GUITAR INSTRUCTORS

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CONNOR TERRONES

Piano | Guitar | Bass | Voice | Ukulele 

Connor Terrones is a Denver-based music teacher, performer, songwriter and producer. He grew up in Colorado Springs and fell in love with the guitar as a teenager when he discovered rock music. Connor attended the University of Northern Colorado to obtain a Bachelor’s in Music Performance in Jazz Studies. Since graduating from UNC in 2016, he has taught many students of various ages and experience levels and performed extensively inside and outside of Colorado.

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DR. MICHAEL HARRISON

Guitar | Bass 

Dr. Mike Harrison is a guitarist, recording artist, and music instructor. Hven University, a Master's degree in music from the University of Florida, and a PhD in education from Northcentral University. Mike has instructed students of all experience levels in an array of different styles including rock, heavy metal, classical, and blues. As a recording artist, Mike has performed with a number of world-renowned musicians including Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake, Angus Clark and Zak Stevens of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Joe Stump of Berkeley, and Michael Angelo Batio. As well as being an endorsed artist with Bungo Guitars and Dimarzio guitar pickups, Mike was the first American guitarist to be endorsed by Kingdom Guitars of the United Kingdom and represented that brand from 2016 to 2018. 

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GRAHAM RENDELL

Guitar | Bass | Ukulele

Graham Rendell is a guitarist and bass player of 14 years, having played with bands and projects for a decade and teaching for the past 5, his passion for guitar has only increased as time goes by. His goal for his students is to create a lifelong bond with their instrument and to bring knowledge of music by learning the student's favorite songs. Some of his favorite styles include: Rock, Jam Bands, Funk, Neo Soul, Pop, Bluegrass, and more! He is always excited to learn new music and embrace whatever the student is trying to play.

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TIM GIRARD

Drums | Guitar | Piano

Tim Girard received a BM in Composition from the University of Rhode Island in 2001, and between 2001 and 2011 he did a variety of teaching, performing, and composing. He taught private lessons on snare drum, drum set, percussion, music theory, and composition as well as beginning piano, guitar, and bass guitar at More Than Music and The Purple Piano, and he was the Classical Percussion Instructor at the Community College of Rhode Island. For two seasons he was the Drumline Instructor for the Franklin High School Marching Band, and for 10 seasons he was the Drumline Instructor for the URI Ram Marching Band. As a percussionist he performed with the Thayer Symphony Orchestra, Atlantic Wind Symphony, Southeastern Massachusetts Wind Symphony, The American Band, Milford Concert Band, Symphony Pro Musica, Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra, Brown Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble, and Wheaton College Wind Ensemble. He also played drum set for musicals at the Prout School, Johnson and Wales University, and Franklin High School. He was also commissioned to compose music for the Woonsocket High School Concert Band, the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, the Ocean State Youth Orchestra, the Ocean State Music Collaborative, and the URI Concert Band.

 

In 2011 Tim moved to Colorado to attend the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Music Theory II, Aural Skills II, and Orchestration until he received his M.M. in Composition in 2013. Since graduating he has kept himself busy teaching and composing. He has been tutoring college students in Music Theory, Aural Skills, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Music Technology, and for one season he was the Drumline Instructor for the Castle View High School Marching Band. For two seasons, he was the Composer for Opera Colorado’s Page to Stage program, and he has had numerous orchestral works performed at the Lamont Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Concerts. He has also collaborated with local directors and has composed the music to various podcasts, video games, and short films, including LEGO stop-motion animated films, and the trailer for a Star Wars fan film.

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NATALIE GALEY*

Voice | Piano | Guitar | Littletunes | Group Piano | Group Voice

Natalie Galey is a vocalist, guitarist, pianist and educator based in Denver, Colorado. She has performed and collaborated with numerous top-name performers and ensembles, including New York Voices founding members Peter Eldridge and Darmon Meader, and studied with jazz heavy-weights Theo Bleckmann, Dave Liebman, and Jim McNeely. She has performed in both the Chicago and New York jazz and pop scene, in venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field. She uses her background in jazz, blues, and rock to bring creativity and spontaneity into her classes and believes that music should be fun first and foremost. She carries her love of music into the classroom, and encourages play, growth, and creative exploration with every song, and strives to build community and friendships through song.

 

Natalie has an equal passion for educating and performing. She received her Master of Music in Jazz Performance degree in 2011 and her Master of Music Education at Columbia University in 2013. She has had the opportunity to study under Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato, Rodney Whitaker, and Sunny Wilkinson. Natalie was raised in a rich musical environment, playing guitar, piano, singing, and songwriting from an early age. Her compositions are an eclectic fusion of jazz, blues, rock, and soul. As a singer of wide-ranging styles, she has established a reputation as a flexible and talented soloist, as well as a creative and reflective educator. She relocated to the Denver area and joined the Pirisen family in July 2019.

