– Bachelor degree in Guitar Performance from The University of Southern California.
– Honors Graduate of Musician’s Institute, Los Angeles, California.
– Professor of Guitar at Blue Ridge College, Hendersonville, SC.
– Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Guitar Performance.
– Has taught at the South Carolina Governor’s School and at Presbyterian College.
– Served as Musical Director for several local theater groups and performed in the pit orchestra.
– Currently performs solo and with the classical duet Spatha, which has released a critically acclaimed CD and toured throughout the US (www.spathamusic.com).
– Specializes in classical guitar and music theory, also proficient in rock, bluegrass, jazz, and Latin music (www.shawn-allen.com).
Shawn is one of our most driven and hardest working teachers, currently working on his Master’s degree in guitar performance. He is our resident disciplinarian and always pushes his students to do their absolute best. He specializes in preparing students for a career in music and/or a music degree. He also excels at teaching adult beginners.
When not practicing six hours a day, he enjoys quality cinema, running, mountain biking, reading, and a good political discussion. He performs with the critically acclaimed classical guitar duo Spatha, who are about to release their second CD.
– Has played guitar since age 12, and has been teaching since the late 1990’s.
– Studied privately under Jimmy Herring and Jeff Long
– Studied jazz performance at Manhattan School of Music
– Studied percussion in High School and at Furman University
– Has toured throughout the U.S. with various alt-country bands and singer-songwriters
– Specializes in songwriting, country, rock, and jazz.
– Niel is certified in Logic Pro teaches recording techniques for home and professional studios.
Niel is the ‘mad scientist’ of the Eastside teaching staff. He is excellent with beginners, and specializes in songwriting, fingerstyle, country, Americana, and jazz. Niel is always pushing students to listen to as many different styles of music as possible, and to never become complacent.
When not teaching, Niel performs in small auditoriums and coffee houses, builds instruments out of found objects (what most would consider trash), collects vintage field recordings, and obsesses over antique recording equipment. Niel currently plays in several bands, including: Mourning Dove, The Jaywalkers, and solo (www.nielbrooks.com).
– Has been teaching since the late 1980’s.
– Taught at Phil’s music in Mauldin, SC for sixteen years, thirteen as head guitar and bass instructor.
– Along with music education and general education, in college Sam studied music theory, composition and performance with professors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and the Peabody Institute (Preparatory) in Baltimore.
– Extensive recording and playing experience solo and in bands for over 25 years.
– Sam has performed and recorded with a wide variety of musicians, including members of REM, Kansas, Ozzy Osbourne’s band, and Simon & Garfunkel’s band.
– Many of Sam’s students have gone on to careers in music, from students with master’s degrees employed as music ministers and praise and worship leaders, to guitarists and bassists in touring rock bands.
Sam is one of our busiest teachers. Along with teaching at Eastside, he is currently playing with progressive trio The CBS Project, rock band Moonshine Opera, and is always recording and playing his own music. His other hobbies include photography, reading, and hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Specializing in rock, jazz, and blues, Sam tailors the lessons to the student: From the beginner just starting a new hobby, to the advanced player working on songwriting, technique and improvisation.
For more information about Sam, go to: samburgess.webs.com
– Has been teaching guitar since the mid 1990’s.
– Member of the Horizon Praise Band (Guitar and Bass)
– Former lead guitarist with the critically acclaimed Christian metal band “Birthright”.
– Lead guitar player for KICK (A Tribute to INXS), Toxin (A Tribute to Poison), “The Twisted Trio” and “Take 2″.
– Happily married for 28 years.
– Hobbies include: tennis, Motocross, and supporting his two daughters on national volleyball teams.
– Specializes in rock, metal, blues, and country styles.
Todd is one of our resident ‘rockers.’ He has a wealth of experience performing in bands from a country music house band, to touring the Southeast with the Christian metal band Birthright, to a regular spot with the Grace Church praise band.
Todd can draw upon his wealth of experiences to help his students, be they advanced or complete beginners, to get to the next level. Todd has been happily married for eighteen years, has three children and loves to spend time with his family. His hobbies include tennis, moto-cross, and supporting his oldest daughter on a national volleyball team.