CR Gruver Owner, Music Director, Piano Teacher
CR Gruver began his classical training at the age of nine, and by 13 he left formal instruction as a top student to immerse himself in the world of rock and funk. The next three decades were dedicated to perfecting his craft, touring the country relentlessly, and building a successful performance career. He is currently a member of the national touring band New Orleans Suspects in addition to being the active owner of School of Rock Metairie / New Orleans. His experience as a national touring professional and seasoned musical director makes him an ideal owner of a School of Rock, as he’ll be able to impart decades of wisdom and knowledge to his students and faculty.
Jessica Troske General Manager
Jess is a Louisiana native. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in English Literature from Northwestern State University and attended graduate school for English Literature at her alma mater. Jessica has a strong background in non-profit, financial and operations management and has worked in these capacities in both non-profit organizations and in educational sectors in New Orleans and Denver, CO. Her love for music began when she was a child where Rock music was always playing at home and listening to her father playing guitar. She played the flute in junior and senior high school and always sought out new music, attended as many live concerts as possible. Jessica moved from New Orleans to Denver, CO in 2013 and worked as the Assistant General Manager for School of Rock in Denver, CO, where she found her calling. She is a strong believer in the arts and the power music plays in the long-term effects on the growth and happiness of families. She believes in the School of Rock’s mission and programming and has a strong love and dedication to the city of New Orleans; she believes that those three things combined and with such an eclectic and community-driven city to operate in will yield a successful and dynamic school.
Jenna Hunts Singing Teacher
Jenna Hunts is a singer/songwriter, performer, and recording artist. With her Pop/Rock style, she has a unique sound that audiences of all ages enjoy. Born and raised in New Orleans, she performs locally around the New Orleans area at events such as Family Gras, Freedom Fest, and Gretna Fest as well as venues such as The House of Blues and The Howlin’ Wolf Den. She has been performing on a stage since the age of seven and has competed in nationally televised series, including American Idol. Jenna is currently recording an EP in Memphis, Tennessee at CrossTrax Studios made up of all original compositions. Having taking vocal lessons for many years, she has a wealth of knowledge in technique and style. Jenna seeks to use what she has learned to teach those who are passionate about music and those who are striving to progress in their abilities. She is currently attending school at Loyola University of New Orleans studying music.
Anthony D'Antonio Guitar Teacher
Anthony D'Antonio, a New Orleans native, has been playing guitar for 32 years and has earned an Associate Degree of Music from Delgado Community College. He has played with numerous metal and rock bands in New Orleans for many years. He is currently playing with the band Alpha Tribe.
Derek DeBlieux Guitar Teacher
Derek DeBlieux is a guitarist, songwriter and music producer living in New Orleans. While attending Musician's Institute in Los Angeles, he studied under some of the most accomplished guitarists in the world including Scott Henderson (Chick Corea Elektric Band), Steve Hunter (Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper) and more. After leaving school he pursued a few different musical projects and has shared the stage with national artists including One Republic, DNCE, Panic at the Disco, Plain White Ts, Kongos, Cher Lloyd and many more. His guitar playing can be heard on the movie soundtracks for "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Never Back Down 2," as well as on the television show "American Idol."
Kyle Melancon Drum Teacher
Kyle Melancon first fell in love with drumming at the age of nine when he saw Keith Moon in the film “The Kids Are Alright.” At that moment he knew that he was going to be a drummer. It seemed a foolish dream at the time but he was determined. In 1995, that dream became a reality when Kyle joined legendary Louisiana band Dash Rip Rock. With Dash Rip Rock, he toured the world for 20 years and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Kyle also plays drums for Emmy Award-winning children’s group Imagination Movers, touring the world entertaining and educating children of all ages. The education aspect of children’s entertainment made him realize that he wanted to pass on his knowledge and experience to the next generation of drummers and he couldn’t be more thrilled to be at School of Rock doing just that.
Brayden Turner Drum Teacher
Brayden Turner is a drummer and multi-instrumentalist. He was raised in New Orleans and received a rich music education from some of the best musicians in the city (Johnny Vidacovich, Ricky Sebastian, Chris Severin and others). He also grew up playing and sitting in with his step-father, musician Billy Iuso. He is an alum of the Berklee College of Music, where he attended on a full scholarship. He has played at The New Orleans Jazz Festival and French Quarter Festival, and toured with two bands during his time at Berklee (Mosie and Lilacs). He played the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas with the band Mosie. In addition to drums, he also plays piano, bass, guitar and vibraphone, and composes his own music. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Metairie.
