Chris has been playing guitar since he was 12 years old. At 16 he started studying jazz guitar with a local instructor Bob Wall who prepared Chris for the Bucks County Community College music program. There he studied with Ed Flanagan and Joseph Federico and continued his studies while establishing a teaching career at Music Services Unlimited in 1985. During that time he played in several commercial rock, and top 40 bands and was also presented the opportunity to acquire Music Services in 1989. He continued teaching and playing professionally while managing Music Services and in 2000, moved to our current location and changed the name of the store to Music Forte. Chris' priority since 1985 has been to offer legitimate, comprehensive instrumental instruction in a comfortable, relaxing environment. He and his highly qualified instructors teach an exciting, enjoyable curriculum of all styles without sacrificing basic fundamentals and technique.
Cheech Iero (Drums)
Iero's professional life seems to move as fast
as his hands and feet when playing his drums and
cymbals. His career can be traced from his Las
Vegas playing, to his work as one of the music
scene's most in demand studio session musicians,
to clinician and writer, to Associate Editor of
"Modern Drummer Magazine". He was hired
as Staff Drummer/Project Coordinator of Record
Plant Recording Studios in New York. It was there
Iero met John Lennon during recording sessions
for the slain Beatle's final album "Double
Fantasy". Cheech went on to teach Julian
Lennon, the famed Beatle's offspring, drums. Iero
appears on Julian Lennon's Website www.julianlennon.com.
Cheech Iero accepted the position as head of The
Trenton Community School's percussion department,
and now the world renowned educator has been appointed
to Director of Education of BlackBall Music, LLC.
Music Forte is proud to add Cheech to it's list
of qualified music instructors.
Cyndee Lee Rule (Violin)
Cyndee Lee Rule is a classically-trained violinist who has performed at such prestegious venues as Lincoln Center, the Tweeter Center, the First Union Center and Trenton War Memorial. She has performed as a first violinist for the Philharmonic of Southern NJ and is a classical violin instructor.
With her 5 string Viper, Cyndee Lee Rule has performed with such legendary spacerock musicians as Hawkwind's Harvey Bainbridge and Gong's Tim Blake. She has toured in the UK and has performed at the famous Melkweg Club in Amsterdam.
Cyndee has also collaborated through the internet with Systems Theory, a progressive-ambiant band with members and guest musicians spread throughout the world. Steven Davies-Morris and Greg Amov of Systems Theory were very instrumental in the production of Cyndee's debut Viper album, UFOsmosis.
to study to improve her already seasoned skills
on the violin and can teach beginners, as well
as, advanced students. She focuses on technique,
sight-reading, and ear training. Cyndee's students
learn not only impressive repertoire, but also
how to create a beautiful, full sound from the
Jeff Neuhof (saxophone, flute)
Jeff has been performing, recording, producing and teaching music for over 30years. While attending Bucks County Community College and studying with arranger woodwind player Jerry Nowak, Jeff was already playing professionally in various musical ensembles. From there he continued private studies with saxophonist, woodwind player Harold Karabell and with many other prominent Philadelphia and New York musicians, including Bill Holcomb and Ron Kerber. In the late 80's Jeff moved to New York and began performing in many different musical situations from blues, jazz , big band, rock, blue grass and folk. During this time Jeff was very involved in studio work, not only as a musician but also as a recording engineer and producer. Currently Jeff is involved in several jazz and original projects. Jeff emphasizes the importance of good tone and the mechanics of the instrument to his students. He also focuses on developing a strong reading ability, while keeping it musical and fun.
Bill has studied Jazz Guitar Performance at The University of The Arts in Philadelphia. (2010-2012) advanced music theory, transcription and analysis, ensemble training, improvisation, musicianship, compositions. Studied with renowned guitarist Thomas Giacabetti and other prominent University instructors including Jonathan Kriesberg, Pete Smyser, and Dave Manley. He has played several venues on solo guitar as well as leading bands and ensembles for various organizations. Stylistically he enjoys a wide variety of genre’s including avant-garde, classical and jazz, rock n roll, ambient, kraut, organ and pop music. He is currently writing and recording his own records with the PHL based group Drone Ranger and can be seen at various venues across the east coast. Bill offers a fresh, motivating and enjoyable approach to guitar lessons at Music Forte.
