The Team



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. 


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. 

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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 east three days a week!


Sarah Koontz

Born and raised in Northern Michigan, Sarah recently joined the team to help with some administrative tasks and marketing needs. Outside of the Rock Stop, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and sewing everything from curtains to costumes. In the summer she tries to kayak and hike as much as possible. Formerly a Marketing Communications Manager for another small company in Traverse City, she recently became a first time stay-at-home mom. With a lifelong appreciation for music, and a passion for business, Sarah is excited to help out a few days a week!