MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
FOUNDER, OWNER & Drum Instructor
Born in New Hampton, Iowa, Ryan grew up as a trumpet player before discovering his love for rhythm and percussion. At age 18, he began playing professionally in the Midwest. His passion for drumming grew and eventually led him to Los Angeles, CA, where he attended Musician’s Institute. After graduation, Ryan worked as a studio drummer and performed live with multiple acts in the LA area. During this time Ryan also discovered his love of teaching music.
At age 25, Ryan began teaching music lessons full time at multiple lesson facilities. Then at age 28, along with two colleagues, Ryan created Pure Rock Studios located in Whittier, CA. The goal was to give students an opportunity to learn alongside working professionals and perform in a live-band setting. After 3 years and hundreds of students taught, Ryan decided it was time to take what he had learned, and head back to the Midwest.
Now 37, Ryan is the proud owner of Pure Rock Studios of Rochester, and is fast becoming one of the premier percussion instructors in the area. Ryan brings a unique combination of experience, patience, and passion when it comes to teaching drum lessons. Ryan can also be seen playing around the area with his band County Line Drive.
STUDIO MANAGER, Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, & Banjo Instrucor
Originally from Northfield MN, Drew graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music/Liberal Arts and a minor in Business Administration from Winona State University in December 2012. He has over a decade of live performance experience with his band Breakthrough™, as well as a few others.
His combined education and performance experience has taught him many lessons, including; instrument and musician roles in a modern band setting, group dynamics, the performance of various genres, learning new music quickly and accurately both by ear and through written music, building and memorizing a repertoire, how to recognize and adapt quickly to unexpected or unpredictable changes in the performance environment, and how to develop a personal playing style.
Drew believes that each of these traits is essential in fostering the growth of a well-rounded musician.
A 2004 graduate of Mayo High School, Blake holds a B.A. in Double Bass Performance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with an M.M. in Double Bass Performance pending. In addition to his formal classical training on Double Bass, he has also has over 15 years of experience on Electric Bass Guitar. He has been active as a Private Music teacher for over 10 years and has taught courses in Music Theory as a graduate instructor at the University of Minnesota.
Presently, he is active as a performer across a wide variety of musical styles. As an orchestral musician, he performs as a member of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, and the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. He also is a member of several local bands, covering styles including Acoustic Americana (Root River Jam), Country (County Line Drive), and Blues (Chaser Straight). In addition, he is an avid jazz musician with several years of experience playing locally and in the Twin Cities.
Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Ukelele Instructor
Josh is a guitar player, song-writer, and music enthusiast, who has quickly come to make music into a career. He has a diverse taste in music but has a soft spot for all genres of rock and metal. Josh is currently the lead guitarist of The 9th Planet Out, a local hard rock and metal band, and has years of stage experience. Along with guitar, he also has other instruments in his arsenal, such as bass, drums, piano, ukulele, and can also sing. This gives him a much stronger view point on the structures of music, and what brings it all together. He believes anyone can have fun making music and that there is nothing better than seeing music bring people together.
Drum, Piano, and Vocal Instrucotr
Noah received his bachelors of Science in music with a vocal emphasis at Crossroads College in Rochester Minnesota. In addition to his bachelor's, he has had eleven years of classical singing experience. One of these experiences included singing with the University of Northwestern College choir for a year and participating in their tour to the Baltics. Noah also sang in Eric Whitacre's first high school honors choir which sang at Orchestra Hall under Eric's direction. Noah has also had eight years of piano lessons and ten years of playing piano with the worship team at church. Noah lives in Rochester Minnesota with his wife and three daughters.
Over the past 15 years, Zac's drumming has entered the ears of thousands of listeners. He studied Jazz and Improvisation at Winona State University under the direction of Rich MacDonald and currently tours the Midwest and Southern United States with his band, The Heavy Set. Zac also performs with a variety of dance bands throughout the Driftless Area. His additional experience as both a live sound and studio engineer make him an expert in the subtleties of dynamic drumming.
Dylan began playing drums at the age of 8 and has been involved in a variety of projects since then. His project, Dystonia, released 2 EPs, 2 full length albums, and was featured on the Local Current before heading off to college. Currently, he is a member of 3 bands based in both Rochester and Nashville.
Dylan is currently attending Belmont University in Nashville, TN pursuing a degree in Music Business with an emphasis in Production. He is also the curator of ROCKchester, a teen music and arts festival which will be held at PRS this summer!
Piano, Guitar, Ukuele, and Vocal Instructor
Lisa studied classical piano for over 10 years throughout grade school, where she also picked up voice, guitar, and flute. She began writing and performing her own music at the age of 12 and continues to this day. She started out at the University of Minnesota Duluth as a Music Major, but eventually changed course to graduate with a degree in Writing Studies. Lisa loves a wide-range of music, and throughout the years she has performed everywhere from classical competitions to her own live performances at local venues.