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CHRISTOPHER GANDARA

Guitar

Christopher Gandara was born in Los Angeles, California and as the second youngest of nine siblings, remembers being surrounded by family and music at a very young age. Whether it was hard rock, traditional Mexican music, classical records, or jazz, he connected immediately with the rhythms of the music. At the age of 13, he began his formal training on guitar and music theory. He learned from four different teachers in the Denver area until finally being taken under the wing of flamenco master, John McCoy of Parker. From there, Chris became fascinated with classical music and began learning finger style techniques through Bach, South American Waltz, and Tango music. Chris then attended Metropolitan State College where he studied tonal music composition and the Berklee Methods of harmony and arranging. 

 

Through studying jazz theory books, listening to a steady diet of harmonically sophisticated music, and picking the brains of accomplished local and online musicians, Chris began to piece together a comprehensive model of chord-scale theory. He currently composes, arranges, produces and improvises music with his modal jazz combo as well as various other musical outlets. 

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AIDAN PAGNANI

Guitar | Bass | Group Guitar

Raised by a family of Deadheads and music-lovers, Aidan Pagnani was born and raised in Connecticut. By the time he graduated high school in 2009, Aidan had performed weddings, plays, churches, parties, and venues throughout New England as a solo act and with numerous bands. While completing his degree at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Aidan performed with artists like Robert Randolph and revamped a high school fusion/jamband project, Freddy & the Yetis, into an original music project arranged for a rock quintet accompanied by five strings and horns.

 

Aidan then spent the next four years in Boston studying with a professor at Berklee College of Music, teaching music, and performing with various groups in the jam, funk, and rock scenes. In February 2018, Aidan moved to Denver, Colorado where he can be seen performing regularly with members of The Motet, John Brown's Body, Dopapod, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and many other Colorado legends. His instrumental cover band, the Aidan Pagnani Band, can be seen playing weekly in the Denver/Boulder area.

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ALEX NEWTON

Guitar | Bass | Piano

Alex Newton teaches guitar, bass, and piano. He began studying and playing the guitar at 10 years old. Alex received his Bachelor's of Science with an emphasis in Jazz from the University of Colorado at Denver. Alex has performed all around Colorado with multiple bands, including headlining Denver's Jazz at the park with his band Emma Mayes and the Hip. His teaching goal is to show each student that music is fun and should hold an important part in their lives above all else. When not teaching, Alex enjoys recording music at home, reading, and getting out for a good hike in the beautiful Colorado wilderness!

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ALEX TRUJILLO

Guitar | Piano | Ukulele

Alex Trujillo teaches acoustic/electric guitar, electric bass, ukulele and beginning piano. He began playing in his teens and has been playing the guitar for 20+ years. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Music from the University of Colorado. With over 12 years of experience as a professional musician, Alex has toured and performed throughout the US. He can teach a variety of musical styles including rock, pop, jazz, country and blues. Whether you're a beginner or advanced, Alex strives to help each student discover the joy in music! When not teaching, Alex keeps a busy performance schedule with a myriad of musicians and bands throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Alex also likes road trips, reading westerns and jogging in the park.

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BRANT WILLIAMS

Guitar | Piano | Ukulele

Guitarist, pianist and composer Brant Williams (b. 1988, Webster City, IA) graduated from Iowa State University in spring 2011, earning a B.A. in psychology. Williams has studied jazz and composition with John Albaugh (Guitar Institute in Hollywood), Dan Schwindt (Denver University) and Fareed Haque (University of Chicago) as well as taken private lessons with Dweezil Zappa (Zappa Plays Zappa), Mark Lettieri (Snarky Puppy) and Chris McQueen (Snarky Puppy). Since 2009, Brant has been teaching Jazz and Rock to students of all ages throughout multiple states, and has played many styles -- including Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Punk, Classical -- professionally for almost 10 years, touring nationally and also taking the stage at local Colorado venues such as The Ogden Theatre, The Gothic Theatre, The Fox Theatre as well as performing in several festivals like Wakarusa (AK), 80/35 (IA) and the Bella concert series (MN). Brant is currently crafting new music in several groups: notably all star funk group Judo Chop and the nationally touring rock/fusion group The Workshy.

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TREVOR JARGON

Bass | Guitar | Piano | Ukulele

Shaped and sculpted by the arts, Trevor, AKA Beom graduated from CU Boulder’s Thompson Jazz Studies program in May of 2018. Since then, he has been playing freelance jazz gigs on the upright bass, and is currently active in 8 Denver bands playing a multitude of instruments.

These projects include: BEOM, Eleanor Nash and the Ramblers, Escotet, VCO, Gio Bard Zero, Paradiso, Love Beom, and The Dead and the Daylily.

Beom is a lucky soul who has had the unbelievable opportunity to perform pop, synth-pop, classical, jazz, bluegrass, country, funk, rock, hip-hop, reggae, latin styles, African styles, Korean folk music, world music, R&B, singer-songwriter, and folk among other styles.

When Trevor isn’t teaching or performing bass (upright, 6string, fretless), guitar, piano, synth, music theory and composition, he is often found in his recording studio producing local projects with his team of artists and engineers, training martial arts, or painting pretty pictures.

Although Beom speaks and reads Korean about the level of 5th grader (or worse), performing internationally and having music professors and teachers from all over the world has led him to believe that music itself is a beautiful language that transcends nationality and dialect. He is more than happy to share and do what he can to help your musical journey blossom.

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*Denotes teachers that donate lessons for our Scholarship Program.