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Staff & Music Teachers

Doug Barr

Doug Barr is the Director at Bach to Rock Arlington Heights and Northbrook. As an Illinois native, he studied Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Euphonium Performance at Samford University, and Euphonium and Trombone Performance at the University of New Mexico. He has performed extensively, including the United States Army Band Conference, Drum Corps International Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Grand Ole Opry. Some of his favorite musical memories include touring Italy as a Euphonium Soloist and competing at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Doug is thrilled to help students of any age pursue their musical passions.

Victoria Gannon

Victoria Gannon, an Assistant Director, has been a musician for as long as she can remember. A recent graduate of Illinois State University, with a Bachelor of the Arts in Music. Her primary instrument is voice, but she also loves to play piano and has played the violin since preschool. She not only has experience performing in music ensembles, but also with directing choral ensembles and teaching private lessons to students of many ages. She hopes to inspire and encourage students to play and perform the music that they love!

Riley A.

Riley Allen, Assistant Director, has been practicing music for over 20 years, has achieved a degree in Contemporary Urban Pop and Songwriting from Columbia College Chicago, and performs in multiple bands as well as an electronic artist, composing for streaming channels and podcasts as well performing his own compositions. While Riley focuses on studying guitar, he also has engineering and production experience, having worked in Chicago based recording studios while studying at Columbia. From stage to studio, Riley is never too far from music.

Adam K.

Adam K. has been playing music since he started out on the violin at age 6. Adam played with the IMEA and MYA orchestras, as well as winning his high school concerto competition. When he turned 13, Adam bought himself a guitar and hasn’t put it down since. Adam loves to sing as well, taking voice lessons throughout high school and performing with bands and ensembles. At Washington University in St. Louis, Adam performed with the all-male acapella group, The Pikers. Adam teaches piano, violin, and guitar at Bach to Rock and is excited to share his passion for music with students!

Aidan S.-B. AKA BoatHous

Aidan S.-B. AKA BoatHouse started his journey in music in Minnesota at 15 years old after being introduced to Wu Tang Clan and MF DOOM. Quickly acquiring a taste for Hip Hop, Aidan bought two turntables and started teaching himself how to DJ and produce music. In 2011 he moved to Chicago and attended Columbia College for Audio Design. Since then, Aidan DJ'd at Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Festival, all over North America, Europe and most recently in Thailand. In 2014 he signed to Chicago Indie label Closed Sessions as an in-house producer and artist. He has released numerous solo and collaborative projects and singles as BoatHouse. At Bach To Rock, Aidan hopes to lend the knowledge and love that he has acquired for music to the next generation of DJs and producers.

Dylan B

Dylan B is a Chicago based guitarist, composer, songwriter, and producer whose eclectic involvement in a variety of genres sets him apart from the average musician. With an extensive background in everything from jazz, rock, funk, and blues, Dylan's has a diverse musical style, and embraces a mix of all the music that inspires him. While guitar is his primary instrument, he is proficient in basic piano and bass techniques. Having recently graduated from the Depaul University School of Music with a BA in Jazz Studies, Dylan has studied with some of Chicago’s best working jazz musicians such as Dennis Carroll, Mike Allemana, and Bob Palmieri. Dylan also studied under the tutelage of Dana Hall for two years as a part of the university’s Jazz Workshop, in addition to being involved in numerous combos. Outside of the jazz idiom, Dylan regularly writes, rehearses, records, and performs with his groups Jam City Collective and Safetrip.

Jake Girton

Jake G. is a professional musician, originally from Indiana. He loves to play all types of music and instruments. Guitar Hero inspired him to pick up the guitar at age 12, and he hasn't put it down since. When he joined his first band in high school, he knew he wanted make music his career. Jake has played and written music for a few bands since high school, including Mass Anthem, The Youthful Grey, and Surface Level. Jake graduated from Judson University with a degree in Music Business, which is where he learned all about the music industry. He now plays lead guitar and sings background vocals for his national touring band, Farhampton, and is excited to see what the local music scene holds for him!

Jesse W.

Jesse W. began his musical journey at the age of 5 when his father began teaching him Piano. Though he originally wanted to play trombone, his parents found a cheap used trumpet and his fate was forever set. He graduated from Ball State University with degrees in Classical Trumpet and Jazz Studies. During his time at Ball State Jesse led a well sought-after jazz combo, hosted a weekly jazz jam session, and performed as a featured soloist at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Jesse has traveled across the country performing with a world-class Drum and Bugle Corps and has traveled the world playing aboard cruise ships. He believes that the arts (especially music) are at the center positive social change, so he has dedicated his future to sharing his knowledge and experience with the next generation of aspiring musicians.

