Mark Pellegrino – Percussion Instructor

Mark has been playing drums for 35 years and he has been teaching for 26 years. In the summer of 2006, Mark started Pellegrino’s School of Music & Art to try and create an environment much like what he was exposed to during his time at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he received a 2 year certificate in drumset performance. Mark has studied privately for 10 years with the likes of Jim Chapin, Kenny Arronoff, and Dave DiCenso to name a few. He has toured all over the starts playing every style of music. Mark’s teaching method includes trying to find what motivates the student and helping them set and develop their goals. He pushes students to take advantage of the stage at Pellegrino’s School of Music at our free jams, recitals and our band program.

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Bart Kelley – Percussion Instructor

Bart Kelley is a highly skilled drummer and has performed and recorded music in venues and studios across the U.S. His most notable projects include the instrumental group Super String Theory, Useful Idiot (a tribute to Tool), 4jax (featuring Star Search winner Jake Simpson), Mark Chapman Band, Mr Scary, Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Golden Circle full-length feature film score and soundtrack (composer and actor). Bart was the Instructional Studio Manager for 4 of his 12 years as an instructor at The Percussion Shop in Springfield, Missouri. Several of Bart’s students have themselves gone on to become successful performers, instructors, and leaders in the industry. Bart is known for his versatility, professionalism and his desire to always keep it fun.


Bryce Burney – Percussion Instructor

Bryce has been playing drums for 11 years and teaching for 6 years. When in high school at Carl Junction, he performed with the All-District band for 4 years and received I-ratings on his solo performances for 4 years as well. He played drums at the University of Arkansas for 3 years in both the Razorback Marching Band and the Hog Wild Basketball Band. While drumming in Arkansas, he played many gigs with whatever groups needed drummers at anywhere from house shows to coffee shops to event entertainment. More recently, he taught 6th grade through high school percussionists at School of the Ozarks in Branson. Bryce is now attending Missouri State University where he is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Spanish.

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Justin Ward – Guitar Instructor

In 2019 Justin Ward celebrates his 30th anniversary of playing guitar, and his 18thyear of full-time teaching (13 years at Pellegrino’s)!  Justin currently has the largest private student roster in the area, and is currently instructing 8 bands in the Pellegrino’s Band Program. His years of experience, knowledge and tailored instruction have produced many of the areas finest players.

Justin has a Bachelor of Science degree from MSU. While attending MSU he played in the University Jazz and concert bands, and received private instruction from department heads Joe Leiter and John Strickler. His diverse style has made him one of the most popular guitarists in the area, playing for the groups Clockwork, 4 Jax (featuring 2-time Star Search winner Jake Simpson), Lost Highway and Sequel Dose.  Justin is also a “gun for hire”, playing many one-off performances as well as playing in the pit for Springfield Little Theater.   He is co-owner and Creative Director at Tasdar Creative, a music production company. Tasdar writes and produces music of all kinds for commercial/corporate use.  Under the moniker of Smiley Miller, Tasdar produced the song “You Know the Kind” (featuring Mark Pellegrino on drums) .  His group VINYL7 produced the songs “In the Middle of It” and “Run” (all songs available on Spotify, Apple Music, and ITunes).

Jim Bultas – Guitar & Filmmaking Instructor

Jim has been playing and performing professionally on guitar and bass for over 30 years. He is a well versed and accomplished player in rock, folk, jazz, classical, metal, bluegrass, latin and country styles. Jim has more than 18 years of teaching experience and has written a library of thousands of lesson plans which were developed for students of all ages and experience levels. He is an honors graduate from Musicians Institute (GIT) and has performed and studied with Victor Wooten, Scott Henderson, and Paul Gilbert among others. In addition, Jim also enjoys film directing and composing. His film work has received worldwide distribution and national airplay as well as being a finalist for the 2011 Parsec Awards. Jim currently teaches our Filmmaking class at Pellegrino’s and serves as the Executive Director for the non-profit Plotline Film.

