Archive | instructors

Shawn Tamborini

Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Piano, Ukulele, Violin, Drums

Dedicated music teacher that enjoys to use my knowledge and talents to help novice, as well as advanced musicians, reach higher planes of musical understanding and creativity. I have been studying music in school for the past six years in the hope that I can work in a creative field, and blur the line that separates art and craft. I have also been performing in different venues with different groups for the past 10 years, learning the subtle intricacies of improvising with other musicians.


Tyler Cravines

Drums, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Ukulele

Originally from California, Tyler has been playing drums professionally in the Reno/Tahoe area for 5 years. Being a recent UNR graduate, he is knowledgeable in many musical techniques and improvisational concepts. Combining his creative spirit, awareness, and technical ability on his instrument, he is a top call musician for many musical styles and situations. Tyler has also been teaching private and group lessons for a number of years on drums, guitar, bass, and piano. He provides a unique approach catered to the individual student, which allows the student to have fun while learning skills that they will have for the rest of their life.

Dave Lockhart

Bass, Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Harmonica, Banjo, Mandolin, Ukulele

Dave currently makes his living as a professional bassist, primarily performing with the hardworking Americana/Roots Rock band Dead Winter Carpenters – a group that racks up well over a hundred gigs yearly at festivals and clubs all across the United States. Prior to joining Dead Winter Carpenters (and their precursor, Montana Slim String Band), Dave worked his way well up the San Francisco Bay Area music scene as a versatile bassist, known for his work in a variety of Funk, Soul, Jazz, Latin, Bluegrass and Rock groups, including Manicato, The Flux, and The Skinny, among many others. In addition to years of experience as a performer and teacher, Dave is also a formally educated musician, having completed his Bachelor’s Degree from the highly-regarded Music Department at California State University, East Bay. As a student at CSUEB, Dave had the opportunity to perform in many unique settings, including a European Tour with the school’s Jazz Ensemble.
Although Dave is best known as a bassist, he is also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. We do not use the term “multi-instrumentalist” lightly here, as Dave’s instrumental skills include proficiency on: violin, viola, cello, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, piano and rumors of sitar. Quite simply put, anything that Dave touches makes music!

Ellen Flanagan

Violin, Viola, Fiddle, Piano

Ellen Flanagan is a classically-trained violinist living in Truckee, CA whose mission is to spread her love of music as wide and deep as possible through teaching and live performance. Originally from Hanover, NH, Ellen moved west to study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Since moving to Tahoe in the winter of 2013 (she was missing the snow), she has been teaching violin, fiddle, and viola in Truckee and performing around the area with orchestras in Reno and San Francisco as well as a local bluegrass and country band.

Jef Derderian

Trumpet, Piano, Vocal

Jef started studying music from the age of seven with the piano. He picked up the trumpet when he was ten and started playing in school. In high school he was placed as the jazz trumpet soloist in the California All-State Jazz Band. He also was selected to sing in the California All-State Jazz Choir. During the summers he was one of two trumpeters attending the music camp put on by the Grammy Foundation, where he was able to study and work with Christian Scott, Earth, Wind and Fire, Ricky Minor, and Dave Koz.

Jef Derderian recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Masters in Jazz and Improvisational Music, where he worked as a teaching assistant with Professor Larry Engstrom and helped to organize the Reno Jazz Festival. Jef performs regularly with the Reno Philharmonic, the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Susanville Symphony. He can be seen playing around the Reno/Tahoe area with the pop, funk, jazz group The Pretty Unknown, as well as the funk group Rapplesauce.

Eric Johnson

Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, and Piano

1461529_10202857620860478_758944519_nEric Johnson is an Oregon native who’s first instrument was guitar, playing in rock bands through high school before studying Jazz Saxophone at the university level. Eric has a bachelors in Jazz performance from the University of Oregon and a masters in Improvisation from the University of Nevada Reno. While studying with Peter Epstein and Adam Benjamin from Kneebody, Eric recorded an album of original compositions that is due for release in October.

Eric teaches Saxophone (Alto, Tenor, Bari, and Soprano), and a variety of stringed instruments inlcuding Guitar, Bass, and Ukelele. His main musical interest is Jazz and traditional Jamaican music, but enjoys a wide variety of styles including rock, folk, and pop music.

John Bennum

john-bennumTrombone, Euphonium, Baritone, Drums, Guitar, Bass, and Keyboard

John is currently a student of the Jazz and Improvisational Music program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Previously he attended Northwestern University, where he studied classical trombone with Michael Mulcahy and Charlie Vernon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As a high school student he received numerous awards and accolades for his participation in Washoe County and Nevada State solo and ensemble competitions, and held the position of Principal Trombone with the Reno Youth Symphony Orchestra for four years. John has attended the internationally renowned summer program at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan on a full-ride Governor’s Scholarship.

Active in the Reno-Truckee-Tahoe music scene, John plays with funk powerhouse Mojo Green. He also plays with Rapplesauce and has toured with Jellybread.

When he’s not playing trombone, John keeps himself busy working as a composer, arranger, and recording artist.

Devin Price



Devin was introduced to music as a young child. He started playing violin at age 5 then moving onto trumpet with the school jazz band. Unfortunately, through the busy times, these instruments got pushed aside. During these years he dabbled with drums, bass, and didgeridoo.  It wasn’t until a trip to Hawaii in 2008 when he picked up his first ukulele; it was love at first sight. He hasn’t been able to put it down since, and has started a business building ukuleles (TyDe Music).

Devin loves the ukulele because it is fun, simple, and easy to bring anywhere. Its 4 strings and smaller size make it easy pickup songs and play all different kinds of music. He loves to share the ukulele and to help bring joy into others lives. He believes if everyone on earth played the ukulele, we would live on a more peaceful planet.

Mark Henasey

mark_henaseyTrumpet, Saxophone, Guitar, Bass, Piano

Mark graduated with a Music Education degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst. He enjoys performing music and teaching students of all ages. His teaching methods are diverse and oriented towards each student’s specific musical personality.

He spent nine years as a Faculty Instructor for the Summer Institute for the Gifted teaching music courses at Princeton University, UCLA, Drew University and Bryn Mawr College. He also worked as a high school music director for a private boarding school for seven years.

His original compositions have been featured on University of Princeton radio (WPRB 103.3) and his projects have opened for many international touring acts including Ween, The Wailers, Bernie Worrell (P-Funk and Talking Heads) and Vernon Reed (Living Color).

Mark is also the Split Rock Music School director.

Mark Sexton

mark sexton

Guitar & Piano

Mark is a professional musician with years of experience in teaching and performing music around the country. As a graduate of the University Of Nevada Reno, Mark studied under the jazz program’s top guitarists. He loves inspiring people of ALL ages and ability levels. Showing his students the techniques and tools to take their guitar and piano playing to the next level. For more on Mark’s visit:

10320 Donner Pass Rd Suite A
Truckee, CA 96161