass playing, have taken him to performance venues across the country including the Gary Marshall Theater in Los Angeles, Prudential Hall (NJPAC) in New Jersey, and the 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Mitch Galgan is a songwriter and string-instrumentalist, whose main instrument is the bass, but also plays guitar and piano. They studied classical and jazz music from elementary school to graduation at Illinois Wesleyan University and explored pop, rock, and more playing in a variety of bands independent of their schoolwork. This varied experience led Mitch from playing virtuosic concertos to improvising in jazz groups to theater productions, to jamming Hendrix songs on stage.
Mitch currently plays in several bands around Chicago: the Righteous Sound, the Noble Bautista Band, and Jared Jones & the Wild Ride. Mitch is also gearing up to release an album in 2024 of original songs under the moniker Silje Sweets.
Just having moved to Skokie, Mitch is thrilled to begin teaching at School of Rock, and to help cultivate each student’s love for music.