The Founders

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BEN DAVILA

Ben Davila is a co-founder of the Rock Stop and serves as the lead teacher. Prior to moving to Traverse City in 2014, he spent nearly a decade teaching students and groups, at the Bird School of Music in San Francisco.  

Ben is a prolific song-writer and multi-instrumentalist, having written and recorded a song every week for five years. His music has been used in plays, movies, ads, and video games. He has performed with a variety of groups. When he isn't teaching, writing music, or performing, he records other artists.

Ben graduated with degrees in music and sound technology from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. Besides music, Ben enjoys astrophysics and science fiction. 

ELYSHA DAVILA

As a co-founder of the Rock Stop, Elysha Davila helps out at shows, and helped the Rock Stop get going. Elysha plays and performs on keyboard, clarinet, and bass guitar, and loves recording and production. 

A native of Northern Michigan, Elysha lived for a decade in Chicago and San Francisco before moving back home in 2014. Aside from the Rock Stop, she works remotely in communications for a leading environmental conservation organization that's based in San Francisco. 


Our Teachers

 
 Chris Michels  Inspired by early jazz and modern alternative bands, Chris grew up jamming with friends, and later cultivated his smooth guitar tone in brew pubs and music festivals across the country. Chris is comfortable in anything from Bluegrass to Rock but is currently working with a Jazz Funk band for the 2017 season, promoting his new record  'Pretty/Funky'.  Chris attended Northern Michigan University where he played in their Big Band. Chris will be joining us at least three days a week!

Chris Michels

Inspired by early jazz and modern alternative bands, Chris grew up jamming with friends, and later cultivated his smooth guitar tone in brew pubs and music festivals across the country. Chris is comfortable in anything from Bluegrass to Rock but is currently working with a Jazz Funk band for the 2017 season, promoting his new record 'Pretty/Funky'. Chris attended Northern Michigan University where he played in their Big Band. Chris will be joining us at least three days a week!

 
 Alex Wyant  A multi-instrumentalist from Traverse City, Michigan, Alex has spent the last few years writing and recording music from his home studio for himself, as well as other local artists. Though primarily a rock drummer and bassist, he has experience in concert band, orchestra, jazz, steel pan, choir, and theatre. Alex He spent two years at Northwestern Michigan College’s Audio Technology department studying audio recording and mixing. Alex will be helping out on Thursdays ad Fridays!

Alex Wyant

A multi-instrumentalist from Traverse City, Michigan, Alex has spent the last few years writing and recording music from his home studio for himself, as well as other local artists. Though primarily a rock drummer and bassist, he has experience in concert band, orchestra, jazz, steel pan, choir, and theatre. Alex He spent two years at Northwestern Michigan College’s Audio Technology department studying audio recording and mixing. Alex will be helping out on Thursdays ad Fridays!

 

Our Support Staff

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Carly Hernden

Carly joined the team to help with some administrative tasks during the week when she's not at Northwestern Michigan College. Outside of school and the Rock Stop, she helps out at the Elk Rapids Elementary Schools in the classroom and with their summer programs. With her desire to help kids and her love for music, Carly is very excited to help out a few days a week!