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.
Staff & Music Teachers
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!
Sarah Mitchener, Assistant Director, is a pianist, flutist, and vocalist hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. She received her Masters in Music from Northwestern University (Go Cats!) and her Bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Go Pickles!). She has performed solo and in orchestras across the United States and numerous cities in Germany and the Czech Republic. From 2017-2018, she served as the Director of the Cross the Line Project, an organization that brings classical music to nonconventional concert venues across North Carolina. Sarah is passionate about empowering her students through music and finding ways to make music of all genres accessible and relevant to her students. When she’s not teaching or performing, Sarah enjoys cooking, baking, running, and hanging out with her golden retriever Daisy.
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 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.
Jack Q. started out on the guitar at 14, with a primary interest in classic rock music. Growing up in Glenview, Illinois, he attended Glenbrook South where he became heavily involved in the school jazz ensemble, playing guitar, and marching band, playing the bass, as well as occasionally lending his skills to the choir department and many Variety Show acts. Through the school's jazz program, Jack has had the opportunity to perform at legendary jazz venues in Chicago like Andy's and the Jazz Showcase. Since then, he has become proficient in many styles, such as rock, blues, and funk, and now focuses primarily on jazz and fusion with his trio group that has yet to be named. He hopes to release his projects with his groups in the near future, so that he can share his passion for music with those around him and help expand people's perception of what music can be. Jack wants to help his students be the best musicians they can be and bring out their creative potential!
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.
Johnny B. grew up in Northbrook and has 9 years of experience DJing and producing in Ableton Live. Trying many different instruments when he was younger, Johnny has had a passion for music for a long time, but began to use Ableton Live when enrolled in an elective course while in high school. As an avid fan of electronic dance music and hip-hop, he quickly found a passion for producing the same type of music he loved to listen to. He’s continued to produce his own music and music for other artists ever since then and is currently still attending college in order to continue his music studies. Johnny is excited to help bring students at B2R the same excitement he felt when he was first starting his journey into DJing and Music Production.
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!
Melissa H. is a guitarist, mix engineer, and producer with a background of many genres. She found her love for music at age 9, when she picked up the guitar. During high school, she played guitar in the jazz band and was a percussionist in both the symphonic band and marching band. Her constant guitar practice led her to win the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award during her senior year. After high school, Melissa went on to learn audio engineering and sound production at Valencia College. Originally from Orlando, Florida, Melissa played with many local bands all throughout the city with musical styles ranging from experimental hip hop to pop punk and metal bands. Now she is a freelance recording/mix engineer as well as a music instructor. Melissa hopes to pass down the passion and love for music to the younger generation.
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. 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. 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 Bach to Rock!
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.
Sophia N. started touring North America in 2015, having to graduate her DC-suburb high school early to do so, under the name Cold Beaches. After releasing several albums and EPs in Richmond, VA and touring the continent extensively, Sophia Nadia relocated to Chicago where she continued to write, arrange, record, and perform- further developing her musicianship. Her formal studies in Music Theory and Classical Music Arrangement combined with her years of music business and performance has given her a well-rounded knowledge of not only instrumentation but also the industry as a whole. She hopes to inspire her students to love music on the many instruments that she teaches!
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.
- 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.