Devin Clark DRUM TEACHER
Devin Clark is the drummer in a world-renowned heavy metal act known as Cane Hill. Music has always been his drive to become the most successful person he can be. Drumming has been his passion for over a decade but teaching has become the most self-rewarding experience of his life. Being able to watch and learn from drummers like Vinnie Paul, Phil Collins, and James Gadson has been so important to his journey. Being able to pass on knowledge has always been a key factor in Music History. He is so happy to be a part of the School of Rock family.
Joshua Strawn guitar and bass guitar teacher
Joshua Strawn is a writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist known best for his work with experimental metal band Vaura, electronic/industrial project Azar Swan, and postpunk band Blacklist. While growing up in Roanoke VA, Strawn met Jeremy Kolosine of Synthpunk pioneers Futurisk who invited him to join a band. Starting on keyboard, then moving to guitar and lead vocals, Shakespace was Strawn's first band experience since metal cover bands in high school and first experience with original compositions. That band would give Josh his first experiences with studio recording and the southern alternative rock scene in America, most notably with R.E.M. producer Mitch Easter.
Years later in New York, he became involved with Wierd Records, a weekly party and record label coordinated by visual artist Pieter Schoolwerth that focused on dark postpunk. Strawn's band Blacklist was part of New York's early 2000s postpunk resurgence along with bands such as Interpol. Blacklist split in 2010 and Strawn teamed up with virtuoso guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and Kayo Dot mastermind bassist Toby Driver to form Vaura while at the same time delving into synthesizers and electronic production in Azar Swan. Vaura has released three LPs, two on Profound Lore Records, and shared the stage with Alcest, Deafheaven and Krallice. Azar Swan has toured the U.S. with industrial legends Front 242 and regularly tours the electronic music underground in Europe and the UK.
In 2019, Blacklist reunited. Vaura and Azar Swan are each working on their fourth LP. 2020 will see the renewal of Strawn's collaboration with Jeremy Kolosine with the debut LP by The Red Window on which Josh sang and played saxophone. Also in 2020 Strawn's first local collaboration since moving to New Orleans, Desolation Colony with Justin Vial of Kindest Lines, will release its debut of apocalyptic EBM on Berlin-based Mannequin Records. In the Spring of 2020 Strawn also announced a collaboration in the works with 4AD veterans Pieter Nooten (formerly of Clan of Xymox) and Warren Defever of His Name is Alive.
Conner McCready Guitar Teacher
Conner McCready is a multi-instrumentalist from Cleveland, OH now living in New Orleans, LA. He has been an active member of the Cleveland music scene for over 10 years and is now currently playing in various groups around New Orleans ranging from soul to bluegrass and hip hop. Conner is primarily a guitarist but is also proficient on drums, bass guitar and piano. He is very active in the recording scene as a session musician and engineer for numerous Cleveland and New Orleans based projects. He received his BA in "Music Studies" from the University of New Orleans.
Noah Albright Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Noah Albright is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in keyboards, bass, and music production. He has been on the New Orleans music scene for 10+ years playing with artists like Davell Crawford, Charmaine Neville, the Brassaholics, Tarriona "Tank" ball from Tank & the Bangas, Kermit Ruffins, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and many more local brass, funk, jazz and rock bands. He studied Jazz performance at NOCCA and later went on to study music at the University of New Orleans. Some of his favorite artists include David Bowie, Rush, the Talking Heads, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby Stills and Nash.
Ryan Clute Bass Guitar Teacher
Ryan is a native of Pittsburgh but moved to New Orleans in 1999 to pursue his passion for music. He fell in love with music at the age of 4 from being surrounded by his parents that taught at the local University. Ryan began piano lessons followed by learning the drums all at the age of 5. The moment he listened to Rush he fell in love with Geddy Lee’s bass playing. During his career Ryan has had the pleasure of working with Doctor John, Allan Toussaint, Gatemouth Brown, Bryan Lee, Gary Brown, and many more! In 2005 he began his transition into “Top 40” gigs, thus finding his way into The Phunky Monkeys were he holds the role as Lead Bass player. In Ryan’s free time he enjoys time with his two sons, Oliver and Miles - many say they’re the sweetest kids ever. Other than time with his children, you can probably find Ryan playing chess, practicing archery, studying cosmology, and many outdoor activities.
Kate Parker Studio Coordinator
Kate Parker was inspired to start her saxophone career in elementary school after finding a role model in Lisa Simpson. Through joining School of Rock in Chatham, NJ she discovered she had a passion not only for sax but also for singing, and picked up flute and piano along the way. During her time in All Stars she played iconic stages across the country including festivals like Lollapalooza and Summerfest. She developed a love of working with kids to build their confidence and help them shine through teaching Little Wing classes and working as a writing tutor for elementary and middle school students. Whenever she wasn’t buried in books working towards her degrees in Political Economy and English at Tulane, she wrote folk songs or jammed with friends at NOLA spots like The Willow and Neutral Ground. Kate is currently working on an EP with another former SOR All Star.
