Mark Denato has been giving private guitar lessons (electric/acoustic/bass) for almost 20 years. He partitions his lessons into 3 sections- fundamentals, technique, and a song of the student’s choice. This sets the foundation for the student to become a well-rounded musician, quickly getting a better grasp of their instrument, and having fun along the way. Rock/blues guitar is his main are of expertise, but he enjoys teaching all styles of music. At Rowan University, Mark studied classical guitar with Joe Mayes and jazz guitar with Joe Federico. Since graduation, he has played and recorded professionally around the tri-state area.
Inna Leoni shows her passion for music in the continued dedication to excellence as a performer as well as an educator. As a Converto soloist, she has performed at the International Autumn Festival in Moscow, Czech Republic’s Martinu Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Philharmonic and Bolshoi Halls, St. Petersburg, Russia’s State Capella Concert Hall and countless other places considered some of the most prestigious staves. After several years concertizing in her native Russia, Ms. Leoni came to the United States to pursue advanced professional studies with Loren Lind of the Philadelphia Orchestra and later with Paula Robinson at the New England Conservatory. Ms. Leoni made her Carnegie debut in 2008 to great acclaim. She is winner of numerous awards and international competitions in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Boston and New York. Inna Leoni holds an Artist Diploma and Master of Music with highest honors from the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory. Awarded full scholarships from both Yale and New England Conservatory’s graduate programs.
Pat Brennan is a musician-educator with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, and a Master’s degree in Music Education from The University of the Arts (UARTS) in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout his studies and experiences at UARTS, he has amassed a wide range of skill sets in music performance, education, and music business/technology that serves him well in all performance and educational landscapes. Pat has performed throughout the tri-state area with his own quartet as well as with various other UARTS ensembles. Aside from playing the bass, Pat also plays drums, piano and guitar and has a strong working knowledge of music theory, notation, and history.
John has been a professional musician for 40 years and has been teaching for over 15 years. He began teaching to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for music. Jonn has worked as a multi-instrumentalist, lead and backing vocalist, successful songwriter and producer. His teaching approach covers it all: groove, theory, composition, ear training, performance and inspiration. He has taught hundreds of students of all ages, and has developed techniques for beginners and experienced players alike. He tailors each lesson to the individual student, as Jonn believes every student needs a customized approach to gain the most benefit from music education.
Bruce Erwin’s life in music began shortly after his father began making violins. Playing the violin has allowed Bruce to busk in Helsinki, participate in pub sessions in Achill and Glasgow, spend summers in Austria, and play in orchestras in Fort Worth, Texas and Xalapa, Mexico.
Along the way, he earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Master’s degree from Baylor University, playing in the Graduate String Quartet at both schools. He did significant study at the University of North Texas, where he had a teaching assistantship. As a teacher, Bruce has been part of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Suzuki School, the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, Ohio, TCU Suzuki Institute, the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute, the Capital University Suzuki Institute, the Suzuki Music Columbus Institute and El Campamento Musical Juvenil Panamá.
Curiosity about where fiddle tunes came from influenced Bruce to look at many Eighteenth Century Scottish tune books resulting in his creating of his own collection of Scottish tunes, The Fiddler’s Wrist, published by FJH Music in 2003.
Tony Natale is a world class, international drummer/composer/educator, with his own original musical identity. He has lived and worked in New York City; London, England; and Germany. He teaches all styles of drumming, from beginner to advanced. He teaches each student in an individual way, according to their ability and needs, and helps them achieve their own personal style of expressing themselves through the instrument. He is very much a student of life and enjoys learning and instructing others. Tony teaches all styles of music, along with technique, coordination, concentration, chart reading, rhythm, and creativity. Currently he is writing a drum book with his approach to drumming.
Butch Slusher has been a veteran of the Philadelphia area music scene for over 25 years. Following years of private study and music courses in high school, Butch attended the Community College of Philadelphia where he studied composition, theory and orchestration with Lee Silvan of the Philly Pops. During this time, Butch also studied guitar with jazz great Jimmy Bruno.
Butch can be seen performing with the bands Mane Attraction, RSVP and Out of Nowhere, as well as contributing to various recording projects.
John Modano began music studies at the Wilson School of Music in 1963, focusing on piano and guitar. He studied with concert pianist Anthony Casario, who was a student of world famous pianist/composer Leo Ornstein. John spent time studying at the Neupauer Conservatory with pianist/composer William Schimmel, who performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also worked with James Barber, a professional jazz pianist. John graduated from Rutgers university in 1978 and began teaching in 1981 for all ages and levels. He has performed throughout New Jersey at private clubs, parties, receptions, and assisted living facilities. Through his teaching, John has developed a highly creative and personalized approach designed to tailor to each student. He also has experience with autistic and special needs students.
Patrick Van Belle is a multi-styled, solid, dependable drummer who can easily move from straight-ahead jazz to rock to funk to hip-hop and back again. He plays hard softly, enhancing but never overpowering, demonstrating that sometimes less is more. A true artist that plays for the moment, Patrick believes that “You always play for the song.”
Drumming isn’t Patrick’s only passion. His skill as a teacher is crowning. Patrick began teaching in 1987. Patrick also instructs clinics at local High schools and music stores. When not teaching, Patrick is engaged in many creative activities. He keeps a busy schedule as a freelance artist, session musician, and touring drummer. He has worked with many wonderful artists like Platinum selling artist Dean Davidson (Britny Fox) and Grammy Award winning producer John Rollo(Whitney Houston, Joe Cocker). Currently, you can see him with Veteran Blues man Georgie Bonds ( Look out for the current PBS documentary “Georgie Bonds sings the Blues” featuring Patrick ) and local sax hero Eric Haltmeier’s Jazz trio.
Lori St. Maur is very friendly, enthusiastic and eager to share her music experience. She listens to her student’s aspirations, then adapts her teaching by tailoring her lessons to each individual. Lori incorporates music that each student enjoys, in addition to using the standard learning tools. She brings fun to the learning process. Lori specializes in ear training, providing in-depth theory lessons, giving the student an innovative, analytical and interesting approach to musical performance and study. This enables her students to execute more quickly, because of their increased musical comprehension. Her teaching encompasses a broad range of genres, using traditional method and technique books, as well as a large variety of sheet music and books. Lori has twenty five years of keyboard teaching experience, instructing beginners through advanced students. She is an accomplished professional keyboard player and vocalist, performing at corporate events, weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and in major casinos and nightclubs.
Tony White has 25 years of teaching experience, many of his students have gone on to all district and all state levels of playing. His lessons include a full scope of basic technique; correct breathing procedures, reading, scales, theory, and correct posture and embouchure development. Typical lessons with Tony include help with school band and orchestral music, plus a personal plan for each developing student including classical literature, pop tunes, modern methods, jazz and blues. Tony’s resume includes performances with Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, The Temptations, The 4 Tops, Al Green, Billy Preston, Natalie Merchant, 10,000 Maniacs, En Vogue, and many others.
Peter Plaxa has been playing guitar for 17 years. He studied with Mark Ryan for ten years and Carl Filipiak for 2 years. Peter attended Towson University with a major in jazz guitar performance. While at Towson, he studied jazz guitar with Steve Herberman and classical guitar with Michael Decker.
Peter has played in many bands and has been performing since he was 14. Currently, he is working with the band All Tuned Up and performs regularly in the New Jersey area. Peter also works with Grammy award winning producer Vidal Davis where he has done studio session work for artists Vivian Green, Pras (The Fugees), David Correy (The X Factor), Kenny Lattimore, and Kindred the Family Soul.