Lisa and her husband, Neville, have lived in Philadelphia since the 1980s. They live in the Queen Village neighborhood and their children go to Philadelphia public schools. Needless to say, as long-time residents and parents in Philadelphia, Lisa and Neville have a deep commitment to the city and a great understanding of Philadelphia as a community. Music has played a key role in their lives since they were kids. They have also seen the positive effects that School of Rock has had on their children.
For the past 25 years, Lisa worked in the field of mental health. The majority of her career was spent working in an outpatient setting as a psychotherapist treating adolescents and adults. She has also created and managed programs in the behavioral health field.
Neville has spent the past 25 years working in a range of businesses and creative sector organizations and is now a professor at Drexel University in the Department of Arts & Entertainment Enterprise, where he teaches the business of arts and entertainment. He serves on the board of directors for several arts organizations and has cultivated valuable relationships in Philadelphia’s creative community. While Neville is not involved in the daily operations of School of Rock Philadelphia, he serves as an excellent resource by guiding strategic planning in the execution of ideas and fostering connections and potential collaborations with other arts/music/creative organizations.
Cécile was born and raised in Philly, attending Greenfield Elementary and then Masterman for middle school and high school. She has immersed herself in music and dance from a young age, playing viola in orchestras, singing in choirs, playing guitar in bands, and dancing ballet and tap.
Cécile's love for music and understanding people led her to study ethnomusicology at Barnard College, where she continued to perform with music and dance ensembles while working at the Columbia Music & Arts Library. Cécile is so happy to be at School of Rock Philadelphia, in such a positive environment, where she can be involved in the musical and personal growth of our students.
Michael Kowalski has been a part of School of Rock for over 14 years in Princeton and Philadelphia. He was a long time member of the House Band and All-Stars. Michael went to the University of the Arts as a Set Design Major and works around Philly as a musician and artist.
Keyboard, Vocals Teacher
Since the age of four, Michael Kordish has been composing and performing at the piano. His prolific performing career has included a wide array of genres and styles including classical, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, trance, fusion, Eastern/Indian, rock, progressive, avant garde and free-form. In addition to performing solo, Michael has performed with (or as a member of) The People, Digable Planets, Planet 22, Satchmo Filter, Saigon Slimm, I Yahn I Arkestra and Sfogato.
Guitar, Bass Guitar Teacher
Yanni first got involved with SoR back in 2003 and quickly became a favorite among students for his dynamic guitar lessons and fantastically directed shows. Yanni graduated from St. John's College with a BA in Classic Literature before embarking on his unique music odyssey. He has composed, performed, produced, and toured with his legendary Philly-based genre-bending band Stinking Lizaveta for the last 20 years in the US and Europe. Along with also playing hip-hop, space rock, and jazz, he has also accompanied modern dance companies and belly dancers. Most recently, he's gained more traction in the music world playing with Mark Morton (of Lamb of God) and J.P. Gaster (of Clutch) in Mark's solo project.
Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard Teacher
Ryan is a SoR alumni coming from Downingtown, PA. There he was in the House Band and toured in All-Stars playing across the US, including Lollapalooza. He graduated from Drexel University with a BS in Music Industry and currently works on his own music, audio engineering, and producing.
Vocals Teacher, Piano Teacher
Erisa is a singer/songwriter from Philadelphia. Erisa recently graduated from The University of The Arts as a vocal performance major with a minor in music business, entrepreneurship and technology. Erisa has been singing for as long as she can remember. She has been pursuing music her entire life. She went to the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia with a major in Vocal Performance. The genres that Erisa focuses on most are any style of R&B and Pop but she loves every genre of music and is open to any opportunity that comes her way. Erisa believes that the arts are just as important as being in any other field of work and that the world runs on art. She can’t wait to make lasting memories with students who enjoy music just as much as her!
Drum, Ukulele Teacher
Passionate performer and devoted teacher Hoagy Wing specializes in Middle Eastern Percussion, Popular Percussion and Rudimental Drumming on Dumbek, Snare Drum, Drum Kit as well as playing and teaching Ukulele and Banjo. Hoagy has more than four decades’ experience as Teacher/Artist in Residence/Visiting Artist to schools, camps and private students in Philadelphia, surrounding counties and beyond. Hoagy’s first live show attended was AC/DC in 1977 at the Tower Theater in Philly.
Hoagy Wing founded the fun and funky, folky educational kids’ band Better’n Recess, in which he plays percussion, banjo and writes original music. He produced the Better’n Recess EP, which receives airplay on WXPN’s Kids’ Corner (at least on March 14th (Pi Day)) when you may hear “Pi is a Transcendental Number.. Better’n Recess appeared at the 2014 & 2015 Philadelphia Folk Festivals. and is on the soundtrack of PBS/WNET special Remembering Slavery.