Derek grew up in Mantorville, MN. In middle school he played trumpet and picked up the drums in 9th grade. Throughout high school he played in various bands eventually learning that he could sing so he picked up the guitar in order to write songs and front a band. He stayed active playing drums in church and jam bands with friends. Derek then attended Bethel University in St. Paul where he graduated with a Media Communications Degree and also began to take playing the drums seriously. He studied under Steve Goold earning his way into the jazz band his sophomore year. Currently Derek fronts the band the Jukes of Hazzard, a 70's rock/funk cover band, where he plays rhythm guitar and lead vocals. This has given him the skills to understand what it takes to front a band, to be a drummer, and how the two work together. He also plays drums for his local church and writes drum, guitar, and vocals for the band Leaving Neon.
Zachary has had 9 years of experience playing in several bands, jamming with others, and playing the drums in numerous musicals. He is currently expanding his knowledge of music by attending McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He is majoring in Music Business and minoring in Percussion Performance.
Zach has performed at the Mantorville Theater Company, Rochester Civic Theater, Honors Choir Musicals, St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theater, and with the Rochester Swing Street Jazz Band and Uptown Jazz. He is experienced in many styles of music--from the drum set to auxiliary percussion--such as rock, jazz, country, punk, funk, Afro-Cuban, latin, and even drumline music. His slogan is “The more we know about music, the more we can appreciate it.”
Raquel loved plunking the keys on her grandma’s old upright piano at a very young age, and with much encouragement to start lessons, she finally did at the age of 7. After 8 years of lessons it was time to start teaching. Raquel has 4 years of teaching experience under her belt!
Raquel had plenty of opportunities to learn about music since she was homeschooled all her life and graduated at the age of 16. Next, she is graduating with a Music Technology certificate from Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) in 2019, with knowledge of how to record in studios, run live lights, and make professional music videos. Then she will be going back to take more music classes and learn about music theory.
Her knowledge of live performance, thanks to Pure Rock Studios, has led her to be in bands and to play at Highpoint Church on the worship team. Performing on stage is no problem to her, and she feels like it’s a thrill of a lifetime! Raquel hopes to help everyone conquer their stage fright so they can experience and fall in love with live performance like she did.
Raquel works with all ages and experience levels, and enjoys sharing her love for music with everyone. She doesn’t teach in just one specific way, because she believes everyone learns differently and at different paces. Raquel will go above and beyond to answer your simple and difficult questions, no matter what.
Lucas Horvath began playing piano at the age of five. His musical taste and influence is nothing short of diverse. From classical, to rock, to pop, to R&B, even stemming to hip-hop. His musical sound comes mainly from 70's and 80's rock and pop like Michael Jackson, Parliament-Funkadelic, and the Beatles.
Lucas’s three main priorities are to: inspire people to learn an instrument, teach people how to play piano, and to support the local music scenes.
As a student, Lucas was allowed to partake in the annual MMTA (Minnesota Music Teacher's Association) Piano Contest; a contest where piano students from all over the state compete to play in an annual Honors Recital at the University of Minnesota. Lucas won that contest four times and played in all four Honors Concerts as a pianist. Lucas graduated from Mayo High School in 2013 and went on to pursue in music production and audio engineering at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis. He has served a number of clients while at college and has arranged a few songs for his repertoire."
Lucas was a teacher's assistant for a Music Theory course in college and has exceptional music theory knowledge. He has a positive vibe and a hard work ethic. He believes that hard work, practice, and dedication really do pay off. When you work with Lucas, you are guaranteed to have fun!
Piano, vocal, guitar and Ukuele Instructor
Music was a big part of Sara's family and childhood. She started with piano lessons at a young age, learning a variety of instruments throughout grade school, and always taking every chance she could get to sing. By the time she was in high school, she was taking private vocal lessons, playing the piano, leading children’s’ choirs at church, participating in multiple choirs herself, and learning to play the guitar on her own. She then attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. There, she continued with classical voice training and was a part of multiple touring choirs. Sara had the opportunity to sing all around the Midwest, including places like Orchestra Hall in the Twin Cities. Being a part of that musical community allowed her to grow as a musician and be inspired by other musicians.
In the past several years, Sara has found a passion in writing music. Music has allowed her to express herself and heal in ways that were never possible before. I began writing songs with friends and started to share music with more people. Eventually leading her to stages in Portland, Oregon, as well as here in Rochester, MN. Sara hopes to continue to share her love of music with many more people, and to teach the ways that music can transform us and connect us to one another.
Guitar, Bass Guitar Instructor
Jake is a Rochester native with a strong passion for music. The guitarist, bassist, and songwriter has been playing since he was 12 and has always had strong musical aspirations. He is currently the bassist in the Rochester rock band “The 9th Planet Out”. With large-crowd stage experience, and studio recording experience, Jake is eager to share and spread his love for music. He has studied music classes throughout college, and is currently enrolled at Winona State pursuing his bachelor’s degree. Jake has a strong love for all genres of music, but classic rock n roll is his forte. He is a firm believer that music is a universal language, and strives to spread his passion for music in a fun and exciting manner.
