Staff & Faculty

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STEVE AUERBACH

Executive Director: Keyboards & Audio Production

Steve Auerbach worked with artists and producers in Los Angeles in production, synthesist, artist manager, and sessions player.  Since moving to Utah, Steve's Planet Agency represented members of Jane's Addition, The Stooges, Frank Zappa,  and the P-Funk All-Stars.   Steve is an award-winning concert producer for Arrowfest, Earthwell Festival, and more.    Steve was on the startup team for School of Rock from 2005-2008 and went on to create the award-winning MusicGarage.Org program from 2009-2019. Steve believes that all children deserve access to musical instruments and instruction and that by making a like-minded youth community, they learn musicianship and other skills for a lifetime.  Learn more here.

Sam Cottrell

SAM  COTTRELL

Guitar, Ukulele,  Music Production

Sam Cottrell   studied Guitar Performance at Utah State University  and then attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Science in  Tempe, AZ where he received  a    Masters in    Recording.  Sam currently performs with the band, Toast - a Bread tribute band as well as the Irish rock band, Swagger.    Sam has taught for Blue Fret Music in Kaysville, UT, Discount Music in Bountiful, UT and with Steve and Terence at  School of Rock.

Joe Chisolm

JOE CHISHOLM

Trombone

Joe Chisholm received his bachelor's degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Utah in 2003 and holds a master's degree in Jazz Studies. Joe works professionally in the greater Salt Lake area as a performer and educator.

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DANTÉ GIACOBASSI

Violin, Viola, Mandolin, Guitar

Dante has a diverse musical background, ranging from classical and bluegrass to funk and jazz. He studied viola performance at the University of Utah, and is now a professional mandolin player and singer/songwriter in the Salt Lake area. Trained also in guitar, violin, trumpet, mandola, bass, tenor banjo, and piano, Dante has been the orchestra teacher at several local elementary schools. As well, Dante is the founder of the bluegrass band The Pickpockets.

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SOREN GREEN

Piano &    Guitar

Soren is a veteran guitar teacher for rock, folk, blues, and bluegrass music, but specializes in classical guitar. In addition, Soren has been teaching piano for many years.  Performing as a featured artist for the Utah Arts Festival, Gallivan Center, and numerous other events and concerts including a regular weekly gig at Salt Lake Country Club.   IN addition to weddings, private parties, and corporate gigs, Soren also performs with the local Celtic band, Callanish. 

Kim Nolan

KIM NOLAN

Vocal &    Piano

Kim Nolan received her Masters Degree in Opera Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York after completing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Connecticut State University. Kim participated in the Spoleto Arts Symposium's Solo Performances & Masterclasses in Spoleto, Italy in addition to Summer Vocal Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara CA. Kim has taught classes and lessons in rock, pop, blues, jazz,    recording studio, jazz ensemble and vocal performance. 

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ZAKKARY HALE

Guitar, Vocal  &  Rock Performance Program Director

Zakkary   has   served as Rock Music Director for music   schools in Salt Lake City  and Seattle for the last 12 years. Zakkary is the founding member of the  Progressive Alternative band “MELODRAMUS”(3 full length albums) and has  composed & recorded music for television (“King’s Of Crash”) and worked with artists such as   Matt Winegar, Adrian Gurvitz, Vinnie Colaiuta, Vendetta Red and Derek Sherinian.    Zakk's current projects are “Zakkary Hale’s Fire Garden” and “MELO”.

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HANNAH-THOMAS HOLLANDS

Cello

Hannah Thomas-Hollands has been a professional cellist since 2007 and has held positions with the Utah Symphony as well as the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Waco. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Master’s degree from Southern Methodist University. Hannah enjoys a versatile performing and teaching career, featured regularly in solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and masterclasses around the United States."

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SARAH LITTLE DRUM

Program Coordinator: Vocal, Guitar & Ukulele

A self-taught singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Sarah is a music industry professional with 6 years of live performance experience. With 10 years of songwriting and 5 years of studio recording experience, Sarah is a published artist with a catalogue of over 70 songs. Stylistically, she is best known for her vocal range, which allows her to move between genres easily. On a mission to inspire and educate the local community, Sarah is a solo-artist as well as a member of four SLC bands.

