Nick Valente, Owner and Director. Nick was born and still resides in the Rochester, NY area. Earning a Master’s degree in Strategic Management, Nick has worked as an executive for multi-billion dollar global organizations for more than 25 years. 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
Dr. Amy Valente, Co-owner. As a previous senior manager in various local banking, online learning, and marketing businesses and a Business Professor at a local community college, Amy’s passion is education. Amy earned a Doctorate degree of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Florida, and an MBA from St. John Fisher College. Amy loves to listen to music and going to concerts. Her favorite bands include Diamond Head, Michael Schenker Group, Rainbow, Queen, UFO, Yngwie Malmsteen and all the music that Nick writes and produces.
Danielle V., Marketing Director. Danielle studied at SUNY Fredonia earning a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Business. For the last 3 years, Danielle has worked as a graphic designer for both Fahy-Williams Publishing and Bosch Security and Communications. Although she does not play any instruments, Danielle loves listening to all types of music especially country, pop and hip-hop and is excited to share her artistic talents through the marketing and social media of Bach to Rock.
Julie M., Manager. A graduate of SUNY's College at Brockport studying Communication as her major and Music Business as her minor, Julie has had a love for music and the arts from a young age. As a singer/songwriter who plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as piano, Julie enjoys playing coffee shops and café gigs in her spare time. While indie folk music is a favorite genre to write and listen to, Julie's musical taste goes far and wide from John Mayer and The Avett Brothers to Elton John and Tom Petty. As the former president of a student-run record label, “Golden Eagle Records”, and former Venue Manager at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Julie is so excited to continue her journey of spreading the love of music throughout Rochester with Bach to Rock!
Duncan H., Manager. Originally from the UK, Duncan has a Post-Graduate degree in Education from Bristol University, as well as a Masters degree from Royal Holloway, University of London. With a background in both business and education, he is excited to be part of the Bach to Rock team and help spread the enjoyment that playing music brings. A musician himself, Duncan plays guitar, piano and is a singer/songwriter who has performed and recorded music as a solo musician and in bands. Influences and favorite bands include The Pixies, Neil Young, Pearl Jam and Gregory Alan Isakov.
Caitlin B., Assistant Manager and Event Coordinator Caitlin has a degree in music from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee with a focus in classical vocal performance. During her time at Sewanee, she managed theatrical and musical productions in various forms and roles. After graduating, she spent some time as a Curator for Sewanee’s renowned Music Listening Library and working for a creative consulting firm. Her two favorite genres of music are opera and jazz, but she tries to listen to a little bit of everything. Currently on queue: Odetta’s Spiritual Trilogy, Franco Corelli in Tosca, Cécile McLorin Salvant Le Mal de Vivre, and Sibelius Symphony No. 2 conducted by Bernstein. Caitlin is thrilled to join the staff at Bach to Rock!
Andrew P. Music Specialist. Andrew is a graduate from SUNY Fredonia with degrees in Music Education and Jazz Studies. From a young age, Andrew has been involved with music from a wide variety of genres. As an instrumentalist, Andrew performs and teaches bass, guitar, piano, ukulele, violin, viola, cello, and voice. In addition to performing and teaching, Andrew has a strong background in composing, music theory, and improvisation. His early influences include jazz, classic rock, funk, classical, and folk music. As a lover of music and an enthusiastic educator, Andrew strives to share his zeal for music with the world in exciting, engaging, and fun ways!
Anna L. Music Specialist. Anna is a recent graduate from Shenandoah University with a bachelors in Music Therapy. Anna is primarily a vocalist who studied classical opera. She also plays piano, guitar, violin; both classical and fiddle, and ukulele. Anna is very excited to be a part of the Bach to Rock community and is looking forward to working with the students.
Brett C., Music Specialist Brett is a multi-faceted musician who is actively performing, composing, and teaching brass and electronic composition. He received his DMA in Tuba Performance and Literature with a certificate in Arts Leadership from the Eastman School of Music in 2020 where he was a Teaching Assistant for both the Tuba Studio and the Eastman Audio Research Studio. He maintains a freelance performance career in upstate New York and currently plays with tuba Symphoria (Syracuse, NY) and is a substitute for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to playing the tuba, he plays and teaches electric bass and guitar, and is a composer of electronic music, film music, and contemporary classical music. Brett's favorite musical artists are Vulfpeck, The Dip, clipping., The Avalanches, and Stevie Wonder.
