Nick Valente, Owner and Director. Nick was born and still resides in the Rochester, NY area. He earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Management and has worked as an executive for multi-billion dollar global organizations for more than 25 years. Additionally, he is an accomplished musician, songwriter, and recording artist. Nick has always dreamed of having a business focused on music education, performance, and recording services. He is passionate about bringing the life lessons in collaboration, creativity and fun that come from music education to the Penfield community. The musical artists that provide inspiration to Nick are Led Zeppelin, Michael Schenker and Rush.
Staff & Music Teachers
Katelyn Spinosa: Assistant Director. Katelyn is a graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ with a degree in Voice Performance. She is also a member of the Actors Equity Association (AEA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Katelyn has numerous credits ranging from stage to screen having spots on such shows as “The Good Wife”, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” & “The Newsroom”. Katelyn was last seen in NYC with the premier staged reading of the new hit musical “On the Air” directed by Hunter Foster. Past theatre credits include “Carlotta”-The Phantom of The Opera (National Regional Premier), “Musetta”-La Boheme and “Miss Spider”-James & the Giant Peach to name a few. She has worked as an ensemble vocalist for Kenny Rogers and Andrea Bocelli. Katelyn can also been seen as a TV host at movie premiers or press junkets for the Mojo Creative Group through The University Network. Katelyn also has over 10 years of experience working with children in music education, musical theatre, acting, and in mainstream entertainment. This past year, Katelyn has starting recording her album which features classical arias, sacred music & broadway repertoire. She is new to the Webster area as a military spouse to an active duty service member and is very excited to be apart of the Bach to Rock team. Check out her website at www.katelynspinosa.com
Alex W. is a multi-instrumentalist teaching bass, guitar, trombone, tuba, and euphonium. He has played in many local bands including Nik and the Nice Guys, Mochester, The Tallboys, and Loose Change. He enjoys going to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Alex earned an Associate’s of Science degree in Music Recording Technology from Finger Lakes Community College and a Bachelor’s in Science in Music Business. Alex has been inspired by the many bass styles of Flea, Victor Wooten, and Stefan Lesard. He enjoys listening to music from artists such as Snarky Puppy, Father John Misty, Huntertones, RHCP, DMB, Ben Folds, Stevie Wonder among others.
Cat has worked in the health care field with geriatric and dementia afflicted populations for the past eight years. After giving birth to her daughter, Emma, she decided to return to her first love, music, so she could raise her baby in a musical home. Cat appreciates any music which showcases the abilities of the human voice, from opera and musical theater to Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Eminem and Celtic Woman. Cat has received several local awards for vocal performance and plays piano, dulcimer, dulcimer guitar, cello, and most recently, harmonica.
Darnell J. is an experienced music producer, recording and sound engineer and skilled in cutting- edge music software, including Pro Tools and Ableton Live. He also enjoys playing drums, bass, and keyboard. He earned an Associate’s in Arts degree in Music Recording Technology from Finger Lakes Community College, and a Bachelor’s in Arts degree in Music Production from SUNY Purchase. Darnell’s professional experiences include projects at the Smith Opera House, Buffalo Iron Works, and SUNY Purchase Tech Services in addition to tutoring students in audio projects at Finger Lakes Community College. He is looking forward to working with Beat Refinery students. Artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson, J Dilla, Snarky Puppy and Kendrick Lamar inspire Darnell.
Doug Z. took an interest in sonics at an early age, when his father (a long-time disc jockey) put an old mixing board in front of him at age 4. He has always been fascinated by sound, rhythm, and melodic structure, and this interest led him to pick up a guitar when he was 15. After high school, Doug toured regionally with several projects between 2009 and 2011 before deciding he was more at home in a recording studio than on the road. He started working at GFI Studios in Webster, NY in 2013 and still works there as an audio engineer and producer. In addition, he is an accomplished songwriter and arranger with clients nationally and internationally. Doug is a multi-instrumentalist, and in addition to guitar, is a vocalist, bassist, analog synthesizer aficionado, and utilizes live looping and a variety of harmonic/modulation, and time-based effects on several pedal boards. He is very excited to share his knowledge with developing artists, and always encourages creativity in his students. Doug takes pride in helping artists discover and refine their sound, while learning important fundamental techniques. Bring the noise. Check out Doug’s website www.thenervousystemproductions.com
Henry O. is a DJ who began his music career at the age of 10. Starting off in Band and Chorus, his passion for music and poetry led him to Hip Hop, where he began to produce, record, and perform raps, instrumentals, remixes, and mash ups. He began DJing professionally in high school at the age of 18 and has been DJing in clubs, weddings, and concerts nationally and overseas since. His inspirations are: DJ Qbert, Epik High, Nujabes, Kanye West, A-Trak, and Pryde.
