Alexandria native, John Patrick has surrounded himself in music his entire life. John, known to most as JP, joined his first band as a teen and by high school, along with a few friends, formed the band Virginia Coalition. “VACO”, as fans affectionately nicknamed the funk and go-go inspired rock and roll band, created a local buzz and in the spring of 1998 they released their debut album, The Colors of the Sound. Playing local venues and gaining momentum VACO released a second album, Townburg in 2000, helping the band to expand their following along the East Coast and into the Midwest. VACO started regularly selling out venues in D.C. and developed a strong fan base. The third album, Rock & Roll Party, was picked up for distribution upon its release in 2003 and reached Billboard’s Internet chart. VACO was known for an energizing live show, and through word of mouth, the band managed to sell over 60,000 records. VACO played 250 shows across the country in 2003, and the group won the Reader’s Choice Award for the best band in D.C. from The Washington Post, an honor they received again in 2004. An independent label released VACO’s fourth album, OK to GO, in 2004. OK to Go was produced by Matt Wallace (Maroon 5 and the Replacements). The band’s first live album, Live at the 9:30 Club was recorded at the D.C. venue on January 6, 2006 and released in stores that September. JP parted ways with VACO in 2007 and began teaching music full time. His passion for music and his first hand experience in the music industry inspired JP to open Rock of Ages Music Company in 2011. JP opened the doors of ROAM in hopes of motivating others to pursue their musical ambitions and to share his passion for music with the community he so loves.
For the past 27 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!
Ignacio Hernandez is a professional guitar player who has toured around the globe as a member of BANDA MAGDA (www.bandamagda.com), with performances in highly prestigious venues and festivals including Blue Note Japan and the UK's Womad Music Festival. He began playing as a teenager and quickly discovered a natural aptitude for the instrument. Ignacio went on to continue his studies formally, pursuing a degree in Jazz Composition and Arrangement. While an undergrad at Berklee College of Music, he received several awards for his outstanding contributions to the Jazz Composition department, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2008. Ignacio's lessons focus on each individual student according to their age and musical needs. With more than a decade of guitar teaching experience, he has developed a variety of different teaching styles that are effective for young children, adults, and everyone in between. He can teach students of any age or skill level, and shapes the curriculum based on the individual student. Lessons are stress-free yet structured, with high encouragement on regular practice and routine.
Deborah Smith is a professional musician and aspiring teacher. She has been playing the violin for 11 years studying with various musicians including NSO member Mr. Summers and Dr. Adams of George Mason University. She transferred from Northern Virginia community College to George Mason University's school of music as a rising senior. She has played with a variety of orchestras and chamber ensembles for the last 10 years including Youth Orchestras of Prince William County, The George Mason Symphony Orchestra, The Manassas Symphony, The Annandale Symphony, and The National Medical Music Orchestra. She has participated in assisting youth orchestras, chamber ensembles and choirs. She currently teaches violin, coaches an A cappella vocal ensemble, and directs a volunteer choir.
Garrett Clausen is a musician/producer living in Arlington. Born and raised in Alexandria, he grew up playing saxophone and excelled in jazz and classical music while maintaining a first chair throughout high school at TC Williams and district bands. He studied music theory throughout high school and while under saxophone instruction from Vaughn Ambrose, he self-taught himself piano, guitar, and bass which led him to start writing and producing music on his computer. He got into University of Miami’s Frost School of Music for saxophone and studied Music Engineering. He played bass in pop group, B.Miles, and various other school ensembles including a saxophone quartet and a laptop ensemble using synthesis and MIDI controllers to perform. He continued making his own productions ranging from electronic music and hip hop to winning an award for Best Film Score for short film, “Peintures Pour Louis”, at the Miami Canes Festival. He started playing bass for local DC band, Feelfree, in 2010 and since then has toured all along the East coast from Miami to Vermont, and playing festivals such as Floydfest and Bless the Woods. After school, he started teaching private lessons locally and has been watching his students with pride and awe, as they grow and develop their musical journey.
Adam Orlando was born in Arlington, VA and raised in Cheverly, MD. Early in life Adam fell in love with music. His father, originally from Ghana, introduced him to many different styles of music. By the end of high school Adam began to really get serious about drums and started playing in bands all over the region. Currently Adam tours with the band RDGLDGRN who have extensively toured throughout the US and Europe. He has played shows and festivals with various artists including, Outkast, Foo Fighters, 311, Ice Cube, The Offspring, Flaming Lips, The Strokes, and many more.