Cassandra C. Music Specialist. Music is Cassandra's passion, along with a strong attraction to the arts. Beginning with acting classes at the age of 5, Cassandra instantly fell in love with the musical aspect of acting, singing and dancing. As Cassandra got a little older, violin became her main instrument and still remains so. Being in the orchestra was Cassandra's biggest joy throughout school, competing in NYSSMA violin competitions, performing in regular school concerts, and school musicals, including first chair for the production of “Cinderella”. That was one of the greatest experiences of Cassandra's life and it was at that moment that Cassandra felt a connection to being on stage. Cassandra is currently a part of the Auburn Chamber Orchestra in Auburn, NY and takes great pride in providing the community with classical music. Cassandra earned a Bachelor's degree from Empire State College in Music and Dance Education.
Dan K. Music Specialist. Dan is a composer, percussionist, and multi-instrumentalist with a deep interest in exploring music from around the world. Dan earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Composition and a Master's degree in Music Composition and Theory from SUNY Fredonia. Dan has taught college level composition students privately and in group settings, as well as given lectures to entire composition departments. As a composer, Dan’s music has been performed in over a dozen major US cities as well as in Guangzhou, China. As a performer, Dan has been in several local bands playing original music, and enjoys listening to classic progressive rock, especially Yes, Genesis, and Emerson Lake and Palmer. Phish and Led Zeppelin are by far his biggest musical influences in the pop world, while favorite composers are Bela Bartok and Igor Stravinsky. Dan is currently working on the score for a new independent video game being developed in Rochester, NY.
Dan M., Music Specialist & Audio Engineer Dan has been involved with music since the 4th grade and hasn’t looked back since. Dan’s primary instrument is voice, but he also teaches piano, trumpet, and recording arts. Dan earned an Associate of Science in Music Recording Technology from FLCC and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Vocal) from SUNY Fredonia. Dan has appeared in numerous operas, sang in multiple choirs, and performed in SUNY Fredonia’s premier all-male acapella group, Much More Chill. Dan has taught in both West Irondequoit and Penfield districts, and was a studio musician and tutor at FLCC. Dan is very passionate about choral music and is a staff singer for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Dan has a wide variety of musical tastes, everything from classical music to hip-hop. Some of his favorite artists include John Mayer, Drake, Kanye West, Zac Brown Band, and Michael Bublé. Dan cares deeply about using his skills as a musician and audio engineer to help other artists achieve their musical goals and is very excited to join the Bach to Rock team!
Danielle R. graduated from The Eastman School of Music in 2020 with a degree in Vocal Performance. Danielle has participated in Eastman Opera Theater’s productions of L'incoronazione di Poppea , Orfeo ed Euridice , and Don Giovanni, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s production of The Mother Of Us All . In addition to performing, Danielle has worked as assistant stage manager and backstage for Eastman Opera Theater. In her hometown, Philadelphia, Danielle has sung under the baton of maestro Yannick Nézet Séguin, and has previously been seen in Girard Academic Music Program’s musical productions of West Side Story , Shrek The Musical , and Fiddler on the Roof . Danielle has performed internationally with Umbrian Serenades in Spain, and throughout Italy with Philadelphia International Opera Theater, and the Philadelphia All City Orchestra. In addition to singing, Danielle has been playing piano since the age of six, and viola since the age of 8.
Jack C. Beat Refinery DJ Instructor. Jack grew up in Penfield and played various instruments throughout the years including saxophone and viola. Jack enjoys a wide variety of music genres including hip-hop and his influences include Kanye West, Drake and J. Cole. Jack teaches scratching and mixing and is excited to work with and develop future DJ’s in Upstate New York in the Beat Refinery program.
Michael K. Music Specialist. Michael 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, Michael believes that music is the great equalizer for all people. Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from SUNY Albany, Michael has also worked in various professional positions, but believes that music is the biggest motivator and Bach to Rock Penfield provides a worthwhile career. Michael 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.
