Owner, General Manager, Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Music has been a part of Mike’s life from a very young age. It began with an infatuation with the musical Mary Poppins, where he learned every dance number and song by heart by the age of 5. From there, singing became something he did daily, whether it was in the car, around the house, or at school. By his freshman year of high school, Mike was beginning his classical training in voice and participating in the musicals put on by his high school, such as Singing in the Rain and Mary Poppins. Mike also became a part of a multitude of bands thanks to his time as a School of Rock student. While attending School of Rock in Madison, CT, he learned what it was like playing in a band with a variety of different kids and instructors. He quickly became a part of his school's House Band and even had the opportunity to try out for The Voice, making it as far as the round right before being flown out to California for the live show.
Throughout high school, Mike became a part of several rock bands playing in bars and venues around the state. His most successful, and the one he joined at the age of 15, is Presence. Presence is a Led Zeppelin tribute band and performs around Connecticut at a variety of well-known venues such as The Space Ballroom, The Acoustic, and Trinity on Main. They have been consistently compared to the other national acts covering Led Zeppelin and are seen as one of, if not, the best Led Zeppelin tribute band in the state. He has quickly become known for his impressive range, powerhouse voice, and passionate performances at every show.
Mike graduated from the University of South Carolina majoring in Entertainment Management with a minor in music. During his time there, Mike continued his classical voice training, received formal piano training, and spent time teaching himself bass and drums. After college, he returned to School of Rock Madison as a vocal and keys instructor, began running many of the school’s shows, and eventually became their Music Director. Mike spent two years teaching students as young as 5 and as old as 70. He now owns and operates his own School of Rock in North Haven and hopes to bring his love and passion for music to the next generation of musicians and help foster an amazing group of performers.
Music Director, Drum Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
At 14, Jake Huffman and his band McLovins posted a cover of Phish's "You Enjoy Myself" on YouTube from his parents' basement. The video went viral, igniting a global fanbase. Performing in bars to music festivals, Jake established himself as a fixture in the music scene. Sharing the stage with artists like Blink-182, Foster the People, B.B. King, and The Flaming Lips, Rolling Stone Magazine even likened McLovins to musical legends before they could legally drive.
In 2015, Jake captured the attention of Bill Sherman, an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winning producer and composer. Teaming up with Glee producer Michael Novick, they produced the band's self-titled album. This record earned critical acclaim with Lin Manuel-Miranda even listing the track "Talk About It" as one of his favorites. The band toured nationally, sharing the stage with the Gin Blossoms and Flobots and performing at festivals like Bunbury and Summer Camp.
As a composer and lyricist for Sesame Street, Jake's musical prowess thrived and he collaborated with producer Andy Seltzer on a solo project. NPR's World Cafe premiered his debut release in October 2019 and Jake immersed himself in his studio, writing new music, refining his sound, and cultivating his skills as a producer. He released singles, launched "Jake Huffman's Sunday Mixdown" on YouTube, and became a certified music producer from Berklee College of Music. Two songs from his recent release, "Babe" and "Martyr," dominated the US Top 40 radio charts, with "Martyr" winning the International Songwriting Competition. His lyrical expertise earned him a Hollywood Independent Music Award nomination. Notable publications like Atwood Magazine, Wonderland, EarMilk, and Celebmix recognized him as an artist to watch.
With a career already spanning a lifetime before the age of 30, Jake Huffman's latest EP "Younger" stands as a testament to his journey. His distinct sound, spanning rock roots to the contemporary vibe of the 2020s, showcases his exceptional talent, remarkable songwriting, and outstanding production.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Chris Connelly is a professional guitarist performing and teaching throughout Connecticut, with over a decade of teaching and performing experience. Chris has taught in a variety of music education settings such as Buck’s Rock Camp in New Milford, School of Rock in Ridgefield, West Main Music Academy in Cheshire, and directing after-school modern music programs at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury.
Chris freelances on guitar with a multitude of Connecticut-based songwriters and frequently performs across the state. His approach to guitar
instruction contains multitudes of contemporary styles—pop, rock, country, blues, jazz, and funk. Chris implores goal setting, constructive (and gentle!) criticism, and interpersonal communication, all of which help students not only further their guitar goals, but their overall
musicianship. Chris aspires to be a public school music teacher one day.