Born in El Paso, Texas. Alonzo began playing drums at the age of 8 at his fathers church in the southwest. He played trumpet and drums (jazz, marching, concert) throughout high school until he was given a scholarship to U of A (Arkansas) where he played one year on the razorbacks drumline. He then found a passion for producing and recording, he has played professionally with several artists like, Circleslide, Rojo (Emmanuel Espinoza), Twila Paris, Logos, MR3, the Allan Morriv Band. He has owned his recording studio for 11 years strong. Alonzo's focus at pure rock will be to instruct on drums and percussion and teaching the art of audio recording and producing.
Voice, Piano, Guitar and Ukulele Instructor
Emily, born and raised in Rochester, MN, has known music her entire life. She listened to the Cranberries before she was born, thanks to her mother, and fell asleep to Enya from birth. Emily spent hours as a child, dancing, singing, starting bands, writing songs, and putting on shows for her family.
She learned piano from her mother, and, in turn, on her own, before officially beginning lessons around the age of nine. After nearly two years of lessons, she transitioned to learning violin in middle school for the following three years. In high school, Emily took a hiatus from lessons but never quit playing music.
While at University, Emily fell back into the world of music. Her first three years were spent in Duluth, MN at The College of St. Scholastica. While studying at Scholastica, she began writing, again, brushed up her piano, learned the guitar, and studied privately with a voice instructor. Her final year was spent living and studying in London, England, Europe, and beyond. She continued to write, play, and sing while studying at Regent's University London, and, before setting foot on further travels around Europe, Emily picked up an ukulele and taught herself to play as she wandered.
Emily writes and plays music under her stage name, VILD, performing alone and often with a band. She has had the opportunity to play shows in Rochester, Minneapolis, Duluth, and Los Angeles, and records in town at Carpet Booth Studios.
'We are music,' and Emily looks forward to sharing the love for it with you!
Isaac grew up in Rochester, and is a proud alumnus of Pure Rock Studios where he studied both voice and guitar. Currently, he attends St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in vocal music. Along with his formal vocal training, Isaac has ten years of singing experience with the St. Olaf Viking Chorus and the Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota, where he served as an assistant conductor for one year and participated in their tour of Europe. Isaac has a wide range of performance experience including singing with his guitar at the Minnesota and Iowa state fairs, participating in school musicals, and performing at the Rochester Music Guild and other classical recitals. Isaac believes that being a musician positively impacts a person in every aspect of his or her life and hopes to demonstrate how music can be a force of healing and unity.
Patrick grew up in Plainview, MN and began playing guitar at the age of 16. He attended Studio Academy High School in Rochester where he graduated with honors in music. When Patrick was 18, he placed 2nd in the Minnesota State Fair performance competition playing “I’m Alright” by Neil Zaza. He also played guitar for six years for a variety of churches and performed with touring artist Brady Toops.
His music preferences range from advanced melodic neo-classical to simple punk. Patrick is a guitar player, main vocalist, and primary song writer for local indie band Under the Pavilion which has opened for Har Mar Superstar, Revenge Wedding and Color You and competed in My Town My Music’s Local Music Showdown.
He also has experience playing bass and building guitars and effects pedals.
Patrick has always believed that anyone can play music. They just need to approach it the right way.
Alex started his journey to the drums with taping on minnow buckets and banging on pots and pans, but that soon grew into a passion for music that would stay with him forever. So he started a band in 6th grade, and has been performing as much as he can ever since.
He went on to Iowa State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music, studying classical percussion under Dr. Matthew Coley. After that, he went to Berklee College of Music's Masters Campus in Valencia, Spain to earn a degree in Contemporary Performance (drum set) and Production, studying under Mariano Steimberg and Yoel Paez. While there, he got the chance to perform with players like Victor Mendoza, Gary Willis, and Casey Driessen.
Alex's drumming is featured on several albums by TC Ortberg, "Crisis" by the Iowa-based band Identity, the debut EP from The Righteous Wicked, and several of his own releases under the artist name Alexander. He has several hundred hours of studio recording experience, both behind the drums and behind the console. He has helped produce countless live music productions over the last 10 years, and has 10+ years of live performance experience.
Vocal and Trumpet Instructor
A Midwestern native, Mitchell Gage has performed and taught private voice in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. While his primary training and performance has been in classical music, opera, musical theatre, and jazz, he has also taught and sung in various other styles. Mr. Gage is currently finishing undergraduate studies at Luther College in Decorah, IA, double majoring in Music - V0cal Performance and Theatre with a minor in Management.
While performing in various productions at Luther College, Mitchell has performed with other organizations such as Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Absolute Theatre of Rochester, and other organizations. In the upcoming summer, Mr. Gage will be performing opera in Italy with La Musica Lirica. He has coached musical theatre students for high school competition as well as been a clinician for camps. However, Mitchell has worked with a wide range of ages before - all the way from 7 or 8 years old to students in their 60s.
A note on lessons: Mr. Gage believes in a very holistic approach to singing; to sing is to use the full body. In lessons, a student could expect to learn various warm ups to help develop their voice. Music/songs are decided by both the student and guidance of Mr. Gage. There are multiple ways to getting the same result and everyone is unique! “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” - Beverly Sills