Instructors

The instructors at Hickey's Rock School are dedicated to music: to making music, to teaching and performing music; they are selected based on their skills and unique abilities, and their passion for others to be able to make music and enjoy doing it. They are all active professionals, playing and recording with their own bands, and together represent a diverse background of music experience to offer to their students.

Ryan Vanderhoof is Director of Hickey's Rock School and conducts bands, teaches guitar, bass, voice as well as music theory and songwriting. He has a BFA in Classical Guitar Performance from Ithaca College, and is a former member of the band Akron/Family with whom he wrote five albums of original music and toured internationally. His music appears on film and TV including the late Robin Williams film 'The World's Greatest Dad' and UK primetime show 'Skins'. In 2014 he released a five song EP 'Seahorse Memoirs' and is currently working on a full length solo album, as well as playing guitar for the reggae/funk band 'Road Man' featuring Jon Petronzio from Ithaca reggae legends 'John Brown's Body'.

Drum instructor Willie B. (aka Brian Wilson)  has performed and recorded across the globe. In 2008, he joined Jamie Lidell on a world tour including a month as opening act for Elton John in Europe. Willie B. is best known for his custom setup that allows him to play bass and drums simultaneously. When not performing, Willie B. is an active teacher in the Ithaca area.

Audio Recording instructor Cass Medcalf is a recent graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied audio production in the Television/Radio department of the Roy H. Park School of Communications. While at IC, she worked as a deejay, programmer, and promotions director for 92 WICB, worked part-time as a board operator at Cayuga Radio Group, and began her music training as an intern at Electric Wilburland Studios in Newfield, NY, with Grammy-award winning engineer Will Russell.

>In the summer of 2013, Cass continued her training in Los Angeles with the ICLA program, where she interned at Red Light Management and The Roxy, and ran FOH for Room 5, a listening room and sister venue to Hotel Cafe. Upon returning to Ithaca in 2014, she began working for Sound on Sound and The Dock, and was promoted to assistant engineer at Electric Wilburland. She has recorded in many scenarios, from dorm room short films to full-scale studio albums, and can't wait to see what projects await at Hickey's Rock School!