Katie B.

Katie B. has been surrounded by music her whole life. She started by learning piano and violin and continued exploring her love of music by learning the trumpet, french horn, and mellophone. Katie also loves to sing, and has participated in church and school choirs her entire life. She is an Illinois native who is currently studying Middle Grades Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With a passion for teaching and music, Katie is so excited to be a member of the B2R team.

Luke S.

Luke S. is a native of Northbrook, Illinois and was involved in band throughout middle school and high school. Over the course of his life he has learned to play over 7 different instruments, and currently focuses on the rock instruments, primarily guitar, piano, bass, drums, and voice. After spending some time away at the University of Iowa where he led a worship band for several years for a college ministry, he is now back in his hometown serving as a Young Life leader for GBN students helping lead music for them and also plays in bands at various churches. As a multi-instrumental music specialist at B2R, Luke loves to help people of all ages grow and develop their passion for music, and dance to the melody within them!

Michael P.

Michael P. started his journey in music at the age of three playing cello. By the age of seven he was playing piano and violin as his primary instruments while taking lessons at the Betty Haag Academy of Music. As a violinist, Michael toured with the academy to perform in Rome, Italy and the Czech Republic in Prague. He also has performed in numerous competitions and participated in the ILMEA All-State Honors orchestras as well as other ensembles and chamber groups such as the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Maud Powell String Quartet. Michael has taught private lessons to students of many ages and is very excited to continue teaching students at Bach to Rock!

Mitch D.

Mitch D. is a Chicago born bassist/guitarist/recording engineer with 9 years experience playing, and 4 years experience in recording. Studying Audio Arts & Acoustics at Columbia College Chicago, where he recorded both behind the board, and live in the studio. He also writes, sings, and plays bass in his Alternative Punk band Overclocked, who have played over 50 live shows around Chicagoland. Mitch has released music both as a solo artist and as part of a band, playing multiple instruments and engineering his own releases using his proficiency with the recording software ProTools.

Nikko G.

Nikko G. has been playing music since he started learning the piano in elementary school. He later picked up the cello and percussion in middle school. During he has performed with the Midwest Young Artist orchestra. When Nikko got to high school, he played drums and percussion in the orchestra, choir, and band programs including the award winning Wheeling High School Jazz Band. He has played with many artists such as Victor Garcia, Andrew Larence and Haley Reinhart. He's performed with the IMEA jazz band and performed at the Music for All National Festival. Currently, Nikko is studying music in college and is a member of the Harper Steel Band. Nikko regularly surrounds himself with music and looks forward to teaching students music at Back to Rock!

Sara S

Sara S, a native of Northbrook, first started learning about music at age 3 when she began taking piano lessons. Ever since then, her love for music has grown to include guitar, ukulele, and most of all voice. Having been an active participant in theatre growing up as well as a member of several choirs and A Capella groups, she was always surrounded by music. Sara has studied under several esteemed Chicago musicians, such as Bobbi Wilsyn, Typhanie Monique, and Derek Fawcett at Columbia College Chicago. Ever since she was 15 and started writing music, she knew that she wanted to make music her job and is overjoyed to have to opportunity to share her love and knowledge of music with all her students at Bach to Rock!

Shahzeb F.

Shahzeb F. was born in Chicago, and has a well versed musical background. Shahzeb started music as an extra curricular activity, playing the trumpet in middle school band. Throughout middle and high school, his passion for music grew, and he decided that music was the career path he wanted to pursue. His primary instruments are piano, guitar, and voice, which he has been studying for over five years. Shahzeb is currently studying at Columbia College Chicago, working on a bachelors in contemporary urban pop. Shahzeb's goal is to inspire young musicians and share how enlightening music can be.

Sophie H.

Sophie H. discovered music at the age of 4, singing folk music with her dad in an abandoned schoolhouse for a small community near Champaign Illinois. After taking piano lessons for 13 years, she went on to study film composing and piano performance at Columbia College where she had the privilege to study privately with Prince’s former piano player, Cassandra O'Neil. In her spare time, Sophie is an artist, a phlebotomist, and works in the commercial music industry putting music on Netflix and CNN. Sophie regularly performs and records around Chicago as a vocalist and piano player, while also enjoying saxophone and ukulele in her free time. She believes that no two students are alike and is excited to help her students on their journey to find their sound.

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.