Staff & Music Teachers

Nick Valente

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.

Alex W.

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.

Anthony D.

Anthony D. began spinning records in the 1990’s. He has played numerous parties, club nights and had multiple residencies at popular nightclubs and lounges. He has worked with hip-hop/breakbeat DJ with Self/Silly Cutty , Mikey Salvaggio, Master Earth, while progressing into break beat style with a heavy influence by DJ Dan, pre-funky techno era, Simply Jeff and most west coast break beat. In 1999, Anthony was introduced to techno and was immediately hooked. Influences include, Marco Carola, Ben Simms, and anything off of Primate, Tronic, and Intec, Rob Morley, John Slater, DV8, Adam Beyer, Christian Smith, and Angel Alanis. 2001 was Anthony's biggest year yet, appearing at many of Upstate New York’s largest parties, including kingdom, bliss, sunshine, and lift4. Currently, Anthony has started blending the sounds of techno with house, tech house, progressive house and deep house, mostly influenced by Christian Smith, the H-foundation, Halo Varga, Josh Winx, Nick Holder, Alexander Kowalski, Stickmen and DJ Buck. Anthony is excited to join Bach to Rock’s Beat Refinery to share his expertise with the next generation of DJ scratchers and mixers in Upstate New York.


Caroline, a native of Dallas, Texas, completed her Master’s degree in Voice Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music. Prior to her graduate studies, she received an undergraduate degree at Belmont University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a minor in German. Caroline is an avid performer of opera, musical theatre, chamber and choral music, and her secondary instrument is piano. Select theatrical roles include Meg Boyd – Damn Yankees, Grace Farrell – Annie (RAPA), Maurya – Riders to the Sea, Dorothée – Cendrillon, Abbess – Suor Angelica (Eastman), Nancy – Albert Herring, Mercédès – Carmen, Mrs. McLean – Susannah (Opera in the Ozarks), Dido – Dido and Aeneas, Cherubino – Le nozze di Figaro (Belmont) and ensemble in Pirates of Penzance (Nashville Opera) and Carmen (Syracuse Opera). Since completing her Master’s degree, Caroline has found a new passion in teaching music.

Darnell J.

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.

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

Jack C.

Jack C. is Beat Refinery Penfield's newest DJ Scratching and Mixing instructor. He grew up in Penfield and played various instruments such as saxophone and viola. Jack enjoys a wide variety of music genres including hip-hop and his influences include Kanye West, Drake and J. Cole. He is excited to join Bach to Rock’s Beat Refinery to work with and develop future DJ’s in Upstate New York.

Jacob S

Jacob S. is a classical composer and multi-instrumentalist. Starting in the entertainment business nearly ten years ago as part of the successful rock band For Every Day, later known as FED, Jacob has performed on many high-profile stages, including The State Fair of Texas, Dallas House of Blues and SXSW. He also competed in the Las Vegas rounds of television's America’s Got Talent. An accomplished singer/songwriter and Berklee Graduate, Jacob also plays guitar, piano, and bass. Recently he's turned his attention to composing for orchestra and chamber ensembles. His music can be heard at

Jennifer B.

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!

Jory O.

Jory O. is a multi-instrumentalist who teaches piano, guitar, drums, bass, percussion and ukulele. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, Jory studied at St. Bonaventure University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Business. As a musician, Jory has been involved in a number of bands and ensembles, playing a variety of instruments across such genres as rock, metal, classical, and jazz. Jory has experience in individual teaching, performance, lighting design, and sound engineering. Among Jory’s musical influences are Rush, Dave Matthews Band, Between the Buried and Me, Muse, Portugal. The Man, and Pink Floyd.

Michael K.

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.

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.


Ryan is a Music Theory PhD student at Julliard and University at Buffalo. He also works as music instructor at the Rochester City School District. Ryan teaches guitar, bass, piano, voice, drums and specializes in classical, jazz, pop, R&B, and rock music genres. Ryan also teaches group classes and is highly trained and certified in pro audio engineering and music production including Pro Tools and Abelton Live. Ryan is extremely passionate about music performance and education


Stan is a local freelance performer and music educator. He is currently attending Nazareth College for a Master's degree in Double Bass Music Performance and Pedagogy. Stan focuses on multiple genres ranging from classical to rock. He most recently was a member of the freak-folk group Multibird. Incorporating elements of rock and pop, Multibird had the opportunity to tour Europe in 2016. Now Stan is focusing on launching his own jazz based group called the Stan Martinelli Project.

Tim K.

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.

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. 

Why B2R?

  • 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.

B2R Curriculum

  • 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.