Staff & Music Teachers

Nick Valente

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.

Dr. Amy Valente

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.

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 Miller

Julie Miller, Assistant 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!

Kera Keene

Kera Keene, Assistant Manager. Kera is a corporate event manager, hospitality professional, and lover of the arts originally hailing from North Carolina. Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management from UNC Greensboro, with minors in Business and Drama, her truest musical passion is a cappella and vocal music. Kera has served on the leadership board of two award-winning a cappella groups: UNCG Sapphires and Deviate A Cappella. In her spare time, Kera does freelance audio assistant work with The Vocal Company, an a cappella-specific production company. She is thrilled to bring her event planning and administrative skills into a creative and educational environment at Bach to Rock.

Amanda G.

Amanda G. Music Specialist. Amanda’s strong background in music began at an early age. Amanda’s mother, a professional vocalist and vocal teacher spurred a keen interest in music in all its forms. A natural harmonizer, Amanda pursued singing by taking part in and section leading for multiple choirs throughout high school and college. Studying music education with a concentration in voice at the College of Saint Rose prepared Amanda to teach vocals, piano, ukulele, and flute. Enjoying many styles of music, including hip hop, folk, alternative rock, punk, rap, and classical music, Amanda’s favorite part of music is collaboration and community. Any opportunity to share music is a good one and Amanda cannot wait to share their love of the craft with Bach to Rock Penfield students!

Andrew P.

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.

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.

Anthony D.

Anthony D. Beat Refinery DJ Instructor. Anthony began spinning records in the 1990’s and has played numerous parties, club nights, had multiple residencies at popular nightclubs, and worked with hip-hop/breakbeat DJ with Self/Silly Cutty, Mikey Salvaggio, Master Earth, 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 influenced by Marco Carola, Ben Simms, and anything 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 teach at Bach to Rock’s Beat Refinery to share his expertise with the next generation of DJ scratchers and mixers in Upstate New York.

Brynna D.

Brynna D. Music Specialist Intern. Brynna is a junior at SUNY Fredonia studying Music Education with a concentration in vocal/general music education. Brynna is primarily a vocalist studying both classical and musical theater styles, but also plays piano, flute, piccolo and guitar. Outside of teaching music, Brynna is the vocalist for local band, Daily Milestone as well as Music Director and member of the college a cappella group, Some Like It Hot. Brynna has always enjoyed writing songs and collaborating with other musicians, particularly performing pop and jazz. She is excited to help students develop their ability to work with other artists, as well as find their voice as an individual.

Cassandra C.

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.

Christine T.

Christine T. Music Specialist. began playing piano at the age of four. As a Rochester native, Christine studied for thirteen years at the Eastman Community Music School’s diploma program. In 2016, she also received the Howard Hanson Certificate of Merit. Christine has attended many festivals such as the Montecito International Music Festival, MusicFest Perugia, and the Miami Music Festival. Christine is also an accompanist at the Eastman Community Music School, working with students playing all different instruments. Christine is currently pursuing a BM degree in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music.

Dan K.

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.

Darnell J.

Darnell J. Music Specialist. Darnell is an experienced music producer, recording and sound engineer and skilled in cutting-edge music software, including Pro Tools and Ableton Live, but also enjoys playing drums, bass, and keyboard. Earning 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 prepared Darnell for professional experiences. Such projects include 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.  Darnell is looking forward to working with Beat Refinery students and is inspired by artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson, J Dilla, Snarky Puppy and Kendrick Lamar.

Doug Z.

Doug Z. Music Specialist. Doug took an interest in sonics at an early age whose father (a long-time disc jockey) put an old mixing board in front of him at age 4. Fascinated by sound, rhythm, and melodic structure, Doug learned to play guitar at the age of 15. After high school, Doug toured regionally with several projects between 2009 and 2011 before working at GFI Studios as an audio engineer and producer. In addition, Doug is an accomplished songwriter and arranger with clients nationally and internationally. As a multi-instrumentalist, Doug plays 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. Doug is very excited to share his knowledge with developing artists, and always encourages creativity. 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

Emma V.

Emma V. Music Specialist. Emma is studying Music Education (concentration in voice) at SUNY Potsdam. While Emma’s primary instrument is voice, singing classically and musical theater, she also teaches piano and flute. Emma's passion for music started in kindergarten and she is excited to share her love of music with Bach to Rock students.

Jack C.

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.

Joey S.

Joey S. Music Specialist.  Joey is a student at SUNY Potsdam pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Mathematics with a minor in Business of Music. Joey has years of experience in the realms of music production and audio engineering, but also enjoys playing and teaching drums, hand percussion and ukulele. Most of this experience has come from work as CEO of Madstop Records, a student-led record label at SUNY Potsdam. Teaching is also a large part of Joey’s life, as a group tutor at college in addition to volunteering for the Webster High-School Marching Band. Joey finds inspiration in a wide range of genres with favorite artists being The Voidz, Quelle Chris, The Drones, Mount Eerie, & Milo.

Jon F.

Jon F., Music Specialist, is a percussionist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with a Bachelor of Music from Nazareth College. Jon has enjoyed teaching, performing, and living in the Rochester, NY community for the last twenty-five years. Jon is a passionate performer, educator, and collector of percussion instruments from around the world. Jon enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities to enhance their musical experience. Jon’s main influences include John Bonham, Tim “Herb” Alexander, Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl, and Steve Gadd.

