CR Gruver began his classical training at the age of 9, and by 13 he left formal instruction as a top student to immerse himself in the world of rock and funk. The next four 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 owner and operator of School of Rock Metairie (New Orleans) and School of Rock Northshore. His experience as a national touring professional and seasoned Music Director makes him an ideal owner of School of Rock, as he’ll be able to impart decades of wisdom and knowledge to his students and faculty.
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 the saxophone but also for singing, and picked up flute and piano along the way. During her time in AllStars she played iconic stages across the country including festivals like Lollapalooza and Summerfest. Kate 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 and jammed with friends at NOLA spots like The Willow and Neutral Ground. Kate is currently working on an EP with another former School of Rock AllStar.
Jess is a Louisiana native and the current General Manager for the School of Rock- Metairie and up-and-coming School of Rock- Northshore location. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in English Literature from Northwestern State University and is pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University. 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 higher education in New Orleans and Denver, CO. Her love for music began when she was a child where Rock was always playing at home. She played the flute in high school and college and always sought out new music. Jess loves a live show and attends as many as possible. She is a strong believer in the arts and the power music plays in the long-term effects on the growth and happiness of children and their families and has seen, first-hand, how the power of the School of Rock mission positively benefits children; building confidence and community. She is excited about bringing School of Rock's dynamic music program to the Northshore and looks forward to creating a community-driven program for our young musicians and their families.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher
Luke began playing music at 11 years old when he attended his first music/performance summer camp. A few years later he and three friends from camp started a band called Tonight The Prom. With all members starting the band at around 15 years old, Tonight The Prom had quite the come-up and was featured on Chicago’s (at the time) most popular rock and alternative radio station which propelled the band to new heights. At it’s peak, Tonight The Prom was playing shows at some of the most prestigious venue’s across Chicago Illinois. From The Metro and the House of Blues all the way to the Warped Tour in 2007 & 2008. By 2009 the band had graduated high school and went their separate ways until Luke toured with his former bassist’s new bands (Victorian Halls and Hello Americans). With the onset of COVID and dwindling opportunities to perform, Luke has taken to working on music remotely, teaching and recording his own tracks at his own pace for the love of the game.
Vocal Teacher, Rookies Teacher
Madeleine (Maddie) Appel began her music/performance career at 8 years old with vocals and piano lessons. With a strong and colorful training in Musical Theatre, Rock, Jazz, and Classical, she very quickly fell in love with performing. Both in 2019 and 2020, Maddie competed internationally at ITF, in which she received all Superior Ratings for her vocal performances. Previously, she has directed young age groups in both musical theatre and music-specific settings. Maddie believes music to be a universal language and takes pride in the privilege of passing that on to students.
Guitar Teacher, Little Wing Teacher, Rookies Teacher
Britt Gondolfi got her start with music in the 8th grade but her passion for music took off when she became a preschool teacher at a Reggio Emilia Preschool in Atlanta. Bringing music into the classroom became one of her greatest pleasures and joys. In her spare time, Britt is a full-time mom, law student, and part-time research assistant for the Bioneers, a non-profit organization supporting Native American Environmentalists. Her biggest artistic aspiration is to form a Built to Spill cover band.
Bass Guitar Teacher
Jeremy Delle was born and raised in the small town of Covington, LA. He started learning the bass guitar at 14 years old and by the age of 16, he was playing in nightclubs all over the Northshore/New Orleans area. Jeremy's background includes over 26 years of teaching experience and 30 years of performing professionally. He organized a Relay for Life and American Cancer Society fundraising festival, Rock for Life, held at Hammond's Cate Square in 2009 with Bryan Lee as the headliner. Jeremy has played with a number of bands including The Remedy Krewe, The Atomic Thunk, Dang Bruh Y, Space Trumpet, Dr. Green & the Funk Machine, Noel & the Missing Links, and. Mojo Buddha, He currently plays with The Grayhawk Band and he is also working on a new solo project.
Jeremy has opened for 3 Doors Down, Incubus, and Astral Project, and has played sold-out shows at the House of Blues Parish Room and Howlin Wolf. He has also performed at the New Orleans Jazz Museum in a concert that was recorded for an album to raise funds for underprivileged children to get musical instruments. Jeremy's true passion is teaching music, making new music, and performing music live.
