After touring and writing with his original folk/rock band, Swear and Shake, for the last 3 years, Tom sought a big change in his music career. After living in New York and Philadelphia, he finally has settled in Franklin, and LOVES IT! Having worked as General Manager of two other schools in his time up North, Tom is really excited to be working in a community with such dedication and talent!
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Cam is a professional guitar and bass instructor, new to the Nashville area. As an aspiring singer/songwriter, Cam attends Middle Tennessee State University as a commercial songwriting major. In addition, he is a fluent drummer, and vocalist. Well versed in blues, rock and roll, country, bluegrass, folk, and contemporary Christian. He started playing music in church at seven years old. He quickly grew to love Hendrix and Clapton and began to steep himself in classic rock material. At age 16 he began teaching lessons as a free-lance guitar teacher. He has been performing as a solo artist, both cover songs and originals, from age 15- present. His freshmen year at Catawba College in Salisbury NC, he landed one of the two lead guitar spots in the “Vernaculars Prime” ensemble. This was the “flag ship” popular music band assembled to tour the East coast as promotion for the popular music program. On this tour, our material was the entire Beatles Abbey Road album. He learned and mastered all of George Harrison’s licks throughout the album. The tour was capped off with the band performing the show at Hard Rock Cafe’ in Times Square New York. After the Abbey Road tour, the band performed music from Taking Back Sunday, Lynyrd Skynyrd, America, Earth Wind and Fire, The Jackson 5, ZZ Top, Kansas, and Prince’s entire Purple Rain album. In addition to “Vernaculars Prime”, Cam was in Catawba’s country band, bluegrass/ traditional country band, contemporary Christian band, R&B band, and an all girls band (but himself). In the Roots (Catawba bluegrass band), he had the opportunity to be the lead “flat-picker” beside of piano great, Jeff Little, who toured with Doc Watson for many years. Cam also worked as a live and studio musician for many artists on campus playing various genres and instruments. He has made his way to Nashville to form his own bands and acquire more gigs as a guitar side man and Nashville session player. Whether its Jimi Hendrix, Brad Paisley, Ross Valory, or Flea, Cam will teach you every lick and thump to put passion and soul into your playing.
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Bass / Guitar Instructor / Show Director
Bassist, guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, pianist, educator, and artist – these are only a few words that describe Amanda McCoy. Amanda is one of the most in demand musicians working in the Nashville music scene. If Amanda isn’t touring with one of many bands or artists, you will find her performing original material in Nashville, recording in the studio, teaching at the School of Rock, or getting messy with charcoal and paint.
Since stepping onto the scene in late 2009, Amanda has delivered a power packed punch to Nashville. In those four years, she has shared the stage with Tristen Smith, Kevin Skinner, George Jones, Clint Black, Jo Dee Messina, the Charlie Daniels Band, Little Big Town, Daisy Mallory, Neil McCoy, the Eli Young Band, Eden's Edge, Lorrie Morgan, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Edgar Winter, and Molly Hatchet.
Amanda has taught electric bass and guitar since 2001. Having received a BA in Music from Bethany College, she has studied extensively with Pandel Collaros, Victor Wooten, Regi Wooten, Kenny Aronoff, Steve Bailey, Frank Gambale, and Molly Pauken.
Currently, Amanda is touring and recording with her band The Hurt, world-renowned progressive rock band - Pavlov's Dog, Tristen Smith, Zasz, Pandel Collaros, Kevin Skinner, Colleen Orender, The Sheagles, and The Broadband among others. Her latest album, The Hurt , is now available - she chose to do a physical release of the album first, before releasing on iTunes. Previous releases are now available on iTunes - they include the Jade EP, and The Rain Barrel single.
Whether it’s touring, recording, writing, teaching, or being creative with pencils, brushes, and film – Amanda brings something special and unique to the table. With extraordinary creativity, drive, dedication, work ethic, and talent, Amanda McCoy is a force to be reckoned with.
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Keyboard / Guitar / Bass Instructor / Show Director
Steve Rossi brings many years of experience to the Franklin School of Rock as a seasoned performer. Steve has performed on stage with Rock legend and guitar virtuoso, Peter Frampton on his North American tours, as well as other well-known artists such as vocalist extraordinaire, Taylor Dayne; eighties rock legends, Cinderella (North American tours); 60’s rock & roll pioneer, Gary U.S. Bonds, and many other high profile bands and artists across several continents.
He has appeared on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Arsenio Hall Show and NBC’s “A 70s Celebration” with Taylor Dayne. Steve has also appeared with headliners “The Bee Gees” and other notable 70’s artists. Other appearances include Solid Gold with Gary U.S. Bonds and on MTV’s The Grind.
Steve’s album credits include Stevie Wonder, John Kay & Steppenwolf, and various other artists. He is an independent composer/producer of music for television & multimedia. Clients include ABC/Disney, A&E, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon Networks, and The Travel Channel, as well as various other corporate and independent clients. Steve scored 2 seasons of “Surprise by Design”, hit home improvement series on Discovery Channel and is currently composing and producing original, in-program music for “Good Morning America”
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Guitar Instructor / Show Director
Khristopher Miller was born and raised in California and began to play the guitar at age fifteen. Influenced by rock bands like Soundgarden, Alice and Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and many others, Khris became passionate to learn everything the guitar could teach him and grow to be an excellent, well-rounded musician. Khris is well versed in the genres of Jazz, Rock, Blues, Funk and Gospel, and has had the privilege of playing in many bands utilizing all these musical styles. Khris studied with many excellent Rock and Jazz guitar instructors in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, and went on to graduate from Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) where he studied under Jazz great Richie Hart (protégé George Benson) and Funk/Rock Guitarist Jim Peterson (who has toured and played with Najee, Lala Hathaway and many others). Khris’ passion for music has led he and his family to settle down here in “Music City.”
