Kelsey Roberts Assistant General Manager
Kelsey grew up in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago and moved to Nashville in April of 2020. She is currently a senior at Belmont graduating in May of 2022 as a songwriting major with a minor in music business.
Kelsey became a student at School of Rock in Plainfield IL when she was 14 years old studying voice and guitar. She quickly fell in love with performing, practicing, and creating music. She was a member of the School of Rock Performance Program and House Band for four years until she graduated in 2017. In high school, Kelsey was co-founder of pop-punk group California Killers where she wrote, sang lead vocals, and played guitar. Shortly after graduation, she began working at the School of Rock location in Geneva, IL as a studio coordinator, Vocal Instructor and Show Director while attending Waubonsee Community College. During this time, Kelsey performed many gigs at bars, restaurants, and events in the Chicagoland area as both a soloist and as part of a duo with guitarist Owen Szorc. After completing her associates degree, she said goodbye to her School of Rock Geneva family and moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting and a career in the music business. When Kelsey isn’t writing or performing music, you can usually find her on her couch cuddled up with her dogs!
Caroline Atkerson Studio Coordinator
Originally from Memphis, TN, Caroline moved to Nashville in May of 2018 after growing up in Bowling Green, KY. Music has always surrounded her in some way, from the local music scene in Bowling Green to going to family members shows growing up. Caroline started taking piano and singing lessons at age 11, and fell more in love with everything music. She continued her music education by completing the audio engineering and music business courses at The Darkhorse Institute. Nowadays Caroline enjoys going to local gigs, playing piano, singing, and trying her best to keep up with her engineering skills. Aside from music you can most likely find her taking pictures of her cats. Caroline’s favorite part about School of Rock is seeing how music can bring together total strangers.
Sarah Bryant Regional Director
Our lovely Sarah is a native of middle Tennessee and attended Belmont University, graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music - Voice principle, with an emphasis in Music Business. Sarah was exposed to rock music by her father at a young age, and she has been very passionate about music throughout her life. She began taking classical vocal and piano lessons in school and proceeded to take lessons throughout her college career. Sarah's main genre of vocals is rock, and she is also trained in and greatly enjoys jazz, pop and musical theater.
Music continues to surround Sarah outside of School of Rock with songwriting and producing for fun. She also frequents many concerts and music festivals with her friends and family around the country. Aside from music, Sarah loves cooking, hiking, and playing video games.
Sarah serves as our Regional Manager at School of Rock, continuing five years as part of the School of Rock family. Sarah’s top priority is that students can call School of Rock their second home and family, while learning to be the best they can be.
Angie McCreight Owner
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.
Steve Rossi Regional Music Director
Steve Rossi brings many years of experience to the 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 and serves as the Regional Director of Music Programming for our Franklin, Nashville and Mt. Juliet locations.
Cole Thannisch Vocal Programming Director
Cole Thannisch is a graduate of Belmont University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commercial Music. Playing piano since the age of 4, guitar since the age of 11, and singing since the age of 14, Cole has spent the vast majority of his life as a performer in several capacities. He garnered years of experience working as a vocalist, instrumentalist, accompanist, teacher, band director, composer, artist and producer on stage and in studios. Cole’s life revolves around music 24/7.
Beginning as a voice teacher in the spring of 2016, Cole first directed the Warped Tour Show in Summer 2017 and went on to become School of Rock Nashville’s Music Director in October 2017. Cole now serves as the Director of Vocal Programming for our Nashville, Franklin, and Mt. Juliet locations. Cole’s mission is simple - to drive School of Rock’s program forward to become an elite performance program for young, aspiring musicians in Music City while using real-world examples and experience to prepare students for the life of a working musician.
Drew Kohl Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboard Teacher
Drew is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He has taught lessons on piano, bass, acoustic and electric guitar for over nine years. He graduated with honors from the guitar program at the Atlanta Institute of Music. He was also accepted into the classical piano and music composition program at the University of Georgia. After studying at UGA he moved to Nashville, TN to pursue songwriting, performing and teaching.
Drew enjoys teaching beginners of all styles and intermediate to advance students on songwriting, music theory, rock, indie, folk, bluegrass and country styles. He has studied and transcribed songs from a variety of artists for students including The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and CCR, as well as contemporary bands such as Death Cab For Cutie, The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams and Modest Mouse to name a few. He enjoys working with students and helping them play the songs they love.
