For the past 28 years Tom Phillips has lead the Epic Progressive Metal band While Heaven Wept (which he formed in 1989 with ROAM instructor Chris Galvan) through a series of critically-acclaimed albums that have been released on 4 continents through a variety of international record labels - most recently via the world’s premiere independent Heavy Metal label, Nuclear Blast Records/Warner Bros based in Germany. While Heaven Wept have toured extensively throughout Europe as well as the United States and have headlined several well- renowned festivals in both regions. A multi-instrumentalist, Tom has also performed or recorded with the likes of Walpyrgus, Twisted Tower Dire, Solstice (UK), Brave, Arise From Thorns, and Grey Division Blue (amongst others) during this time. His exposure to a vast array of music after nearly a decade of working at the famous Tower Records, work with record companies behind the scenes, as well as extensive studies with a variety of teachers has resulted in a very diverse musical palette that extends well beyond his Metal pedigree; his collegiate studies focused upon Classical Music composition and Music Theory - thus, combining real world experience with traditional instruction methods, he offers an all-encompassing curriculum that caters to the individual versus a standardized methodology. With over 25 years of private instruction experience behind him - totaling more than 400 students to date - and counting - he brings to ROAM far more than guitar and bass guitar instruction alone. His three-prong approach focusing on proper technique, emphasis on theory, and ear training has yielded several examples of students who have later gone on to have successful bands or teaching careers of their own. Additionally, his extensive experience working in professional recording studios for more than half of his life brings with it even more insight for the aspiring musician!
Mark Deffenbaugh is an innovative, and provocative Jazz Artist and Educator. As a keyboardist, composer, and producer he has turned the heads of many of the most talented and famous personalities in Jazz, Rock, Hip Hop, and R&B. Mark started his career early, playing gigs, in the Washington D.C. area, starting at the age of sixteen. Within a few short years he had numerous live and television performances to his credit. While attending The Berklee College of Music, Mark studied with, Jazz Great Gary Burton. Gary took Mark under his wing, and became an important figure in Mark's life. Through this relationship Mark developed relationships with such names, as McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Peter Eirskin, John Schofield, Carla Bley, Makoto Ozone, Steve Swallow.and others. Mark Returned to the Washington D.C. area after an injury to his hands. He spent many years rebuilding his chops, and working as a studio engineer, and producer. Mark has composed hundreds of pieces of music, including a Sonata for Vibraphone, and Guitar, numerous pieces for the various world famous acts, and groups that he has worked with over the years He has also been responsible for lyrics, and arrangements for live shows, and recordings that have included the most recognizable names in the popular music world. Mark served as the Musical Director of The Ben E King Stand By Me Foundation for five years. His list of performance, credits include, Ben K King, The O'jays,Baby Washington,Loyd Price,Gary USBonds,Chuck Jackson, Bill Pinkney (The Origional Drifters),Little Anthony, and The Imperials,Bobby Bennett, The Spinners Fay Hauser-Price Clifton Davis, Don Gardner, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Louis Price (Former lead singer The Drifters/Temptations) Beverly Crosby, Mavis Staples, Richard Roundtree (Shaft), Speedo and Cadillacs, Peabo Bryson, Shirley Alson Reeves (Shirelles), Charley Thomas (Drifters), Martha Reeves (formerly of the Vandellas), Freda Payne, Gerald Alston (Manhattans), Blue Lovette (Manhattans), Chuck Barksdale (Dells), Vern Allison (Dells), Dennis Edwards (formerly of the Temptations), Harvey Fuqua (Moonglows), Maxine Brown. Mark is currently producing, new music for a solo project, and has founded the experimental Jazz group Kaos Theory. He is also the CEO of DreamLand Records, an independent record label dedicated to Jazz, and Electronic Music, located in the Washington D.C. area.