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Allison Bencar was born in Cleveland Ohio, a city steeped in rock and roll tradition. As a singer-songwriter and band member, Allison has performed numerous shows in the Cleveland area. She has recently moved to Nashville to further her career in music and performance art.
Allison first worked with the School of Rock in Cleveland under the watchful eye of seasoned musician and director of music, Tommy Rich. There, as a vocal coach, she discovered her passion of sharing the gift of vocal instruction with the next generation of performers, and looks forward to continuing that with the Franklin School of Rock!
Allison is a classically trained vocalist with a degree in Theater from Cleveland State University where she also studied music. Her exterior background in vocal performance began with lessons and plenty of time singing in the choir throughout high school and college. This training has enabled her to embark on personal journey through songwriting and performing. She hopes to help her students find their own voice and vocal confidence while learning how to keep it healthy and strong.
Before moving to Nashville Allison worked as an Actor/Teacher for The Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland Ohio which allowed her to tour schools as an actor, director and teacher of classic theater.
Allison's eclectic list of musical influences include Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Pat Benatar, Brandi Carlile, Radiohead and Patsy Cline to name a few. Allison is excited to bring her experiences and influence to the Franklin School of Rock, to inspire and educate the next generation of vocal performers in the subject that changed her life: Rock n Roll!
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Vocal Instructor (Fiddle)
This Scottish / Americana singer/songwriter/ fiddler/guitarist raised on Celtic roots, folk and country music, has been hailed by the London Times as the "Musical Heroine of the Y Generation." She first hit the American roots scene while performing with Pete Seeger in New York . Since that time, she has performed with the great Odetta, and with Ricky Skaggs, Jim Lauderdale, the Pogues & Shane McGowan, Oscar Brand, Ian Hunter, Josh White, Jr., David Amram, and Runrig. Her album Celticana (recorded in Nashville) has garnered rave reviews and strong airplay on both sides of the ocean and stayed for ten solid weeks on the Americana Top 40 Chart from May to July this year (unprecedented for a Scottish artist). In addition to Top 40 on Cashbox USA, her 911 Tribute "Commemoration" reached # 2 on the UK Indie Charts, while her recording of "Road To Paradise" with Shane MacGowan reached # 16. In 2009, Laura was a featured artist on the BBC-TV's Award winning Scotland's Music; and again on the12/31/09 New Year's Eve BBC-TV Special about Robert Burns and his song "Auld Lang Syne." Her composition, "Arbroath Suite" is played all over the world every year on Celtic radio Tartan Day programs, and is being expanded into a large symphonic piece for orchestras in collaboration with the famed composer and conductor David Amram. Meanwhile, her multi-cultural anthem recording of "One Scotland," which she has taught to Scottish children in schools throughout the country, is now being considered as her alternative Scottish national anthem. Continuing with humanitarian efforts, Laura has been honored with appointments as: UK Youth Ambassador to the September Concerts (formed with UNESCO, and with the support of Quincy Jones and Ravi Shankar to foster awareness and world peace through music concerts); Scottish Youth Ambassador of the Prince's Trust; and Youth Ambassador to the British Memorial Gardens in New York (commemorating the UK citizens lost in 9/11). Currently, Laura is based in Nashville and touring America promoting the Celticana album, in addition to writing new material in collaboration with some of Nashville's most successful tunesmiths. On April 7th, Laura and the Scottish Minister of Culture, Fiona Hyslop, co-hosted the Scottish Roots Celebration at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville , where she was joined on the performing stage by country music legends Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell, Jack Clement and John C. Cash, and later presented the Johnny Cash's family with the Scottish Heritage Award In July.
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Michael McManus is the drummer for Platinum-selling southern rock group Saving Abel. Previously, he was the drummer for 12 Stones, whose singer won a GRAMMY for his vocal performance on Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life." His drumming can be heard on many albums available worldwide and has worked with multiple GRAMMY award-winning artists and producers, including Skidd Mills, Paul Ebersold, Ben Grosse, etc. His studio career has taken him from Memphis and Nashville to Burbank, CA and his touring career has taken him all the way across the country to the far reaches of Japan and Guam to play for our United States military. Additionally, he has been published in the world's largest drumming magazines, DRUM! and Modern Drummer magazine and holds endorsements from some of the world's finest drum companies including DW, Sabian, Pro-Mark, Evans and MEElectronics.
McManus grew up and established his career in Memphis, TN, playing in various bands, recording at the finest studios, teaching drum lessons and obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Music Business/Percussion Performance at the University of Memphis. Last January, he moved to the very musical city of Nashville for more opportunities within his profession.
"I feel very passionate about The School of Rock and what they have to offer. I wish I had something like this when I was the students' age that will prepare them for a future in the music industry. Additionally, I am a product of and have established my career predominantly in the field of rock and therefore am honored to be teaching drums at this school and passing on the lessons I have learned during my career."
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