ST. PAUL GUITAR LESSONS
RICK STACK- DIRECTOR/Owner OF ST. PAUL SCHOOL OF MUSIC. ROCK, BLUES AND FUSION INSTRUCTOR
Available: 5:00-9:00 PM Monday-Thursday.
Rick Stack is a guitarist, guitar instructor, author, and owner of St. Paul School of Music. Rick's own music is a blend of Rock, Funk, and Jazz with influences from Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latin music. His book Secrets Of The Electric Guitarist will be available on Amazon early 2017. Rick has taught over 80,000 lessons, teaching an average of 50 students a week for over 30 years.
Rick incorporates a lesson plan that goes through 12 levels. The first level is for the absolute beginner, up to level 12 for the advanced student. Rick also welcomes customizing this plan based on the student's interests. One of Rick's favorite things to teach is rock, blues and fusion improvising. He also loves teaching classic rock.
A graduate of Musicians Institute, Los Angeles, CA. , Rick began playing the guitar at age 11, and was playing and teaching professionally by age 16. Rick has played over 3,000 gigs throughout parts of the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Cuba over the last 32 years for crowds up to 10,000 people.
DREW HURST- ROCK, METAL, CLASSICAL AND JAZZ/FUSION INSTRUCTOR
Available: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Drew is a guitarist, instructor, and composer based out of St. Paul, MN. He has been teaching and performing professionally since the age of 16. He currently performs in his own group, Arrhythmogen: an instrumental progressive-rock trio for which he serves as lead guitarist and primary composer. In addition, Drew is the lead guitarist for the touring stage productions, Power Balladz, Rock Sirenz, and Mudshark and often fills in on guitar duties for various rock, funk, country, and blues groups. Drew has played hundreds of gigs all across the country and abroad and carries this practical experience into his teaching approach.
Drew graduated Magna Cum Laude with his B.M. in Guitar Performance from McNally Smith College of Music and is currently finishing up his M.M. in Guitar Performance (also at McNally Smith). While most of his studies have been rooted in contemporary music, Drew has also studied classical guitar. He has taught hundreds of students of all ages and experience levels and has college classroom experience. In addition to guitar, Drew is experienced in teaching music theory, composition, and performance techniques in both private and group settings.
ROB CASTELLANO- ROCK, METAL, BLUES, FUNK AND BEGINNING ACOUSTIC GUITAR INSTRUCTOR
Available: Thursday evenings. Saturday afternoons.
Rob Castellano is a guitarist, songwriter and composer from Minneapolis, MN. Robert began playing the guitar at the age of 13 and started performing at 14. He has played with a variety of bands over the years, with genres ranging from Rock and Metal to Funk and Hip Hop.
Rob studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's of Music. During his time at Berklee he studied privately with Joe Rogers, David Fiuczynski, Don Lappin, and in labs with Scott Tarulli and Jim Peterson. He also played gigs throughout the Boston area and was involved in several different student organizations helping to enrich the student community.
Prior to studying at Berklee, Robert studied with St. Paul School of Music owner Rick Stack, in order to prepare for the audition and interview process. In addition to being an accomplished guitarist, he also sings and plays drums.
Chris Brantley -
Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Ukulele, and Banjo instructor
Available: Monday and Tuesday evening .
As an instructor of fretted instruments, Chris has more than 20 years of experience coaching students of all ages from beginning to advanced levels, and has progressed students through a variety of styles including pop, rock, blues, jazz, classical, finger style, open and alternate tunings, slide, and more. These styles are cemented with a basic foundation of technique, theory, fretboard note memorization, sight-reading, ear-training, improvisation, song analysis, and composition. While the perfect student would have a strong understanding of all of these, Chris understands each student learns differently and has different goals. He therefore infuses his teaching with fun, and his passion for music to appeal to a wide variety of musicians and easily discover what drives them as players. The ability to understand and connect with his students in this way has contributed to his strong student student retention. Under Chris’ guidance, some of these students have successfully auditioned for and enrolled in university music programs.
