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Greeting From The New Owners Of Philly SoR

Hello Philly SOR Parents, Students, and Friends,

My name is Lisa Riley, and I am beyond thrilled and excited to introduce myself and my husband, Neville Vakharia, as the new owners of the Philadelphia School of Rock! Some of you may know us as Zane and Maya’s parents, but may not know much about us or our backgrounds. To get to know us better, I would like to share with you some information about our personal and professional backgrounds and how this relates to our ownership style and vision for the school. Ultimately, we want to make Philly SOR the premier place to rock, create a special community for people who love and appreciate music, and to highlight the incredible talent and musicianship of all the students and staff.

In my role as the new owner of SOR, I will be overseeing the daily operations and functioning of the school. Jace will continue on as the most excellent GM/MD that he has been. I will be taking over the majority of Jace’s current administrative responsibilities, freeing him up to focus his energies on the music programs, supporting your needs, supporting staff needs, implementing new ideas, promotions/performances, etc. My background as a therapist will enable me to support the emotional wellness of SOR as a whole, and to create a culture that involves empowerment, strengths building, direct/effective communication, mindfulness, and growth.

Our Vision for Philly SOR…

As SOR parents for the past 5 years, we have a direct understanding of the needs and wants of SOR families. Our vision for SOR is to make it the best it can be by building and maintaining a community presence in Philadelphia, increasing performance opportunities for students and staff, improving retention and enrollment of students, building relationships with Philadelphia schools and other organizations,  increasing our visibility, creating social and professional opportunities for parents and students, and improving communication with parents and students. 

A Little Bit About Us...

Neville has lived in Philadelphia since the 1980s, and I moved to Philadelphia in the 1990s. We live in the Queen Village neighborhood and our children go to Philadelphia public schools. Needless to say, as long time residents and parents in Philadelphia, we have a deep commitment to the city and a great understanding of Philadelphia as a community. Music has played a key role in our lives ever since we were kids. We’ve also seen the positive effects that SOR has had on our own children.

For the past 25 years I have worked in the field of mental health. The majority of my career was spent working in an outpatient setting as a psychotherapist treating adolescents and adults. I have also developed and managed programs in the behavioral health field, and have provided clinical supervision and mentorship to a range of professionals. 

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. Although Neville will not be involved in the daily operations of SOR, he will serve 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. 

Our intention is to make the transition of ownership as seamless as possible. The sale of the school is scheduled to be finalized on May 1st. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I can be reached via email at and at the school after May 1st. I will also be present at the shows this weekend and happy to chat with you.

Rest assured that we are genuinely interested in your thoughts, recommendations, and feedback regarding the change in ownership. 

Fondest regards,

Lisa Riley and Neville Vakharia

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