George Schindler has been playing guitar for over 20 years, and if you ask him, he'll tell you that he thinks it's pretty cool. George is a lifelong resident of the New Orleans area (Go Crusaders!) who spent entirely too much time at Loyola University where he left with credentials that are not at all related to guitar or guitar playing (an oversight on his part). While in college, George began teaching guitar to kids and teenagers while starting a band, Third Time's the Charm, with whom he would play for the better part of 10 years.
Professionally, George has spent most of his time as an educator, combining a year in the classroom and nearly a decade in public history. Throughout his life, his love of music and passion for a particular six-stringed instrument has never waivered or waned. George is thrilled to bring his talents and experience to bear at School of Rock Northshore and to foster and nurture the talents and passions of the next rock stars!
Mark Larson is a drummer. He was raised in Mandeville, LA, and received a rich music education at Loyola University in New Orleans in the Jazz Department. Mark is inspired by some of the best musicians in rock and jazz such as Jimi Hendrix, Art Blakey, and Bill Evans. He started playing drums at the age of 9 and has been in several bands. He loves playing live shows and takes the stage whenever he can. Mark is a drum teacher at School of Rock Northshore as well as Assistant Director for School of Rock’s Rock 101 program. He looks forward to directing future shows and says, "teaching gives me a great purpose."
Ryan is a talented guitarist with a lifelong passion for music. He has been playing the guitar since 2006 and has a deep understanding of music theory and composition. Ryan believes that rock music is the perfect vehicle for teaching students how to play the guitar, and he loves the unique teaching approach that School of Rock uses to teach fundamentals, theory, and technique. From Aerosmith to ZZ Top, learning rock music with Ryan is an exciting and rewarding experience that will inspire and challenge students to achieve their full potential as musicians.
Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Bill Solomon comes from a musical family. His mom sang and played the organ, his dad played trumpet and his identical twin brother plays guitar. They played nightly as a family band. Bill began on guitar and trumpet, adding electric bass in 6th grade-what was then called "stage band." He and his brother began playing out in 7th grade, as the house band for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's chapter of The Cerebral Palsy Organization. They also played in local bands in Pittsburgh and eventually St. Louis, MO.
Bill received his master's degree in Music Education from Western Illinois University. He continued playing and teaching privately, touring for Guitars for Vets out of Milwaukee, WI. Bill currently volunteers for Gigi’s Playhouse in New Orleans while playing in bands in the area.
Mandi Rae Lockwood
Mandi Rae has over 28 years of experience in entertainment. She started off in Musical Theatre at the age of 7 and continued performing throughout high school. At age 15, she signed a management contract with GO Entertainment in New Orleans. Mandi Rae performed throughout Louisiana opening festival shows for bands such as The Topcats. She also performed several shows as a member of Louisiana Kids. She competed in the Vocal Pop category at the National Talent Competition in Branson MO, where she was awarded a Gold Medal.
In 2005, Mandi Rae began studying Musical Theatre at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). After graduating high school, she decided to join the Louisiana Air National Guard. She served five years in the 159th Security Forces Squadron. In 2010, Mandi Rae deployed to Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, where she served a 6-month tour. After returning, she settled in Slidell with her amazingly supportive husband, Jonathan. She is a mother to two sons, Gibson and Wesson.
When Mandi Rae is not teaching, you can catch her performing in Musical Theatre productions at Cutting Edge Theatre in Slidell. She also performs across the Southern Region with her acoustic duo Mike and Mandi. Mandi Rae is thrilled to be a part of the School of Rock family. She has a passion for guiding children, and can not wait to help our future generations of rock stars reach their dreams.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Hailing from the Midwest, Hannah Mahoney has been a student of music since the age of 5, beginning with piano, which she still uses today to compose and teach. She taught herself guitar as well as other strings including 12-string, ukulele, and even the harp.
Hannah has a strong voice too! She has led several bands and was the musical director at her church where she mastered the art of production.
Teaching is where Hannah is most passionate. A Homeschool Mom and author of several books for the homeschool community, she gets excited to prove that learning can always be fun! She has taught music publicly and privately for more than 25 years, including piano, strings, vocals, musical theatre, music theory, show choir, and more.
If you want to have fun learning music, Hannah is your girl!