As a young child, Rachel found music to be magical. Every chance she had, she had to be musical. Her family was immersed in the arts, which helped foster her deep love of the performing arts. Rachel started playing the piano at 6 years old and found pure joy. She wrote her first song a year later and after ten years, she was performing classical concertos and had aspirations of becoming a concert pianist. But her true passion was centered around the voice.
Rachel attended Interlochen Arts Camp for piano and voice study at the early age of 8 and also had the opportunity to attend Interlochen Arts Academy for her high school career. There she continued as a voice and piano major, afterward attending the University of Michigan School of Music for Voice Performance. Searching for a more creative study in jazz, which was not available to Voice majors at the time, Rachel began performing outside of school in various bands and attended jazz courses for no credit. She found her home on stage, telling stories within her own original songs and singing her favorite genre, funk. Soon after, she met Jeremy, a jazz drummer from New Jersey. They fell madly for each other and started playing music together in 1997.
Rachel has been a performing, touring, and studio musician ever since. She has had the pleasure of working as lead vocalist for the iconic Parliament Funkadelic and The Talking Heads keyboardist, Dr. Bernie Worrell, along with many hip hop artists, recording and touring with the likes of Tame One of the Artifacts, Grandmaster Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers and El-P of Run the Jewels. Rachel has also performed and recorded with numerous original and cover bands all over the east coast. She is currently working on a funk project singing lead vocals and playing keys.
In 2012 Rachel had the incredible opportunity to work as an instructor at her local School of Rock. She fell in love instantly, and couldn’t believe she was getting compensated for such a fulfilling job. She knew immediately she had to pursue further, and soon after, she became Assistant Director at another School of Rock location. Because of the impact of School of Rock’s performance-based music education model, Rachel even went back to school through Montclair State University’s Music Education program to help hone her skills in order to better serve her School of Rock community. Her hope is to become a steward of music, a confidant, and a guide for students to help reveal their own individuality and potential through programs at School of Rock Hoboken.
Jeremy Pores’ passion in life has always been music. He started playing the drums at age 10, and quickly transformed into a professional. By age 16, he was playing in cover bands in the New Jersey music scene. He found his niche throwing down drum beats, and could always be found with his drumsticks and even with his drums in tow whenever and wherever possible. His early teachers include the great Glen Weber and Joe Morello. Jeremy went on to study jazz drum performance under Jackie MacLean at the Hartt School of Music and then transferred to the Berklee College of Music to pursue lessons with Jamie Hadadd. Jeremy’s work in the music industry has always been guided by performance. Whenever Jeremy can get on a stage, he’s there. His work in hip-hop and funk music has been extensive. For the past 25 years, his work as a professional performing artist includes national tours, house and studio work, not only as a professional drummer but also as a producer and manager for numerous solo artists and bands centrally located along the east coast. His performance experience includes playing such renowned stages as the Trenton State Arena, NYC Knitting Factory and Maritime Hall. Most notably, Jeremy toured as lead drummer for the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame keyboardist Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic and The Talking Heads.
Jeremy’s most recent endeavor has been teaching the next generation of musicians how to perform on their instruments. He has such a great passion for teaching and helping others understand the complex rhythms of modern music. He is so excited about the next stage of his life, passing on the knowledge that was taught to him through his teachers to the next generation of musicians at School of Rock Hoboken.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Lisbelkis Santana (Lis) is very excited to be a part of the School of Rock Hoboken family as a vocal instructor and piano teacher. Lis has always had a passion for music and imparting that passion on others. Her keys and vocal background consists of over 10 years of experience. She is a recent graduate of Montclair State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Her previous experience teaching music group classes makes her a perfect fit for School of Rock.
What excites Lis about teaching at School of Rock Hoboken is the opportunity to build a community through making music. She not only hopes to promote a safe and fun learning environment for her students but also looks forward to learning from them. Lis looks to implement the core values that School of Rock Hoboken emphasizes, especially the importance of embracing the learning process, and being respectful, humble and confident in what you do. In addition, Lis believes in the School of Rock approach being much more relatable and refreshing than the traditional ways of learning music, so much so that she hopes that she will have the opportunity to learn a new instrument while working at School of Rock Hoboken.
Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Lena started playing music at 9 years old, beginning with guitar and quickly picking up drums and bass along the way. Since graduating high school, she has been in 5 bands, releasing 2 albums and 3 EPs, an addition to touring across the country. Lena holds a BA in Music and Film/Video from Hampshire College where she started her current band “Nemesister”, a punk trio in which she performs guitar, drums, and vocals.
Lena has been teaching music for 6 years and is psyched to continue that journey at School of Rock! She is deeply passionate about music education and dedicated to offering her knowledge and expertise in a way that is inclusive to all. She considers collaborating with others to be the most fulfilling part of being a musician.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Dylan DiLella is a New York City based guitarist and teacher. He earned a BA in Music from NYU in 2009, and since then has been avidly teaching private guitar lessons, releasing his own music, and touring internationally. Dylan's main creative vehicle, Pyrrhon, has released 7 studio recordings, and has received critical acclaim from noteworthy publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Dylan also records and performs as a solo-guitarist, and has released several recordings under his name.
Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Matt Ruff is so excited to be a part of the School of Rock team! Matt works in the musical theatre industry as an actor/singer and a multi-instrumentalist. He earned his BFA degree in Musical Theatre at the University of Florida. He then made the move to NYC to pursue his childhood dreams of being on Broadway. Now, Matt has performed musicals at professional regional theaters all over the country, and has earned his place in the Actor's Equity Association. Along the way, he has found a passion for teaching music on a variety of instruments. Matt grew up listening to Led Zeppelin with his mom in the car and has always LOVED rock 'n roll. He's so ecstatic to be sharing the gift of rock music with the Hoboken community!
Gaby started as a student at School of Rock in South Florida when she was just 14 years old, working her way up from Rock 101, to House Band and eventually making the All Stars team. After graduating the School of Rock program, Gaby went on to tour with the All Stars for two more years as an Intern, assisting the tour directors. Gaby went on to work as an instructor at School of Rock and also worked in the restaurant industry for many years, developing expert customer service skills. This experience combined with her love of School of Rock makes her the perfect fit as Studio Coordinator. Gaby looks forward to spreading the joy of the School of Rock experience to all those who love music in and around the city of Hoboken.
Guitar Teacher, Vocals Teacher
Sofia is very excited to be a School of Rock Hoboken instructor! She has experience teaching vocals and guitar, and actively performing locally with both a band and as a solo artist. Sofia is currently studying Music Education with a concentration in Jazz Voice at Montclair State University! And was selected as Emerging Artist for Hudson West Fest for her original songs last October. Her foundations and influences in music are deeply rooted within the rock genre. A unique factor of Sofia’s teaching is emphasization of self-accompaniment, to ensure a student can feel independent in both solo and band settings and bridge the gap between "singer" and "musician". Sofia will encourage students to push beyond their comfort zone, and most importantly, to have fun!
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Leon Litewski (they/them) is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and occasional pianist based in New York City. Leon grew up primarily listening to first-wave progressive rock bands such as King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant, and Genesis, but loves all kinds of music ranging from pop, hip-hop, jazz, folk, country, metal, all the way to indigenous folk music from all over the world.
Leon attended Berklee College of Music and released their first single under their own name in 2020 called “Sunshine.” Leon currently plays with pop rock band Teddy Hold On with fellow Berklee student Teddy Parker. Leon is also starting up a new post-hardcore band with New York-based drummer and singer Nate Repasz called Feaster.
In teaching, Leon seeks not only to teach students to learn to play their instrument proficiently but to also develop a deep, lifelong love and passion for music, whether or not they choose to pursue music professionally.
Keilani is super excited to be a part of the School of Rock Hoboken team! She is currently working towards her bachelor's degree in special education and is also studying music and theatre on the side. Keilani spends her free time performing her own original music and covers at local open mics. She has a passion for music and teaching, and hopes to one day create a safe space for children with special needs to learn the magic of music!
Keilani taught herself how to play guitar and ukulele at the age of 11 and has been singing for as long as she can remember. She believes that every child learns differently and the most important part about rockin' with kiddos is finding what touches their heart and excites them to learn so that they love what they do!
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
Litzy has always had a passion for music. While growing up, Litzy was actually a part of a family band her father created as a self-taught guitarist. Ever since that experience, Litzy has been inspired and motivated by music.
In high school, Litzy taught herself to play the keyboard and became a part of an internship program called New City Kids. During this time, Litzy joined their worship group and had the opportunity to teach the keyboard to students. From there, Litzy fell in love with teaching and performing. She is excited to be a part of the School of Rock Hoboken team, where she feels she can help students find their own passion for music.
Stephen is a lifetime lover of music. He has been playing drums professionally since 2014 and started in local bars and weddings in his home state of New Mexico. He studied drum set performance at Berklee College of Music. While in Boston he continued gigging live and in the studio.
In 2022, Stephen began working and playing in Nashville. He taught at a School of Rock location there and discovered his love for teaching. His passion for music and experience in the industry is what he strives to share with every student at School of Rock Hoboken.
Ameer Aljallad is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and lifelong music lover. Starting on the drums at age 12 and gigging by 16, Ameer has years of experience performing live with bands and recording in the studio. Known for his intense and explosive rock/metal drumming, Ameer may be a "metalhead," but he has other interests in styles like jazz, jazz fusion, Latin, marching, and classical music.
Ameer also works as an audio engineer in NYC when not playing with one of his groups. He tries his best to keep music in his life at all times whether it be for work or personal enjoyment. Ameer has joined School of Rock in Hoboken to further his love for music and drumming by sharing his skills with those who want to join the world of live performance, an aspect of his life that couldn't be traded for anything.