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GEORGI PETROV

Guitar, Music Production

Bulgarian-born Georgi Petrov  is a masters-level eclectic guitarist, session musician and    leader on the New Orleans music scene who  move to Salt Lake City in 2020.  Georgi toured the US, Canada and Europe with Maggie Koerner, Taylor Smith and the Roamin' Jasmine, Panorama Jazz Band and Brad Webb’s Making Faces. Georgi's 2011    debut solo album, Lost Originals was followed by his jazz suite, The Physics of Sorrow was followed by  Georgi's 2019 release, Alien of Extraordinary Abilities.  Georgi is in    the process of recording a solo guitar album.  

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CARTER POCHYNOK

Drums & Percussion

Carter has studied and played frum since age 2.   Carter has performed for the BMI Snowball as part of Paul Cantelon and Angela McCluskey's band and has taught drums since he was in high school. Carter has coached theater actors in preparation for roles at STARS talent studio in Lehi, UT and as a band and orchestra teacher for the Granite School District's elementary school programs run through Riverton Music. 

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JORDAN SAUCIER

Guitar,  Electronic  Music & Production

Jordan Saucier is a guitarist, producer, and educator holding a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Music  and a Master of Music in Music Technology.  Jordan works with area bands,  producing bands, teaching private lessons, session work, and more.  Some of Jordan's more notable musical projects include No Limits (national act party band), Jake & The Heist (Utah local original band), his own solo EDM project SAUCI and many, many other groups and artists.

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CHRIS SHEMWELL

Drums, Electronic  Music & Production

Chris is a drummer, producer, and visual artist born in Salt Lake. He received his Bachelor's of Music from Berklee School of Music in Electronic Production & Design. Since graduating, he hopes to give back to the music community, produce local artists, and to advance the art of rhythm and music technology.

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BOB SMITH

Drums

 Bob cannot remember the time in his life that he was not drumming. He has performed, recorded, and taught throughout his entire life.    Bob considers himself extremely fortunate to have played with many of the very most talented musicians, and continues to do so to this day. Yet, he still looks at himself as a student of the craft and works hard at keeping at the top of his game. And is happy to share everything he knows with all.

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TYLER WEBB

Trumpet

Tyler is a trumpeter, pianist, and composer who found early recognition as  a semi-finalist for the National Trumpet Competition at age 14 and went on to be a soloist in the Jazz Band of America, and has performed  six Europe, Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, and all across the United States, reaching Carnegie Hall at the age of 16. He has performed and recorded with Jeff Coffin, Randy Brecker, Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Felix Pastorius, Wayne Bergeron, Poncho Sanchez, and more. Tyler shares the joy of music through performing and teaching.

Aidan Woodward

AIDAN  WOODWARD

Bass (acoustic and electric)

Aidan Woodward is an active jazz, bluegrass, rock, pop and funk bassist who received his degree from the jazz program at Snow College.

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DERREK WRIGHT

Guitar

Derrek studied Jazz at the University of Utah and Rock and Blues at San Francisco's Blue Bear School of Music. Since then he has paid his dues on many stages with stints in the clubs of Austin, San Francisco, Portland, and Salt Lake. His recorded catalog includes work as a side man with groups including Tony Mason & The Jonz, PurdyMouth & The Salty Frogs as well as his first solo album LionFish "Swimming Upstream" produced by Mark Towner Williams (son of John Williams). He is currently in the studio recording his next release "And so it goes . . ." Derrek has a passion for unlocking the mysteries of the guitar for younger students.

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NICK ZUNKOWSKI

Saxophone

Nick Zunkowski is a Saxophonist and Guitarist who earned his undergraduate degree in Commercial Music from Snow College. At Snow College, Nick studied with renowned saxophonists such as Patrick Cornelius and Chase Baird, since then Nick has been an active performer in the Utah music scene.