Faculty

West Bend Music Academy – Teachers

Linda Maas – Piano and Flute

Bachelor of Science in education with a Minor in Music
Emphasis on Flute & Piano
Performed in College Chamber Music Recitals
Guest Soloist at Toledo Symphony Orchestra
Plays for services at Morning Star Lutheran Church in Jackson
Teaches piano levels beginner to intermediate ages three and up

Rachel Hecker – Violin
Rachel received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Utah State University in 2006
Rachel completed her Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy in 2012 from the University of Colorado at Boulder
Rachel attended  the Stamford International Music Festival in: Stamford, England; Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake, IN; Credo Chamber Music Camp in Oberlin, OH; and ARIA International Music Festival in Muncie, IN
She was also very active in the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2002-2006, holding the concertmaster position from 2005-2006
Rachel’s teaching philosophy is that musical lessons teach dedication, persistence, and determinations, while learning a skill that can bring joy to oneself and others
Rachel is constantly teaching her students to look for the most efficient and effective ways to practice , and to have fun in process!  Rachel has been teaching both privately and in schools since 2007. When not teaching, Rachel enjoys being outdoors, traveling, drinking lots of tea, reading, and learning how to homestead

Jan Snowden – Piano
Jan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a focus in Organ Performance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She has 40 years experience at West Granville Presbyterian Church. She has taught in the West Bend area for 23 years and is regarded as one of the finest teachers in the area. Jan has taught all the way from beginners to collegiate level players, and always puts her students first.

Dave Petty – Saxophone & Clarinet
Dave’s interest in music developed in the later years of the “Swing Era”. Although he studied and enjoyed Classical clarinet, he listened to “Swing” (the original and true mild jazz) at every opportunity. As a developing musician living close to New York City, he had the chance to catch some live performances by the likes of Ben Webster, Zoot Simms and Benny Goodman. The easy swinging style of their music became the target to shoot for. Like other serious musicians, Dave has played many styles in the effort to keep busy (Big Bands to small variety groups) and has been in and out of music at varying times through the years. He enjoys the Big Band jobs, but his true love is playing with the smaller Swing and Dixieland groups.

Changes to the night club/bar scene in the past years have made it difficult to keep a group of musicians busy, so Dave developed a “back up group” (via the computer) to allow him to work as a single. His saxophone and clarinet styles provide a foot tapping/ danceable style of great listening music that I think you will enjoy.

Rich Ruchalski – Guitar & Bass

Rich started off at young age, performing in bands, taking lessons, and participating in church music groups. In 2003, he attended the University of Wisconsin in which he majored in Music. While there, Rich was awarded the Madalyn Rodney Scholarship for Excelling Music Majors. He received his Associates of Arts & Science degree with a focus in Guitar in 2006, and began teaching at the Music Academy of West Bend thereafter. In 2007 Richard attended North Park University in Chicago where he studied Music Education. He performed and competed in college level guitar ensembles in both classical and jazz. Since his return , he has organized and led summer school rock band programs for elementary through high school students, has taught group lessons, and taken on a full schedule of private guitar and bass students. His styles include but are not limited to: classical, folk, rock, blues, jazz, and country.

Jay Tamez – Guitar, Concert PA, Recording & Music Business
Jay has entertained tens of thousands of people over the course of his music career. He has been active in the music industry for over a decade, with a background in Live Production, Recording Technology, Music Business and Marketing. He also has received production credits for videos aired on public television and events. Jay has in depth music business experience working for Virgin Records. While there his duties included: music sales and support, artist penetration, public relations, business planning, international correspondence and support.

Drew Kleinhans – Guitar and Bass
Associates Degree in Music Occupations from MATC
Focus on guitar and bass and can teach a plethora of styles
Played worship music for St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church including Bass, Guitar, Vocals, and Drums
Guitar and drum teacher for West Bend Music Academy’s Summer School Rock Program
Teaches all levels ages five and up

Michael Hecker – Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, Ukelele & Dulcimer
Genres include: Acoustic, Rock, Country, Blues, Swing, Funk, Hard Rock, Punk, Latin, R&B, Pop and Jazz. Michael has taught professionally for 7 years. He has played on 14 CDs of local artists in addition to assisting in production of local, national and international artist’s albums. He regularly plays guitar and bass for the Demo Services at ExtraFish Recording Studio, owned by former Nashville session keyboardist, George Nestler. He has played a great deal of genres as he loves all types of music. He plays regularly with The Hecker-Kelley Band, a Milwaukee area Blues band with many seasoned pros. For a short time, Michael served as the lead guitarist for 2008 WAMI award winning Christian Artist Of The Year, Chad James. Michael is a very patient teacher and loves to teach people of all ages. Anyone who has the desire to learn! He has taught beginner, intermediate and advanced students.

Jill Murdy – Vocals, Guitar, and Saxophone
Bachelor of Science in Music from Dickinson State University
Masters degree in Theology from Notre Dame
Studies Saxophone under Dr. Louis J. Sacchini
Taught Choral and Instrumental at North Dakota Schools
Director of Music and Liturgy at Saint Frances Cabrini Parish
Guitar player for over forty years and is proficient in Classical, Folk, and Acoustic Styles
Teaches all levels ages five and up

Stop in or call today! (262) 338-0770