Grace Pearson-Thompson Singing Teacher
Grace is a singer and musician originally from Dallas, Texas. She has been singing since she was 8 years old and learned how to play guitar with School of Rock! Since attending School of Rock, Grace has also learned piano, bass guitar, ukulele, banjo, drums, trumpet, and a few other instruments. In her free time, Grace writes, produces, and releases her own music and plays shows in and around New Orleans. Grace is currently working towards her B.A. in music from Tulane University.
Michael Rivera Drum Teacher
Michael Rivera is a New Orleans based drummer, percussionist, and multi-instrumentalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from Southeastern Louisiana University where he studied under Michael Brothers (Phantom of The Opera), and Kevin Estoque and Dr. Guy Gauthreaux of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He is actively involved in many musical projects, and has toured with acts such as Big Freedia, LeTrainiump, Hand Out, and others. He also has extensive experience on the industry side of the business where he has served as tour manager and booking agent for various artists, and talent buyer for various New Orleans area venues. He hopes to bring all of his knowledge to the table to provide a unique and well rounded educational experience.
Michael Fishman Drum Teacher
From a young age, Michael Fishman discovered he had a passion for music. While growing up in Northern California, he started playing piano and guitar but quickly moved to drumming at the age of 7. Michael has played in Funk, Rock, Blues, Reggae and Jazz groups and has experience playing all over the United States. He started teaching in the Bywater before the pandemic. Michael hopes to share his knowledge of drumming concepts and applying them to real world scenarios. He has a serious passion for spreading excitement and a joy for engaging in the musical process. With patience and focus on the forefront of tackling any new concept, fun and improvement is the ultimate goal with Michael. One of his favorite quotes "People don't want to watch you work, they want to watch you play" -Hal Galper
Cameron Turner Guitar Teacher
A Portland, Oregon native and School of Rock Alumni, Cameron has been performing music live since he was 14 years old and teaching since he was 19. He's played guitar, bass guitar and fronted several bands as well as spent time recording small projects here and there. After graduating from School of Rock, he was hired on and taught for over seven years at the Portland school. Loving teaching and wanting to do more and more with music, Cameron is now attending Loyola University New Orleans in the music therapy program with a focus on classical guitar.
Aron Lambert Drum Teacher
Aron Lambert is a true New Orleans cultural bearer. A member of the Preservation Hall Collective, he has been playing and teaching drums in New Orleans for over 25 years. In addition to the Hall, he also plays with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Treme Brass Band and many other local icons. Aron has played with Stevie Wonder, Art Neville, Dr. John, and many other musical legends.
Charley Elliott Studio Coordinator
Charley Elliott is from Fort Worth, Texas and has always had a love for music and for children. She has worked for CASA as a CASA advocate. A CASA advocate advocates for children in court and is a sponsor and guide for children in the foster care system. With her experience going through foster care and having a CASA advocate herself, she always wanted to inspire children that experienced similar situations that she went through. She enjoyed helping her CASA kids in finding the family they deserve as well as advocating to get them out of the difficult situations they were in. She strives to be a voice for children who need advocating and children who need love and inspiration. Charley recently worked at Seven Oaks Academy as an assistant teacher. Her life is dedicated to helping kids and loves working with them and helping them grow.
Keely Avery Singing Teacher, Piano Teacher
Keely is a professional multi-instrumentalist/vocalist who just recently moved to New Orleans chasing that delta blues! Raised in Seattle, she is no stranger to grunge and rock and was even signed to critically-acclaimed producer, Rick Parashar (Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlile) up until his death. She has studied classical piano in Boston and Paris and loves Chopin the most of all composers. Children have always been a huge part of Keely's life, when she's not onstage she's either teaching or nannying, always finding a way to bring music to the kids she's involved with. The last ten years she spent in Venice Beach where she wrote music and performed around LA in her band, Kiki and the Vam, as well as began singing for the Screen Actors Guild. Ever hear your favorite song in a TV show/movie but think, hey that's not Miley or Halsey singing that song? Well, it might just be her you're listening to! Keely is currently studying film scoring at Berklee and will one day be conducting her dark and glamorous scores alongside some big budget Hollywood movies...James Bond films perhaps?
Connor Finney Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Connor Finney is a guitarist/bassist from New Orleans. He is the guitarist for Blues Rock Band, Voodoo Roux, and Pop Punk tribute band, Superbloom. Connor has played guitar on a number of sessions along with Choppa’s song, “Louisiana.” Connor hopes to continue to strive as a musician and help teach the next generation of rockers at School of Rock Metairie.