K.C. Harris Guitar Teacher, Show Director
K.C. Harris moved to Nashville in 2018 to continue pursuing a career in music. He graduated from Berklee College of Music earlier the same year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Music, with focuses on music business and American roots music. His music combines aspects of his favorite genres, including: rock and roll, country, jazz, bluegrass, and others. K.C. attended School of Rock in Vista, California from age 11 through high school, and is a first hand witness to what this program can do for someone that is passionate about music.
John O'Brien Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
John O'Brien has spent most of his life making music. At the age of 10, he began learning the saxophone and started playing music through school programs. Picking up guitar by the age of 13, he knew that music would always be an important part of his life and sought out every opportunity to perform. School programs provided performance opportunities in wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, marching bands, pep bands, pit orchestras, jazz combos, show choir combos and saxophone quartets. Still needing more, John would form his own bands outside of school. These bands would emphasize original material and range in styles from blues and jazz to rock, pop and metal. Over the years he’s played hundreds of shows all over the Midwest, recorded several albums, and had his music played on commercial radio stations in Chicago and elsewhere.
Joey Burcham Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Joey Burcham started playing bluegrass guitar at the age of 4 in a small music shop in Southern Virginia. After moving to the suburbs of Washington, DC in 2011, he developed a love for live music and quickly expanded his arsenal of instruments and musical ideologies. Now, almost 20 years later, he uses his talents as a multi-instrumentalist both in the studio and on the road. After 5 years of living in Nashville, Joey has toured with notable nationally recognized country, pop, and rock acts, as well as engineered, mixed, and produced for dozens of bands, both domestic and international. Outside of music, you can find Joey playing PC games and watching videos on Youtube.
Mike DeVito Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Mike DeVito is a current student at Belmont University studying Audio Engineering, and a former long-time School of Rock Princeton student. His interest in guitar was sparked after playing Guitar Hero 2 for the first time, feeling inspired to pick up the instrument after hearing the bonus track Jordan by Buckethead. Mike began taking guitar lessons soon after through School of Rock in 2012, going on to play live shows across the country and refine his skills on guitar and bass in the process. Through the program, he grew a love for classic rock, metal, progressive music, funk and soul. Mike believes that there is always something to be learned from every genre of music on any instrument, from different ways to play an instrument to the music theory behind something that may sound strange or different. Mike’s favorite band, Hiatus Kaiyote, is a prime example of this. They combine elements of soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop and anything psychedelic to make music that is truly unique. Mike’s band, GIRLS NIGHT, follows the same philosophy in order to create the funkiest music in Nashville, drawing inspiration all the way from Japanese City Pop to Funkadelic.
Blayne Dillon Guitar Teacher
Blayne Dillon is a guitar teacher and show director at the Nashville School of Rock. Blayne is originally from North West Florida but moved to Nashville with his family when he was 14. Upon moving to Nashville, Blayne enrolled in the Franklin School of Rock. Studying at School of Rock helped Blayne improve his skills as a musician and performer, having attended the school for 4 years and as a member of the Franklin/Nashville School of Rock House Band for 2 years. While a senior in high school, Blayne also interned at the Franklin School of Rock where he assisted with Rock 101 rehearsals. After graduating high school, Blayne began attending Belmont University where he is currently studying music business.
Blayne takes influence from a wide variety of genres including rock, blues, jazz, country, and bluegrass. Some of his favorite artists are the Allman Brothers, Brent Mason, Tony Rice, Tedeschi-Trucks band, Doc Watson, and Jimi Hendrix. Blayne also plays mandolin, harmonica, and slide guitar in addition to standard guitar.
Laura Clough Keyboard Teacher
Laura Clough is a pianist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer from a small town in Upstate New York. She recently graduated Berklee College of Music with a degree in professional music with concentrations in songwriting and production. Although Laura grew up playing classical and jazz primarily, her influences include rock/pop/soul/R&B artists such as Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Jazmine Sullivan, and Earth, Wind & Fire. New to Nashville, Laura is getting her footing and playing in several bands (as well as her own) and continuing to write and produce for others. Growing up shy and quiet herself, Laura strives to help kids and teens open up their minds and creativity with music and have a great time doing it.
Liv Zemer Singing Teacher
Liv Zemer is a singer/songwriter and Tennessee native who is thrilled to be part of the School of Rock team! Liv holds a B.M. from Lipscomb University and has spent her time in Nashville writing, performing, teaching, and collaborating with other local artists. Her musical experience encompasses rock, jazz, classical, country, and blues. A lifelong student, Liv is currently learning upright bass and is looking for someone to talk her out of trying yodeling.
