The Rockvale Band is proud to work with many high-quality local teachers for each instrument. We are able to offer lessons before, during, or after school to a select number of students. Many students also prefer to meet with their lessons teacher outside of school. To enroll a student in lessons, fill out the form below or contact the lesson teacher directly.
Rebecca Murphy is a long time conductor, performer and teacher. She received her Bachelors of Music degree in flute performance from Louisiana State University and her Master in Arts degree in flute performance from Middle Tennessee State University. Ms. Murphy is currently an adjunct professor in the music department at MTSU. She is also the visiting professor of flute at the University of the South at Sewanee. Besides teaching at the university level she has a thriving flute studio from all over central Tennessee. Her students regularly place high in the MTSBOA Mid-State and All-State auditions. Ms. Murphy has been teaching for over 35 years from Louisiana to Texas and now in Tennessee. She has played with many orchestras in those regions and has participated in master classes with these notable flute professionals: Jean Pierre Rampal, Mary Stopler, Nestor Torres, Rhonda Larson, Sergio Pallotelli and Kate Lucas. Ms. Murphy serves as the current president of the Mid South Flute Society.
Ms. Murphy loves to perform and teach.
“It is the highest honor to watch a student grow through lessons. I have had the privilege to watch many students arrive into adulthood as accomplished musicians and human beings.”
Jen Zimmerer is an active teacher, performer, and clinician in the greater Nashville, TN area. Her extensive studio boasts regional and All-State ensemble participants, high honors at solo/ensemble festivals, and scholarships to top institutions in Tennessee and beyond. Mrs. Zimmerer blogs regularly about clarinet pedagogy and private teaching practices and has been featured on the International Clarinet Association blog.
Jen Zimmerer holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Towson University and a Master's Degree in Clarinet Performance from The Florida State University. Her principal teachers include Frank Kowalsky and Marguerite Levin. Mrs. Zimmerer resides in Nashville with her husband Frank, a high school band director, and their cats.
Dan Hitchcock is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator originally from Columbus, Ohio. Dan received a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2016. Dan is active in the Nashville music scene as a performer and session player in a wide variety of genres.
In 2019, Dan was selected by world renowned saxophonists Ben Wendell, Melissa Aldana, and Marcus Strickland as one of eight finalists for the international Michael Brecker saxophone competition. In 2020, he was awarded first place in the North America Saxophone Alliance collegiate jazz competition, and in 2021, he won the audition for the saxophone vacancy in the prestigious US Air Force Airmen of Note.
As an educator, Dan began teaching saxophone at the college level at the age of 26 at East Tennessee State University, and he maintains his own private studio of devoted students.
Born in Venezuela, raised in Illinois, and trained in Boston, Nashville composer and bassist Chris Mondak already has amassed vast experience in music.
Chris studied at the renowned New England Conservatory (B.M., 2020), working with bass legends Cecil McBee and Dave Holland. Prior to that, Chris trained with Larry Gray, and he was active in the Champaign Central HS music program, where he was a three-time Illinois all-state musician, receiving commendations from Essentially Ellington, Music for All, the Brubeck Institute, YoungArts, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Chris has played with Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Douglas, Wayne Escoffery, Melanie Charles, Shelly Berg, Marvin Stamm, Jesus Molina, Jeff Hamilton, and Matt Savage. With an aggressive bass style reminiscent of Mingus, Chris has toured in the U.S., and has played in Australia, Mexico and Panama, and toured twice in China. Chris has performed at venues such as Birdland, Bop Stop, Jazz at Lincoln Center-Shanghai, Carnegie Hall, Rudy's, and Breezy's.
Born and raised in Nashville TN, Nashville native Holly Smith is an active educator and performer in the Middle Tennessee area.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Horn Performance from Middle Tennessee State University studying with Angela DeBoer.
Holly has played with several orchestras in the region as well as participating in master classes with notable Hornists such as Gail Williams.
Holly also enjoys chamber music and working collaboratively with local artists and composers. She has been featured in several albums, including a progressive rock opera.
When Holly is not tooting the horn, she enjoys the great outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying life with her cat, Loki.
Ben has been studying music and trumpet since 2010. Ben has been a member of the Honor Orchestra of America located in Indianapolis, Indiana and attended the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan where he performed in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and studied with world renowned trumpeters such as Vince DiMartino, John Aley, Tom Drake, Mike Davison, and many more.
As a professional musician Ben has performed multiple times at the National Trumpet Competition, Great American Brass Band Festival, as well as recorded music in a variety of capacities including Netflix TV shows, animes, and several private recording sessions. Ben is a current or past member of several professional ensembles and bands through out Tennessee including the 129th US Army Band in Nashville, Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, the Cumberland County Playhouse Pit Orchestra, General Jackson Show Boat Band, Beasley Court Big Band, 30 Vice, Party Feels, Face Value- A Tribute to Phil Collins, The Neal Morse Band, has been an addition to the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and many more!