Michael M. Music Specialist. Michael is a graduate from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in Music Performance. Michael is a multi-instrumentalist and able to teach a wide range of instruments, including piano, voice, drums and guitar, with his specialism in classical guitar. An enthusiastic performer, he is currently involved in two local projects and is excited to be part of the Bach to Rock family and share his enthusiasm for music and performance. Michael lists Bela Bartok, Agustin Barrios, the Grateful Dead, Phish, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Radiohead as some of his influences.
Mike G, DJMikeyD started DJing when he was 10 years old with a pair of technics 1200mk2s and a realistic 4 channel mixer. He has opened up for several artists including Africa Bambatta, Jazzy Jeff, and Fatman Scoop. He was the Dept Manager at Guitar Centers Pro Audio Dept for 10 years, and has owned and operated his own DJ business for 15 years and have worked with and for several other local companies in the area.
Rachel B. Music Specialist. Rachel is a vocal/general music teacher in a local public school district earning a Bachelors of Music in Music Education, a Masters in Inclusive Childhood Education, and a second Masters in Music Education from Nazareth College. As a mezzo-soprano, Rachel’s primary instrument is voice with experience teaching piano, guitar, violin and ukulele. While growing up in Elma NY, Rachel knew she was going to be a music teacher from a young age with earliest childhood memories including sitting in front of the piano with her nana playing music by ear. A few of Rachel’s favorite artists include Elton John, Ingrid Michaelson, Mary Lambert, Wilco, Ani DiFranco & The Goo Goo Dolls.
Ryan J. Music Specialist. Ryan is a Music Theory PhD student at Stephen F. Austin University (SFA) of Texas and a music instructor at the Rochester City School District. Ryan teaches guitar, bass, piano, voice, drums, brass, and strings, 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.
Sarah R. Music Specialist. Sarah was born and still resides in Rochester, NY and is a NY State certified music teacher (K-12) who has been teaching music for over 20 years. She is a multi-instrumentalist who has taught concert band, marching band, jazz band, general music, music theory, brass, woodwind, percussion and piano. She earned an Associate’s degree of Science in Performing Arts from MCC, and a Bachelor’s degree of Music in Music Education at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and a Master’s degree of Music in Education from the University at Buffalo. Sarah is passionate about teaching music because she loves music and enjoys fostering a love for music, and watching students grow. She believes that teaching music is fun, and learning music is fun for people of all ages. Bach to Rock is a perfect place to do this!
Spencer K., Music Specialist. Spencer has been playing drums since he was 5 years old and piano since he was in middle school. He graduated from Nazareth college in 2019, earning a B.S. in Music/Business with a specialization in percussion and a secondary in piano. Ever since he was little, he has been in love with the arts. The passion, emotion, and beauty that comes from music has kept him drawn in throughout his high school, college, and adult life. Most recently he was a drummer on a cruise ship, where he played production shows, backed up guest entertainers, and performed jazz music in lounges around the ship. He likes all music, but rock and jazz are his favorite to play.
Stan M. Music Specialist. Stan is a local freelance performer and music educator 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; 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. Currently, Stan is focusing on launching a jazz based group called the Stan Martinelli Project.
Tim K. Music Specialist. Tim is a multi-instrumentalist and local singer songwriter with over 30 years of experience playing with local bands and teaching students. Tim has a strong background in guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and vocal performance and really enjoys helping students 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 and 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.
Tim L. has been a professional DJ for 30 years. He got his first set of turntables at 15 and he immediately fell in love with the craft. He began DJing school dances and was a DJ in a few teen clubs. He went on to successfully DJ in many adult clubs and started to DJ weddings. Tim has worked with many mobile DJ businesses in Rochester and Buffalo. Tim and his business partner Tony own and operate Tones Entertainment in Upstate New York. Tim has a deep passion for what he does. He even still has all of his crates of vinyl records he has amassed throughout the years!
Will D. is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo with degrees in Communication and Political Science. Will is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Will has loved music from a young age and has been playing the drums since 2009 and recently began playing the bass as well. In high school, he was awarded the Louis Armstrong jazz award and went on to play in the jazz ensemble at Geneseo, while also performing in his own bands. Will’s favorite artists include the Grateful Dead, Vulfpeck, The Wonder Years, Phish, and Pup.
- 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.