Hoagy has played at the Spectrum in Phila. with Moloko PLUS as well as with Ointment. With the Lauren Hart Band, Hoagy got to open for Philadelphia's own Hall & Oates during Monday Night Football's Eagles / 49ers game in 1997. He has appeared on NBC's Today Show with the Colonial Phila. Fife & Drum Companie, and on Wheel Of Fortune (2016) with The Philadelphia Fife & Drum,on the LIVE broadcast of the Opie & Anthony Show from the TLA, on Fox’s Good Morning Philadelphia with Slo-Mo (2010) and The Roddenberries in 2016. Hoagygot to play his rope tension snare drum on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno during his “Jay Walk” segment in Olde City Philadelphia in the summer 2000. Hoagyjust got to ring in the New Year 2022 and play a percussion kit with DJ Desmond at New York City’s famous Tavern on The Green. The New Year was rocked in!
Vocal Teacher, Keyboard Teacher
Sophia has been performing and playing music since she was in elementary school. She began in a Brazilian percussion ensemble with her dad, and while she has now shifted her focus to Vocals, what she learned while in the Bateria has continued to play a huge part of the way she teaches and thinks about vocals. Sophia began her vocal training with Classical/Musical Theatre techniques, but has since branched out and studied everything from Pop, Jazz, Punk, and Country styles to various world music techniques such as Carnatic and Mariachi styles of singing. She did attend UArts for a period of time, but has done most of her studying through private lessons and performing. Some of her teachers have included Dudu Fuentes, Mary Ellen Desmond, and Marcus Santos. She currently sings and plays keys in the local pop-fusion group known as 'gloss'. She also works at Repo Records with her cat, Sir Fletermaus.
Tyler Romeo is a drummer and percussionist originally from North Jersey. Currently studying music production at Drexel University, he has been gigging frequently with many bands and artists in the greater Philadelphia area. On top of that, he is involved with several musically diverse ensembles at Drexel, spanning Latin fusion to experimental and avant-garde compositions. While Tyler is known for his aggressive playing style and stage presence, often incorporating gospel chops into otherwise hardcore or metal genres, he plays with indie, emo, electronic, and other contemporary acts as well. His diverse musical tastes lend himself to being an equally as versatile drummer.
At the age of 12, he joined the School of Rock in Tenafly and consistently joined seasonal shows. For four of his seven years at School of Rock, he was in House Band, and toured nationally with them three times. As a former School of Rock student, it is important for him to impart the same love of drumming and music into his students that blossomed in him as a student. He believes that there is no “right” age to start learning an instrument, and there is no reason to not pick up a pair of sticks and try. Now, after years of experience and training, he hopes he can impart the same love for music into his students that he discovered when he was a kid at School of Rock.
Diamond Princess Franklin
Diamond Princess Franklin is a classically trained Vocalist specializing in Opera, Jazz, and Gospel music. A Mt. Airy Philadelphia native, Diamond has trained under renowned musicians: Monette Sudler, Ruth Naomi Floyd and Angel Joy Blue, and has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Walnut Street Theatre and The Kimmel Center with Rock and R&B artists, Jon Bon Jovi and Estelle. Diamond received her Bachelor's of Music from Cairn University, and in addition to performing, also works as a music instructor and vocal coach.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher, Drums Teacher, Piano Teacher
Bennett is a multi-instrumental producer, composer, and performer originating from Northern Virginia. Seeking a lively music scene, and with an insatiable sense of adventure, he relocated to Philadelphia to discover a new world of artistically-minded people. Bennett has taught dozens of students of all skill levels and all ages, and has a passion for teaching his students to be successful artists and stage performers. He has played the drums, bass, and guitar since he was four years old, collaborating and performing with local artists throughout the years. Bennett is an energetic addition to the SoR Philly community, always excited to teach!
Izzy is a musician from Northeast Philadelphia who started playing drums at the age of 13. After four years of taking private lessons at Settlement Music School, Izzy decided to pursue music at a collegiate level at the University of the Arts where they have been a part of numerous ensembles ranging from Rock to Jazz. Izzy is currently involved in a local punk/alternative band, Cigarettes On Sunday, and also plays at various open jams around Philadelphia. For Izzy, it is essential to have students find what they enjoy playing and find their own sound. They also believe anyone can play the drums—there is no right age to start playing. While drums are Izzy's first instrument of choice, they also play piano, bass guitar, and electric guitar—and they enjoy making their own compositions in their free time.
