Our Instructors

Marc Bruell
Director/Instructor

Marc Bruell has lived in the valley since June of 2000. He has held Marc Bruelladjunct teaching positions in psychology at CMC off and on since 2000. He taught computer classes as well as programs for gifted and talented students at Carbondale Middle School from 2000-2002. From 2002 until the present Marc has worked in the IT department of the Roaring Fork School District.

Marc has been actively involved in the music scene in and around Carbondale since 2002. He has played bass, violin, guitar and sung with various music groups, and gigged steadily with Boneyard, Acoustic Mayhem, Tjaar, and Electric Lemon. His original band Tjaar has played the Festival of the Clouds in Alma the 2008-2011, and played the main stage at Mountain Fair in July, 2011.

He began giving guitar and violin lessons in 2007. An avid music lover from an early age, Marc is passionate about spreading the love of music, and believes that with hard work and dedication, everyone can play.

Shanti Gruber
Instructor

Shanti Gruber  began her teaching career in 1997 at her father’s Shanti Gruberlocal music store Glenwood Music. With support from her musical family she was able to find her talent and love for teaching at the age of 16. After Graduating from Glenwood Springs High School in 2000, she continued on to the University of Northern Colorado where she obtained a bachelor’s in Music Education and minored in piano and vocal performance.

During her time at UNC she held a private studio where she taught 30-40 private piano, voice and guitar students from 2001-2006. She also worked as the music director at Backstage Pass Performing Arts Center and Broadway Bound Theater School. She has returned to the Roaring Fork Valley and currently teaches at Glenwood Springs and Roaring Fork High Schools. She has also been the music director of many of the valley’s musicals.

Shanti is a singer songwriter and an active performer with The Tippetts and The Starletts. Along with teaching and performing, she produces events with SMG Connections including – The Mountain Fair Singer Songwriter Competition, Marble Fest, and booking for local acts. Her knowledge, experience and passion for music allows for her to connect with people of all ages and abilities. Shanti believes music is for everyone and anyone can achieve success with patience, dedication, inspiration, and enthusiasm.

Patrick Fagan
Instructor

Patrick started playing piano at age six after hearing older sisters and brothers playing. He learned trumpet and joined the school band at age eight and by high school learned to play all the brass instruments, saxophone and bass guitar. After earning a Bachelor’s of Music degree from Ithaca College (where he learned the rest of the woodwind instruments) he taught music, K-12, in upstate NY for three years. During this time, figuring that a guitar is easier to carry than a piano, he learned to play guitar.

After earning a Master’s of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado, he thought he’d teach skiing for a season. Twenty-three years later, he is still an active ski instructor and musician on bass and vocals for Electric Lemon, guitar and vocals as a singer/songwriter and on euphonium in a few settings. As a teacher and director, Patrick kept active with community groups, directing the Summit Concert Band in Summit County for twelve years, the Carbondale Renegade Marching Band and through Jazz AspenSnowmass working with the music programs in the Roaring Fork.

Chris Harrison
Instructor

Chris Harrison moved to Colorado at the end of 1996 after graduating with honors with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Illinois State University. After spending a couple years in the Winter Park area as a Ski and Snowboard Instructor, Chris re-located to the Roaring Fork Valley and began performing professionally as a solo acoustic singer/songwriter. Chris has held several jobs during his time here in the Roaring Fork Valley, from a bike shop manager to a radio advertising executive, but music has always been a constant in his life.

For the past 15 years, Chris has held his focus on music as a performer. As an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and singer, he has been involved with local bands performing on guitar and bass, but is most recognizable for his work as a saxophonist performing with the popular local bands Jes Grew and Sector 7G. Now Chris has turned his full time and attention to teaching music to others and sharing his joy of music to students young and not so young. Chris is a member of the Jazz AspenSnowmass Music Faculty and works in the public schools with music students from Aspen to Rifle. In addition, Chris is also the Specialty Music Instructor at The Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork in Carbondale.

While Chris’ main focus and forte is teaching and playing wind instruments, he is well rounded in all aspects of music and music production including music theory, songwriting, singing, and performing. Chris believes that music is the universal language of emotion, and since we all have emotions, we all have an inherent and innate connection to music. With the desire to learn, the will to be dedicated, and the right inspiration and encouragement, anyone can learn this language and use it to make a positive impact in their own lives and the lives of others.

Mark Taylor
Director

Mark Taylor has been a mainstay in the music and arts Mark Taylorcommunity in the valley for many years. Currently serving on the CCAH board, Mark knows what it takes to have an artist make it from conception of the project to the main stage.

Mark’s passion for music and knowledge of the music industry led him to conceive of the academy as a place that offers something for everyone. In addition to musical training and songwriting, Mark believes knowledge of all aspects of the industry is critical to the development of well rounded musicians. As such, The Academy of Music and Performance includes courses and instruction on audio engineering and light and stage management.

Rob Miller
Instructor

Rob Miller has been a staple in the local music scene in the valley for many years. In addition to his work with the bands Trunk and The Starletts, he has taught guitar and bass, and worked as an audio engineer for Alchemy sound, producing shows for national touring acts up and down the valley.

Rob is passionate about music, and is a dedicated teacher who continually searches for the best ways to connect to students, and help bring out their true musical nature