Steve Montenegro (bass,guitar)
Steve has a Bachelors degree in Music Performance at the University of the Arts. He studied jazz improvisation, theory/counterpoint, composition, world music, philosophies of the east and west. Steve studied bass with Gerald Veasley, Steve Beskrone and Craig Thomas, composition with Donald Chittum, Andrea Clearfield and Norman David. He currently plays in a kind of punk/hip-hop project called Patty Crash. Over the years he has participated in avant-garde jazz and classical groups, traditional jazz gigs, theater gigs, rock bands, soul/funk/hip-hop.Steve enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for music and helping students understand musical concepts and physically perform an idea. He teaches the basics of music but also encourages to improvise and experiment, to play with sound and most of all to love music.
Francis Danis (piano)
Francis has Bachelor of Music degree from Esther
Boyer College of Music at Temple University. He also has a B.A. in Music Education that he completed in 2002 and in 2005 became certified in Special Education "Teaching of Children with Disabilities". He is a freelance piano performer in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, his expertise is in Jazz Piano, Cuban music, and Latin Jazz. Fran teaches students from age 5 to adult. He has an exceptional ability to relate and connect to students of all ages while keeping them motivated and excited about learning how to play the piano.
Randy Speidel (piano)
has studied piano and music theory with Roger
Dunkel 1961 to 1972 focusing primarily on classical
styles. He has played professionally with several
classic rock bands over the years including,"Roadhouse",
"Modern Dinosaur", and "Solid Gold.
He is currently playing the Philadelphia area
with the classic rock group "Legend".
Randy concentrates on the fundamentals of technique
and theory while keeping his student's, interest
by focusing on the style of music they enjoy the
most. His laid back, relaxed teaching style creates
a very pleasant learning environment for his students
of all ages.
Adam Hershberger (Trumpet)
Adam graduated from Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia 2005, where he studied with trumpeter/educator Terell Stafford for 4 years. Since then, Adam has been very active in the Philadelphia music scene, playing gigs and teaching lessons full time. Making as many connections as possible has led Adam to collaborate with projects spanning the genres, from New Orleans dixieland (Hoppin' John Orchestra...hoppinjohn.net), to Balkan (West Philadelphia Orchestra...westphiladelphiaorchestra.com) to Afro-Cuban(Leana Song...myspace.com/leanasong) and Brazilian Samba (Philly Bloco...www.myspace.com/phillybloco), to name a few. When Adam is not in the recording studio, playing a wedding or in the pit for a musical production, he teaches the fundamentals of brass playing, theory, ear training and jazz improvisation to students of all levels. Adam began teaching private lessons in 2003 and came highly recommended by the faculty at Temple University.
Tom Cullen (drums)
Tom Cullen grew up in a musical family surrounded by the strong pulse of Rhythm and Blues, Soul music and Jazz. He received his first drum set at age 8 and began to play in his school's bands. By middle school he was a full fledged drummer sharpening his skills at school, studying privately with Frank Gattis at Music Services Unlimited (now Music Forte), and also forming bands with his friends. This continued into high school where he encountered his first recording sessions and an appearance on the radio station 94.1 WYSP.
After high school his love of music took him to Bucks County Community College where he studied music theory, Jazz and percussion. Tom graduated with an Associates degree in 2004. Around this time he began his teaching career at local music stores. He has developed a dynamic , effective teaching style that works well with students of all ages but especially with young children. He has performed all across the Tri-State area (and beyond) in many different venues with various artists from many different genres. He has just recently graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance and continues to work and play in the Philly music scene. He currently hosts a weekly Jazz jam session at The Fig Cafe and takes pride in his own project called iNFiNiEN, who have two independently released albums under their belt and two successful summer tours.