Kenny Rosario-Pugh (a.k.a. Kenny RP), a Philadelphia native, is a graduate of Roman Catholic High School and has realized his goal of entering the University of the Arts as a Guitar major. He expects to graduate in 2019 with a degree in Music Performance. Kenny began playing electric guitar by ear at the age of 12. One of his inspirations for learning the instrument came from playing the video game, Guitar Hero. Essentially, Kenny has advanced from playing a plastic toy music instrument at home to playing the real thing on stage. Under the instruction of the great Yanni Papadopoulos, Kenny developed his guitar technique and love of performing live on stage while attending the Philly School of Rock (SOR), from which he graduated in 2015. Playing for 7 years with his fellow Philly SOR musicians in different venues around Philly and Jersey was a hugely fun and unforgettable learning experience that the very dedicated and enthusiastic Philly SOR faculty helped to create for him and all the music students. That he could really pursue music as a career was realized when he was accepted into the University of the Arts as a Guitar Performance major. Kenny plays jazz, rock, hip hop, blues, salsa, and is always open to learning other music genres. Kenny is very dedicated to developing musically and inspiring youth through teaching, and hopes it will make a difference wherever his hard work and determination take him.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Teacher
As a former SOR student Ben is thrilled to be back helping the community that helped him grow into the musician he is today. With a passion for all music that could fall under Punk and Emo, Ben is constantly writing and recording new musical projects. He is currently studying at Drexel University under their Music Industry program.
Bass Guitar Teacher
Tim encompasses the meaning of Punk music. He's a die-hard actively driven bass player that has some serious stage presence. He's been in bands his whole life, toured the country, and has a genuine passion in passing on his knowledge to the next generation of rockers.
Bass Guitar Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Nick Pater, who goes by Pater or Nick, is a bassist/musician from the NJ local music scene, as well as a School of Rock alum. He is excited to share his passion for music! Nick started with piano as a kid and eventually also took up bass and guitar in lessons and performance programs at the School of Rock in Red Bank, NJ. Seven years later, he formed a band with some friends he met at the school which is still going strong six years later with over 30 songs released across three projects.
Pater learned and gained so much from his instructors at School of Rock and is driven to impart a passion for performance, musicianship, and general love of music. He has been a student of just about all the genres of music out there, amassing techniques and skills on the bass guitar. As such, Pater teaches bass at any level, as well as beginner guitar and keyboards.
Zandra Azoulay is a drummer and percussionist with a wide variety of performing and recording experience. As someone who learned how to play the drums through the School of Rock program starting at age 8, Zandra knows firsthand how collaborative music-making can be influential in a student’s life. As a recent graduate of UMass Amherst, Zandra performed regularly with jazz and improvisational groups in the Western Massachusetts area.
Professionally, Zandra has performed throughout the Northeast region, collaborating with musicians across a wide scope of genres and styles. Before moving to Philadelphia, Zandra had been regularly performing and recording with original rock groups Seeds of Sun and Red Jasper. Zandra is currently playing for the development of Truth Future Bachman’s new musical Skyward: An Endling Elegy in New York City.
As a teacher, Zandra believes that lessons should be first and foremost fun! By collaborating with students to design lessons that complement their individual musical goals and learning styles, Zandra is able to find the perfect balance between challenging students to grow as musicians while also helping them develop a positive relationship with their instruments. Zandra’s approach to lessons meets students where they are at and helps guide them to where they want to be. Drawing from personal and professional musical experiences, Zandra is passionate about helping students find their own musical voice and connection to their instrument.
Singing Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Drum Teacher
Christian is a multi-instrumental artist and School of Rock alum originally from Long Island, NY. His father, a former songwriter, sparked Christian’s passion for music and encouraged Christian to join School of Rock, which ignited his love for music even further.
Christian became a touring guitarist after high school and played alongside a myriad of artists including Hobo Johnson and Oliver Tree. On top of being a musician, he is also an audio engineer who has produced and written songs for dozens of artists including Stand Atlantic, ericdoa, and glaive.
Christian is a friendly instructor who believes anybody can play music at any age and encourages them to do so. His biggest teaching philosophy is to meet students at their level and incorporate visual art as a creative learning tool during lessons. Christian has diverse tastes in music and is willing to give any genre a try.
Singing Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Carrie (they/them) is a singer and musician from Philadelphia. Raised to appreciate music, they were always singing along to the radio as a child and soon began to learn their favorite songs on piano and guitar. Carrie performed in their school’s musical productions and was a part of the choir in middle school and high school, growing to love the feeling of communal singing, and becoming fascinated with the rich harmonies created by so many different voices coming together.
Carrie's love of music turned into a passion when they picked up the bass in high school and became a School of Rock student! They were part of the House Band and formed a band with classmates soon after. Carrie has been obsessed with performance and creating music with others ever since.
As a student at School of Rock, Carrie learned leadership and discovered a passion for musical education, inspired by all the musicians in their life who have taught them how to create and appreciate music. Carrie loves working and hanging out with kids and currently works as a music teacher at Schwartz Preschool and as a nanny. A fan of pop, indie, rock, R&B, and soul, they appreciate all genres and love discovering music outside of their scope of reference.