Jeff T. has been involved in vocal and instrumental music education in the area for over 30 years. Studied piano under Istvan Nadas, Robert Bowman, Richard Volpe and Mike Patterson. Studied arranging with Rayburn Wright and Fred Sturm, and composition with Samuel Adler. Majored in applied keyboard at Cal State University; Jazz Education at Eastman and received a Master’s in education at SUNY Geneseo; Specializes in modern keyboard styles and improvisation; Percussionist with a strong interest in World Music; Staff musician for SUNY Brockport Department of Dance. Accompanist for the University of Rochester,Nazareth College and Rochester City Ballet. Played in ensembles in almost any style- from musical theatre to jazz to rhythm and blues to country and western. Key inspirations: Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Bruce Hornsby, John Mayer, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Leonard Bernstein, Hank Williams and Patsy Cline.
Jennifer B. is a college senior at SUNY Geneseo. She will graduate in May 2018 with a BA in Music (Vocal Performance) and a BA in Sociology. Besides being classically trained in school and singing in school choirs, Jen also plays piano, guitar, and electric bass. She is the current vocalist and bassist for a local rock band called Straw Hat. Jen is extremely passionate about music and looking forward to sharing that passion with her students at Bach to Rock Penfield!
Maria S. knew that she wanted to be a violinist at the age of four when watching the Boston Pops orchestra play their Fourth of July concert. Inspired at such a young age, she began her journey playing the violin at age six and has not stopped playing and performing since. Maria graduated from SUNY Geneseo and realized that she could not imagine life without violin. Maria also plays viola to all ages. Maria’s favorite artist is Pyotr Tchaikovsky, so much that she named her violin Peter after the composer.
Michael K. is a multi-instrumentalist who teaches guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, ukulele and drums. Having taught music lessons to a variety of age groups and skill levels, he believes that music is the great equalizer for all people. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from SUNY Albany, and while he has worked in various professional positions, he believes that music is his biggest motivator allowing him to do something worthwhile in his career. He is inspired by many artists, including Avett Brothers, Incubus, Van Morrison, Jack Johnson, and Modest Mouse, and just about anything that will make people get up and dance.
Nick has been playing and performing music for over 20 years. He studied at the McNally Smith College of Music in St Paul Minnesota. His main focus is on guitar but he is accomplished on other instruments as well. Nick has been In a wide variety of bands playing everything from rock, pop, jazz and country. This has led him to performing at some interesting places like county fairs, fashion shows, outdoor festivals and haunted hayrides. Nick is an avid fan of education and knows that even teachers are always learning and finding ways to improve.
Paul B. began playing the cello at age four where he studied for ten years at the Manchester Community Music School. Paul has been a featured soloist with the Lakes Region Symphony and the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, he served as an artist in residence at Recontres Musicales internationals des Graves in Bordeaux, France where he soloed alongside artists such as Zachariah Zorin, Vincent Balse, and Stephane Rougier. Paul has served in the studio orchestras for Louis Cole (Knower) and the TV series Star Trek continues. He plays regularly in local churches and nursing homes and performs frequently at local weddings with violinist and sister, Ellen and pianist, William. Paul also teaches general music classes in Eastman Community Music School’s Theory in Motion program. Currently, Paul is studying at the Eastman School of Music where he is earning a BM in Cello Performance and Music Education.
Tim K. is a local singer songwriter with over 30 years’ experience playing with local bands and teaching. He is a multi-instrumentalist with a strong background in guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and vocal performance and instruction. Tim really enjoys working with young kids and teens helping them to develop a strong musical foundation by making music fun, relevant and inclusive. He believes as Plato said “music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Tim has diverse taste in Americana music, blues, rock, jazz, bluegrass and bands such as the Beatles, Dylan, The Band, Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Radiohead, John Mayer and Wilco to name a few. Tim wants to give back to the community by helping all students achieve their goals and dreams. He believes that Bach to Rock provides the ideal approach, the right tools and an environment that will allow all students to develop a love for music and achieve their full potential.
William Z. is a Rochester native and multi-instrumentalist. Growing up in a musical family, William began his studies at age after receiving a trombone for his birthday. William picked up the instrument quickly and soon after began to learn piano, bass, and drums. William’s musical influences stem from the jazz tradition and have allowed him to perform in a variety of ensembles and projects over the years. William has performed professionally throughout the state of New York and Massachusetts. William holds a B.A from the Berklee College of music ,and an M.M from the Eastman School of Music.
- Individual instruction with proprietary curriculum
- Students are motivated by playing with others in a band
- A band builds teamwork, develops social skills, fosters self-esteem and leads to lasting friendships.
- Everyone learns faster playing music they like
- Students are motivated to learn when they see early results
- Introducing very young children to music supports cognitive development and motor skills.
- A well-balanced music education consists of Music Theory, Technique and Repertoire.
- Students learn faster playing music they like.
- Simplified versions of modern songs allow students to see results more quickly.
- Audio recordings of each simplified arrangement are available to students. This allows them to hear how their part should sound.
- Lessons are catered to the needs of each student's learning style.