Ben is an artist and representative for Patrick Mouthpieces, a world renowned mouthpiece company owned and developed by Nashville’s most sought after studio session trumpet player, Steve Patrick.
Ben has a passion for teaching music and sharing the gifts it has to offer our lives. Outside of music, Ben enjoys being with his friends, listening to podcasts, exercising in multiple capacities, and cooking delicious foods!
Dr. David Cyzak (*see-zak) is the Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music Industry at Middle Tennessee State University where he serves as the Coordinator of the Music Industry Program.
Before arriving at MTSU, Cyzak served on faculty at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Bradley University, Illinois College, and Illinois Central College. In addition to teaching private oboe lessons, his course offerings included Music Technology, Music Theory, Music History, and Woodwind Methods.
Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Cyzak received his Doctorate from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying with John Dee. His doctoral research explores the advanced vocal and instrumental techniques of Vinko Globokar's Oboe and English Horn works. He received a Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma from The Hartt School under the tutelage of Humbert Lucarelli and a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied with James Caldwell, Robert Walters, and Alex Klein.
Katherine Aydelott is the Evening Circulation Assistant with James E. Walker Library at Middle Tennessee State University. Having lived the majority her life in Rutherford County, she remains an active private bassoon instructor in the area. Out of her studio, students are regularly accepted to honor ensembles and camps such as MTSBOA Mid-State, TMEA All-State, Governor’s School for the Arts, and more. Her background in education shines best through her private instruction, but even her experience teaching in the band room has met success through MTSBOA Concert Performance Assessment, TMEA State Concert Festival, and Solo and Ensemble. In 2021, she and her former colleagues at Fred J. Page Middle School were invited to present their professional development “Team Teaching in the Bandroom: Working Together to Sound Better” at the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference.
Ms. Aydelott holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a Master of Music degree in Musicology from Middle Tennessee State University. Her interest in information used as a tool for growth led her to library work. When not working, she enjoys reading, writing, and learning how to make new things!
Born and raised in the Detroit area, Keith Dudek began playing drums at age 11 in school band. By high school he was drumming in area rock bands, school jazz band and gigging with a wedding/polka band. Attending Grand Valley State University as a Music Education major, he played in the Big Band and studied under Rupert Kettle. Keith was honored to open up for the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1985. He did session work and live gigs with numerous bands in the area. To improve his drumset chops, he marched three seasons with Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps on Snare. They went on to win the 1988 DCI World Championship and toured Europe.
Pushing his career to the next level, Keith moved to Nashville, TN. It turned to be the right decision. He continues to drum at World Outreach Church and has done several clinics at the PAS TN Day of Percussion and also the 2017 PASIC convention in Indianapolis, IN. He has performed with Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery, Lee Greenwood, Collin Raye, Pam Tillis, Ty Herndon, Jamie O’Neal, Kevin Sharp, Rick Huckaby and Matt Stillwell. While performing with Pam Tillis, Keith traveled to Europe for the 3rd time and played music festivals there. He has performed several times on the Grand Ole Opry with Lee Greenwood.
Keith keeps a demanding tour schedule, performs clinics and teaches drumset camps.
TROMBONE & EUPHONIUM
Evan Clifton is an accomplished bass trombonist, reputable educator, and multifaceted musician based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an active educator in local schools and has performed in a variety of settings on many instruments, including recording sessions and symphony orchestras on tenor, bass, and contrabass trombones, euphonium, and tuba. Born and raised in Michigan, he has become a highly sought after bass trombonist throughout the country, performing with The Cleveland Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, and Grand Rapids Symphony, among others. Additionally, he is a tenured member of the West Michigan Symphony and a former member of the Lansing and Battle Creek Symphonies.
Clifton completed a Bachelor of Music degree at Western Michigan University and a Master of Music degree at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. His teachers have included Randy Hawes, Jan Kagarice, Ava Ordman, and Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger. He is a performing artist and clinician for Edwards Instrument Company and Denis Wick, performing exclusively on Edwards trombones and Denis Wick mouthpieces and mutes.
Gavyn Frankenfield received a bachelor degree of music with an education specialization from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. While at West Chester, Gavyn was principle tubist of the Wind Symphony, and later the Wind Ensemble. Gavyn studied with Dr. Jonathan Fowler at West Chester.
Since graduation Gavyn has since begun a masters degree in music performance at Middle Tennessee State University. At Middle Tennessee, Gavyn is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the band and low brass areas. Gavyn has been fortunate enough to have been entrusted to lead the MTSU Basketball Band during regular and postseason games. Gavyn currently studies with Dr. Christopher Combest.