Jory O.

Jory O. Music Specialist. Jory 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, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Business. As a musician, Jory has been involved in several 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. 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. 

Rachael L.

Rachael L., Music Specialist A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Rachael began her cello studies at the age of 4 through the Community School of the Arts program at Wheaton College. Rachael received her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music and her Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance and Music Theory at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Rachaell was named the Gold Medal Winner of the Collegiate Division of the Cleveland Cello Society Competition in 2015 as well as a winner in the 2016 Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition. In addition, Rachael has received honorable marks in numerous competitions, including the Heida Hermanns International String Competition and the Founders Division of the Mondavi National Young Artists Competition and was also the recipient of the Marine Corps’ “Semper Fidelis” Award for Musical Excellence in 2013. In addition to solo training, intensive quartet study at the Cleveland Institute of Music led Rachael to be invited as a member of the fellowship quartet at the Brevard Music Festival during the summer of 2015. Rachael has presented various papers at events such as the AMS NYSSL Chapter Meeting at SUNY Fredonia School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Music Theory Colloquium. Rachael has performed at music festivals including the Heifetz International Music Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Sitka Cello Seminar, and the Meadowmount School of Music. She has had the honor to perform in master classes for notable musicians such as Zuill Bailey, Amy Barston, Andrew Jennings, Peter Salaff, Wendy Warner, Donald Weilerstein, as well as members of the Cleveland Quartet, Cavani Quartet, and prestigious symphony orchestras.

Rachel B.

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

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.

Stan

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.

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.

Tyler B.

Tyler B. Music Specialist/Audio Engineer. Tyler started his musical career at age 11 learning electric guitar. Tyler expanded into music theory, writing skills and lyrical composition by performing in school band and learning to play bass guitar, drums, piano, and vocals. This brought on the desire to follow a path in music recording. After gaining an Associate's degree in Music Recording Technology from Finger Lakes Community College, Tyler earned a Bachelor’s degree in Audio Engineering from Husson University. Tyler’s final capstone project involved writing, editing, mixing and mastering a short film soundtrack which was awarded the “most outstanding product.” Tyler is well-rounded musician who enjoys writing music, performing in bands, and working in recording studios. As a certified Pro Tools audio engineer, Tyler is excited to teach recording arts along with other instruments. 

Vinnie B.

Vinnie B., Music Specialist Vinnie was born in the Chicago area and earned an Associates in Arts in Music from Joliet Junior College and a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from Olivet Nazarene University. He recently moved to the Penfield area to re-locate with his fiancée. Vinnie is a multi-instrumentalist musician and composer with primary instrument as trombone, secondary instrument as bass guitar, while also proficient with piano, guitar and various percussion instruments and vocals. Before moving to the Penfield area, Vinnie was working as a bass and keyboard instructor at a music school and playing bass guitar professionally for the ONU Proclamation Gospel Choir. In addition, he used his capabilities to help a small Spanish-speaking church build a music ministry from scratch. Vinnie enjoys all music, but especially loves the sounds of Jazz, Soul, Gospel, Funk, R&B, Jazz Fusion, & Motown. Some of his favorite artists include Stevie Wonder, Bob McChesney, Victor Wooten, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Trombone Shorty, Herbie Hancock, and Michael Jackson.

Alex W.

Alex W. Music Specialist.  Alex is a multi-instrumentalist teaching bass, guitar, trombone, tuba, and euphonium. 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 and has played in many local bands including Nik and the Nice Guys, Mochester, The Tallboys, and Loose Change. Alex has been inspired by the many bass styles of Flea, Victor Wooten, and Stefan Lesard, enjoys going to the RPO and listening to music from artists such as Snarky Puppy, Father John Misty, Huntertones, RHCP, DMB, Ben Folds, Stevie Wonder among others.

Dwane H., aka DJ Massive D

Dwane H., aka DJ Massive D. Beat Refinery DJ Instructor. Dwane started in the music industry in 1999 at the age of 15. As a Jamaican youth growing up in a musical culture whose father DJ’d as a hobby, Dwane envisioned and built "Mateereal Sound", a strong, well-known DJ and sound company. Today, Dwane plays throughout the U.S. at major festivals, carnivals, dances, clubs, shows, and toured in the USA and Jamaica as a Disk Jockey for Reggae giants such as Shaggy, Beenie Man, Mavado, Baby Cham and other international artists. When there is time to spare Dwane will occasionally record, mix, and master audio and video in the recording/production studio. On any given night, you can find him playing at a variety of venues mixing it up with RnB, Rap, Hip Hop, Reggae, Pop, Techno, Souls, Trap, Afrobeats, Country, Rock, and many other genres of music.

Amanda W.

Amanda W. Music Specialist. Amanda is a current student at Nazareth College, studying for a BM in Music Education and a minor in Music Composition. Amanda's primary instrument is the violin, with an emphasis in strings, and also has experience with piano and ukulele. She has had many years of training in music, beginning at age four. Amanda is very excited to be a part of the Bach to Rock community and looks forward to working with the students!

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.