Beyond his career as a music educator, Chris is a very experienced professional musician. He has performed with national touring artists, a corporate event bands, and as a freelance musician playing electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass, ukulele, and banjo in a range of styles including rock, pop, blues, jazz, folk, and country.
Miguel Gonzalez- Rock, Metal, and Acoustic Guitar Instructor
Available: 6:00-9:00 Thursday evenings
Miguel Gonzalez was born on April 14, 1992 in Monterrey Mexico. He started playing guitar at the age of 7. At the age of 13 he joined the Classical Conservatory "Superior School of Music of Monterrey" where he studied Classical Guitar for 5 years. At the age of 18 he started a degree in Music Production and Engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. After 2 years, in 2012 he joined the University of Music of Monterrey where he pursued a degree in Music Composition for 2 years. In 2014 he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota to pursue a BM in Guitar Performance with a minor in Music Production at McNally Smith College of Music, where he earned the Honor Scholarship for his outstanding performance.
Has been the lead guitar player for bands like Death Still (Metal), Evil Dream (Power Metal) and InterAlia (Progressive Rock) as well as in his solo project MATTERIA. Has opened concerts for bands such as After The Burial, The Faceless, Reflections, Destroyer among others. In 2010 he started working at El Cielo Recording Studio, one of the most recognized recording studios in Latin America, where he assisted in sessions with artists like, Paulina Rubio, Celso Piña, Los Claxons, A Band of Bitches, Chetes, Espinoza Paz, Ximena Sariñana among others. Pursuing his life dream of touring the world with his music and making a living out of it Miguel is working on recording an album and performing as much as possible, making videos for his youtube channel and social media in hopes of reaching the most people possible to achieve that goal.
Christopher Olson - Jazz Guitar Instructor
Available: Monday evenings
More info coming soon!
Elgin Foster is a fingerstyle guitarist based out of the Twin Cities. Elgin has studied guitar with Jeff Loven, Greg Herzenach, Billy Mclaughlin, Dan Schwartz, Pat Donahue, Todd Duane, Paull Woell, Ben Abrahamson and Park Evans. Elgin currently incorporates fingerstyle, jazz, heavy metal, and blues into his original compositions, and in 2011 Elgin released his first full length CD titled Rough Cuts. Elgin can also be found on the New Folk Records compilation CD Strings Across The North Shore, Loud Folk Records Christmas album Emmanuel, and Tim Reede's compilation CD to promote Tim's guitars.
Elgin has performed fingerstyle acoustic guitar at house concerts, restaurants, wine tastings, bed and breakfasts, weddings and church services. He has shared the stage with some of the artists which continue to inspire him, including: Dean Magraw, Dan Schwartz, Steve Lehto, Greg Herriges. Ben Abrahamson and Sam Breckinridge.
Elgin was awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition from congresman John Kline, for his service to the community for benefit concerts to help the homeless, cancer victims, and programs for single moms.
Ethan Elseth- Fusion, Rock, and Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar Instructor
Available: 5:00-9:00 Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Ethan Elseth is a composer, arranger, guitarist, and pianist currently based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ethan actively performs in the Twin Cities music scene as both a guitarist and pianist in solo and ensemble settings. He performs freelance and as guitarist in the Adam Meckler Orchestra; one of the two groups which he performed with at the 2016 Twin-Cities Jazz Festival. Ethan’s playing is most influenced by his favorite modern jazz/fusion players Allan Holdsworth, Pat Metheny, Tom Quayle, and Adrien Moignard, but is still deeply rooted in his early Rock and Metal influences. As a composer and orchestrator, Ethan is most disciplined and inspired by his passion for the great composers of the late Romantic era onward, and the the film music of the Golden Age.