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Chris May – Guitar Instructor

Kevin Breshears – Bass Guitar Instructor

Kevin Lane has played professionally for over 30 years, which includes 23 as a Bassist and backing vocalist with country music star Mickey Gilley’s Grammy award winning Urban Cowboy Band. With Mickey Gilley, Kevin has playing across the country, on television, numerous love performances in Las Vegas, Branson and other various places. He also backed up other music superstars such as Johnny Lee, Tony Melendez, Moe Bandy, Doug Kershaw, John Schneider, Joann Castle, Mille Walker, and the Lennon Sisters. AS an original member of the Misstakes, an Eighties favorite of the Midwest, Kevin Lane made his start as a fixture of the local music scence. With the Misstakes, he has recorded records, and played in numerous main stage settings (i.e. having played in front of or having “opened up for” bands such as U2, Crowded House, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, the Ramones, and many others.) Kevin also founded and fronted an R&B, funk-rock group, the Horndawgs. He has served as music director and worship leader at Living Waters Community Church in Nixa, MO from 1998 to 2009. Kevin is an alumnus of te Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California, where he studied Jazz theory and performance, and he has studied music theory at Southwest Missouri State. He uses this experience in teaching private bass and guitar lessons.

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Ryan Hunt – Piano & Vocals Instructor

Ryan has been playing and singing professionally for nearly 30 years. His studies include Kickapoo High School, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Missouri State University. Ryan grew up in the Ozarks, and has served in many Churches, the Springfield Public School system, the Regional Opera, and various performing opportunities in the local area. He has taught at Pellegrino’s since 2007, and composes many pieces that his students play. Ryan has perfect pitch, and focuses on teaching students how to reach music, but also how to further playing by ear. His passion is to see students reach their musical potential through hard rock and determination.

Emily Estes Bailey – Piano & Vocals Instructor

Emily’s love of music started at a young age. She began voice lessons at the age of 8 and continued through high school. Prior to college, she joined the touring cast of Grease as Jan in California. After attending Evangel University, she earned her degree in Vocal music. She worked as a Music director at a local church before joining as a teacher at Pellegrino’s School of Music and Art. Emily also preforms with various local bands in Springfield and has recently been involved with some recording projects. Teaching music is her passion and she strives to make learning music a fun and enjoyable experience for all of her students!

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Vic Vaughan – Vocals Instructor

Vic hails from New York City, Brooklyn to be exact. He began playing music and singing at an early age. He grew up listening to the likes of The Beatles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder and other great artists of the time.

Vic brings a funky, infectious groove as well as a wealth of experience in various musical and vocal styles. He is proficient on several instruments, is a seasoned singer, songwriter, producer and an excellent entertainer. Vic has performed with or on the same stage with a virtual “who’s who” of the music industry including Chuck Berry, Patti Labelle, The Coasters, The Gatlin Bros., Luther Vandross, Hank Williams Jr., Rare Earth, Blondie and The Allman Bros.

Vic has been a vocal teacher/coach at Pellegrino’s School of Music & Art since it began. He is anxious to share his musical knowledge and encouragement with his students!

Megan Gerbrandt – Violin & Viola Instructor

Megan is from Lenexa, KS, and she has been playing violin for 11 years. She studied under the tutelage of Keith Stanfield, graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, from 2013 to 2016. She has received multiple Superior “I” ratings from KSHSAA for her solo performances. Megan was a member of the 2015-16 KSMEA All-State Orchestra and Northeast District Honors Orchestra. Megan has toured around the United States and Europe with multiple honor ensembles, including the Youth Symphony of Kansas City’s Academy Orchestra.

Megan is currently furthering her education in Instrumental Music Education at Missouri State University, and she is privately studying with Dr. David Hays. She has been teaching students of her own since 2016, and she has assisted multiple teachers in Springfield Public Schools. Megan is a current member of the Missouri State University Symphony Orchestra, and she is a recipient of the Orchestra Governors Award.

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Gideon Pellegrino – Cello Instructor

Marie Lovan – Woodwind Instructor


Teresa Pellegrino – Art Instructor