Gabe Acevedo has had a lifelong love affair with music, the drum kit, and percussive instruments in general. As a young drummer in Miami, Florida, and St. Louis, Missouri, Gabe explored many musical styles and began performing live with much older musicians at the age of 12. In high school, he began to expand his interests to marching/drum line percussive instruments and orchestral timpani and served as first chair drummer in the award-winning Riverview Gardens High School (St. Louis, Missouri) jazz band.
After high school, Gabe decided to forgo plans for a college music degree and joined The Vision Band, a St. Louis-based funk and R&B band that would eventually garner a major recording contract with Capitol Records, recording two albums under the names Da Krash and later as Kool Skool. This led to touring nationally, opening slots at major R&B venues and summer festivals, as well as international performances in several major markets in Japan. Later, Gabe would turn his energies to songwriting and production and co-wrote the song “Carry Me,” a charting hit in Europe that was covered by the band Clubland.
After many years in music, Gabe decided to return to school and he earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Theology from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) and later his Ph.D. in Sociology at Yale (2005). After teaching over a decade in the Department of Sociology and Public Health at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), Gabe recently accepted a position at Quinnipiac University where he serves as Assistant Director of the Honors Program and Senior Lecturer in Sociology. While he has moved his professional trajectory toward higher education, Gabe continues to have a passion for music, teaching, and using art as a way to strengthen communities.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Charles Romano is a vocalist, actor, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. Having taught music enthusiasts of many ages and skill levels, he is thrilled to be an instructor at School of Rock in North Haven, CT, where he hopes that his love for music will inspire a similar passion within his students.
When he isn’t performing in musicals, Charles enjoys a mix of many genres of music, especially indie pop, rock, and folk, and has trained in a variety of settings throughout his career, including private instruction, church choir, and public school programs. Charles graduated from the Music and Theatre program at Franklin and Marshall College, where he music-directed for the all-male a capella group, The Chessmen, and for the student-run theater organization, F&M Players. Recently, Charles has shifted his focus toward writing and recording songs of his own and he plans to release several singles soon under the stage name “Chorlsy.”
Little Wing & Rookies Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Jason Moriarty is a guitarist and songwriter from New Haven, CT. After attending CCSU and receiving a degree in Elementary Education, Jason taught the first grade for three years.
Jason left teaching in 2022 to pursue touring and recording in his two bands, Cinema Stare and Sunday Morning. His music has been covered in publications including Paste Magazine and Vice’s Noisey. Jason has also played in several music festivals including South By Southwest and The Fest in Gainesville. He is stoked to be running the Little Wing and Rookies programs, in addition to teaching lessons!
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher
Thomas Mueller is an accomplished musician in piano and vocal performance. He earned his bachelor's degree in music from Clark University, specializing in performance and composition. Thomas is a versatile pianist in a multitude of genres including jazz, classical, and pop. He has showcased his skills in jazz combos, jazz ensembles, and bands, covering a spectrum of top 40 hits.
Thomas plays keys in the CT-based Billy Joel tribute band, Stiletto, performing at venues such as MGM, Lake Compounce, and the Phoenix Stage Company. He has partnered with the Grammy Award-winning Mechanics Hall, where he orchestrated a film and album titled "Seniors Love
Jazz" which features five original arrangements and two compositions that he directed and vocally performed. His instructional topics encompass technique refinement, improvisation, lead sheet interpretation, and music theory. Thomas offers exceptional performances and transformative music lessons and guarantees a humble and enriching experience that stems from his deep-rooted love for music.
Kevin Hutchins teaches guitar and bass and also plays ukulele and enjoys using recording gear and software. He started playing guitar in the sixth grade and continues to play today. Kevin likes to play a range of genres including blues, rock, hip-hop, and ska. He has played in two bands and released albums and music projects on Spotify and Apple Music. Kevin loves music and the amazing energy that seems to bind everyone together in the form of pure expression.
Brian Nolan has been a musician from a very young age. He started with the saxophone at the age of 10, then began learning the guitar at 12 years old. His interest began when he began to explore classic rock and blues hits primarily influenced by AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix.
Later in life, Brian rediscovered his jazz roots planted during his time studying saxophone. First influenced by John Coltrane, Brian shifted from blues guitar to jazz guitar with his favorite artists being Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. Brian studied music in North Haven, Connecticut, and Poughkeepsie, New York, and currently hosts his guitar lessons throughout Connecticut. He has been playing live shows around Wallingford since graduating college while working diligently to expand his teaching skills.