Stacey Kelleher Guitar, singing, bass guitar, and keyboard teacher
Stacey Kelleher is a Nashville-based musician from Ossipee, New Hampshire. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Songwriting. With a career in music spanning her entire life, Stacey is a vocalist and plays guitar, keys, bass and percussion. Stacey is passionate about music education and encourages creativity in folks of all ages. She is also an instructor at School of Rock Franklin.
Katie Lynne Sharbaugh Singing Teacher, Keyboard Teacher, Ukulele Teacher
Katie Lynne is a singer-songwriter who recently relocated to Nashville, TN. A recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, she obtained her bachelors in Professional Music with concentrations in Music Production, Music Business, and Vocal Performance. Her music ranges from pop and soul to jazz and R&B, however her musical journey began at her summer home in Ireland where she learned to play Irish traditional fiddle tunes by ear. Since then, she has been classically trained in both violin and viola and frequently self-accompanies on piano.
In 2021, Katie released her debut EP, "Little Blue Beetle Volume 1" on all streaming platforms and has since been performing it around various Nashville and Boston venues. With another EP on the way, Katie aims to fuse elements of traditional and modern music through storytelling. Katie teaches singing, keys, and ukulele at the School of Rock in Nashville.
Noah Miller Drum Teacher, Show Director
Noah started playing drums at the age of 13. He grew up in New York City and then later moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia where he went to the Main Line School of Rock. He participated in the house band and eventually became a School of Rock AllStar. He attended Belmont University, graduating in 2018 with a degree in commercial percussion with emphasis in the music business. Noah's favorite bands are Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Tool and Jimi Hendrix.
Dillon Johnson Drum Teacher
Kansas City native Dillon Johnson is a drummer, producer, and educator based out of Nashville, TN. Born into a family saturated by drummers it was only fitting that he would follow in their footsteps. At the age of 5 he discovered his passion for drumming and began his predestined musical journey. During his formative years, he studied under Dr. Dennis G. Rogers, Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at MWSU where he would learn the key fundamentals that would help shape the rest of his music career. Since moving to Nashville in 2020, Dillon currently maintains a busy teaching, playing, and session schedule.
Scott Soifer Drum Teacher
Scott began taking drum lessons in Dayton, OH when he was 9, and didn't stop until he attended Berklee School of Music at the age of 21 as a performance major. He moved back to Dayton to teach full time, moved to Nashville in 2010, and taught at School of Rock Franklin. Scott toured nationally in American Pink Floyd, and performed in the Blues Rock duo Two Bit Charlie. He is currently drumming for the Grammy nominated artist, Jamie Floyd, and teaching martial arts. Scott prides himself on individualizing lesson plans for students in a way that is challenging and fun, while helping them find their own voice on the drums, learn versatility and achieve their goals.
Brandon Gick Drum Teacher
Brandon Gick just recently moved to Nashville, TN in pursuit of new musical endeavors. He first joined School of Rock at the Zionsville location in Indiana, teaching various styles of percussion and drum set and we are so happy to now have him with our Nashville family. Brandon has been playing drums and percussion for the last fourteen years. He spent time in the music department at Ball State University studying orchestral percussion, as well as latin and jazz drum set. Brandon has played throughout the Midwest with rock fusion group Porch Kat (2018-2022) and looks forward to working with Nashville's youth.
Max Wiltse Drum Teacher
Max Wiltse is a Nashville based percussionist, educator, and has been playing and performing for 10 years. Combining multiple styles of drumming into a unique blend combining groove, chops, touch, and phrasing. A wide knowledge of genres ranging from pop, country, rock, funk, to jazz, latin, and fusion, Max is able to learn music and adapt to new situations quickly.
Max is a graduate of Belmont University, where he learned to be a proficient and skilled musician. On top of learning the technical side of music, he has spent lots of time in preparation for gigs and rehearsals, music direction, transcription, charting, and recording. Spending a majority of his time in the studio, a fascination in sounds has allowed him to match any sound and styles a producer or artist wants.
Sydney Jackson Show Director
Sydney is a Nashville Native and is currently studying music business at Belmont University. She has had the privilege of working at School of Rock after 8 years as a student at the Franklin location. She first joined School of Rock at the age of 11 as a singer and piano player and immediately fell in love with music. She hopes to make lessons exciting and make an impact on all of her students as her teachers have done for her.
Sydney hopes that in the future she will be able to focus on building a professional solo career and release music of her own. After graduating she hopes to work hands on in a studio as she develops her skills in producing and songwriting.