Ethan will graduate with a double bachelors degree in Guitar Performance and Instrumental Composition from McNally Smith College of Music in Spring 2017. Ethan has toured various parts of the country playing in two of McNally Smith’s Premier Ensembles; Fusion and Hot Club Jazz. Aside from his contemporary music studies in school, he has also studied privately with German classical guitarist Eva Beneke and Blues guitarist Greg Koch, as well as jazz composer/arranger Adi Yeshaya and film composer Sean McMahon.
Ethan is excited to be an instructor at the St. Paul School of Music and is a determined teacher who is versed in a variety of teaching styles designed to suit students of all ages and learning types.
Jeff Ray- Acoustic/Delta/Pre-war Blues and Slide Guitar
Available: Yearly clinics
MIKE HEDDING- BANJO AND MANDOLIN INSTRUCTOR
Available: Sunday afternoons.
Mike Hedding has been a staple of the Minnesota Bluegrass scene for the better part of a decade. He has played with the bands Blue Wolf, Sweet Grass, and The New North String Band, of which he recorded an album with. He currently plays with The High 48's, Sans Souci, and The Katey Bellville Band. His band Sweet Grass won the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association's Race For A Place band contest and came in 2nd in Rockygrass' esteemed band contest.
In 2014 Mike traveled to Nashville to do banjo work on No Grass Limit's all original project, which was produced and recorded by dobro ledgend Randy Kohrs at Slack Key Studios. His playing can be heard on the same tracks as Tim Crouch, Dustin Benson, and Randy Kohrs himself.
Mike is committed to building a positive relationship with each of his students. He strives to create a comfortable atmosphere where the lessons are designed to help the student achieve their objectives. He enjoys working with youth to adults, beginners to advanced. Mike is passionate about music and wants to help his students get inspired reach their musical goals, and most of all, have fun in the process.
Al Vorse- Rock, Funk, Blues and Jazz Bass instructor
Available: Monday evenings
Al Vorse has experience playing rock, metal, funk, R&B, jazz, fusion, country and folk music. He can also help students interested in making the switch from electric to upright/acoustic bass.
Al is a veteran bass player in the Twin Cities having logged gigs and recording sessions since 1995. A graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School he went on to study music at Normandale Community College in Bloomington and Allegheny College in Pittsburgh. He has also studied with such Twin Cities bassists as Chris Bates, Anthony Cox, Jim Anton and Ron Evaniuk.
He has toured/performed/recorded with Rebecca Leland (a country artist who opened for Gary Allan, Joe Diffy and Ty Herndon), Thomas Kivi (featured on 89.3 The Current's "The Local Show") Metabots (featured on 93X's "Loud and Local"), Sirens of Titan (Picked by Earl Root for the City Pages' "Pick To Click" issue), Art For Hunting and many others. He is currently playing in an original progressive rock band called Nostromo and a covers/private party band called Rokk Club. He also has performed as a solo artist at Jazz Central in Minneapolis.
Milena Petkovic- Classical Guitar Instructor
Milena Petkovic was born in Prizren, Serbia. She began playing classical guitar at the age of eleven. In 2011 she graduated from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Guitar Performance. During her studies she participated in numerous national and international music festivals and competitions. Among the awards Milena has received for her work are the second prize for guitar performance at the International Guitar Festival, Kyustendil, Bulgaria (2006), the first prize at Guitar Open Festival in Subotica, Serbia (2010), and the second prize at Naissus Guitar Festival in Niš, Serbia (2010).
In 2011 she continued her studies at Indiana University, and in 2014 she graduated with a Performer Diploma and Master’s degree in guitar performance at the Jacobs School of Music, under the guidance of Maestro Ernesto Bitetti. Milena often performs as a soloist and in various chamber ensembles – guitar duo, duo with flute, violin and clarinet. Besides Serbia, she played in Bulgaria, Hungary and Italy as well as in the US, Indiana and Minnesota.
Milena is currently in her final year of doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota, School of Music. Her teaching experience includes teaching beginner and advanced guitar classes and individual lessons for six years as a Teaching Assistant at Indiana University and University of Minnesota. She was also a Pre-College Guitar Instructor at the Jacobs School of Music for two years.