80 King Street · Route 2A · Littleton MA 01460 · (978) 486-0112 · I495 Exit 79 (Old Exit 30)

Meet Our Teachers

These gifted teachers care about their students and enjoy seeing them make steady progress. And they make it fun to make music.

Our teachers don't lecture you - they play along with you!

Rachel Gentile
 
Video of Rachel Gentile

Meet Rachel

Rachel Gentile - Acoustic and Electric Guitar
B.A., Westfield State College

Rachel is proficient in many musical styles from rock to jazz to country. A prolific performer and songwriter, Rachel is a living, breathing example of the positive influence that music can have on a person's life. She has been passionate about music since she picked up her first guitar at the age of 1. Her teachers have included Phillip de Fremery (himself a student of the renowned classical guitarist Andr�s Segovia) and Ted Casher. She performs with several regional bands and works as a contract songwriter. Driven by a desire to bring personal enrichment to others, she teaches guitar to young and old alike and has taught students ranging in age from 6 to 88.

Rob Hamilton Rob Hamilton - Acoustic and Electric Guitar
B.S., University of California, Davis

Rob has been playing guitar since the Beatles and Bob Dylan became household names in the 1960s. He teaches both steel-string acoustic and electric guitar and is well versed in most popular music forms including folk, rock, soul, R&B, country, and light jazz. Rob is adept at rhythm and lead playing, flat-picking, and finger-picking, emphasizing tone development. He works especially well with beginning and intermediate students. Rob plays guitar, bass, keyboards, and pedal steel guitar for a variety of local area bands including Rust Never Sleeps, Harmony-421, and the Breaktime R&B Group.

Laura LeSaffre - Flute and Saxophone
B.M., Music Education, Boston University

Laura teaches music at Nashoba Valley Technical High School and directs the school instrumental and choral ensembles. She previously taught music in the Cambridge, MA school system working with students in grades 5 through 8. Laura is a past recipient of the Ed Denon Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually by the New England School Band Association to promising young players. She enjoys teaching music because it uses both the logical and creative sides of the brain. Laura believes that everyone can succeed. She focuses on the progress of each student and their improvement as individuals.

Carl Strathmeyer Carl Strathmeyer - Trombone and Low Brass
B.A., Dartmouth College

Carl has played trombone for over 50 years in all types of ensembles from wind ensembles to brass quintets to big bands to Dixieland groups. He studied trombone performance and music theory with the late Philip Catelinet, principal tubist with the BBC Theatre Orchestra and noted composer and arranger for brass band. He also studied electronic music with Jon Appleton, inventor of the Synclavier, one of the first sampling synthesizers.

Carl enjoys playing all genres of music, but has a special love for jazz in all its forms. He is a patient and encouraging teacher who enjoys seeing students become excited by their achievement.

Tony Sumbury Tony Sumbury - Electric and Upright Bass
Berklee College of Music

Tony has over 20 years of teaching and performance experience. He has performed or recorded with Tierney Sutton, Ruth Brown, the Dave Rasmussen Orchestra, Ken Vandermark, Brett Wilmont, Dave Newsom and Tom West. He has worked as a pit musician with the Emerson Majestic Theater, The Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts, the F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company, and the Knitting Factory with Matt Maneri and Mark Burden. Tony performs as a freelance musician in a variety of musical environments including theater, jazz and rock gigs.

Andy Voelker Andy Voelker - Saxophone - Clarinet - Flute
Berklee College of Music

Andy is a professional saxophonist and music educator. He plays regularly with several jazz combos and big bands in the Boston area and has received favorable reviews from local jazz critics as well as air play on WGBH-FM's respected "Eric in the Evening" jazz program. In addition to teaching at The Minor Chord, Andy is a band director and band instrument instructor for Paul Effman Music, a firm that runs parent-supported music programs in a number of eastern Massachusetts elementary and middle schools. Andy brings the practical perspective of a working musician to his teaching and enjoys working with students from beginners to advanced players.

Jerry Wile Jerry Wile - Banjo and Bluegrass Guitar
B.S., Bridgewater State College

Jerry Wile is a bluegrass musician. He plays both guitar and banjo and has played for over 35 years in the New England area, performing at festivals and popular bluegrass venues throughout the area. He has played with many bluegrass bands and can presently be heard with the bands Granitegrass and Hurricane Hill, where he showcases the three finger banjo, flat picking guitar, lead and harmony vocals. Jerry has been teaching at the Minor Chord for over 20 years, primarily teaching the three-finger banjo style developed and made popular by Earl Scruggs. He occasionally takes on guitar students teaching the flat-picking or bluegrass style of guitar. Jerry's goal is to give his students the skills they need to play and jam with other bluegrass musicians.