Erik Sayles

Owner/Founder - Guitar

     Owner and founder of The Music Workshop, Erik attended The Guitar Institute of Technology (1989) as well as earning a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance from The University of the Arts in 1993 (recipient of The Faculty Award). His career in education started '93 just after graduating, opening a private studio out of his home as well as teaching at a local music store. In 1998 he opened The Music Workshop Inc. in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia which existed until 2011. In 2007 the second MW location opened in Berwyn, PA. Over the years Erik's teaching has taken him beyond TMW.  From 2014 to 2017 Erik was a faculty member at The University of The Arts. During his tenure there he taught ensembles as well as private lessons for both majors and non majors.

      Erik is as equally passionate about performing and composing. He freelances supporting mostly local singer/songwriters (Ben Arnold, Ben O'Neill (John Legend), Matt Santry, Ginger Coyle etc.).Some notable venues/festivals he has performed at are: the JVC Jazz Festival, Jazz Arts Festival, Knitting Factory Jazz Fest, Sweet Basils, Blues Alley, Rockwood Music Hall, WXPN's Exponential Festival (main stage) and WXPN's Free At Noon. Aside from being active in performance, Erik also has extensive studio experience. Some notable studio contributions:

  • Performed This is My World on Twentieth Century Fox's 2001 release "Shallow Hal" starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black.

  • Multiple Grammy Award Winner and Atlantic Recording Artist Darius Rucker (lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish) 2002 solo release Back to Then.

  • Grammy Award Winner and Sony/Hidden Beach recording artist Jill Scott "Who is Jill Scott?" (This recording was nominated for two Grammy awards and sold over 2 million copies.)

  • EMI recording artist Sakura.

  • Sony recording artist Vivian Greens' A Love Story (2003).

  • Jive records recording artist Raheim.

  • 2001 to present - numerous local artists

       Erik was co-founder and composer for the now defunct TMP/Lolo recording artist Common Ground. This ensemble featured some of the most renowned names in jazz, including: Dennis Chambers (Parliament Funkadelic, Steely Dan, Santana, John Scofield, John McLaughlin), Grammy award winner Randy Brecker (Frank Zappa, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen), Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Black Crows),  Zach Danziger (Wayne Krantz, Michelle Camillo, Chuck Loeb), and James Genus (Saturday Night Live Band, Vanessa Williams, Chick Corea).

  

Hayley Cass

Piano | Voice

Pennsylvania State University

Hayley started singing at a very young age and was always involved in church choirs, bands, school chorales, vocal competitions and a cappella groups. From a young age she was trained by talented and prestigious music teachers in both voice and piano.

Although her degree from Penn State is in science, Hayley took numerous music courses throughout her tenure there. After a working a few years in her field of study Hayley decided to pursue music as a career in both performing and education. She started teaching piano and voice in 2002 and started getting involved in the local music scene. She has recorded two albums with her band, Red Martina, and recently recorded her first solo which is scheduled for a 2021 release. 

Mary Liz Donohoe

Piano | Voice

Originally from Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, Mary Liz came to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts where she earned a bachelors degree in vocal performance.  She began her music career at a very young age, singing in the Talent Olympics located in the Pocono Mountains. She competed annually and over the years took first place in the gospel, country, ballad, and up-tempo categories. Once Mary Liz entered eighth grade she focused her studies on classical repertoire and technique. At the age of seventeen she wrote and produced her own EP titled, "This Crazy Life" and is currently in the process of recording her second EP.

At the University of the Arts she was in numerous ensembles and studied jazz, r&b, neo soul, blues, pop, Motown and funk as well as piano for the better part of her tenure there.  Mary Liz is an active performer as well. Some notable performances include; opening day of Artsquest at Steel Stacks, the Blast Furnace Blues Festival and the International Blues Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. She has performed the National Anthem for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Mary Liz's passion for music and the impact it had on her during her formative years left her with a desire to share this gift. She was a teacher/counselor for numerous summers at Encore theater camp in Hellertown, PA and was the assistant director for Southern Lehigh Middle Schools' production of both High School Musical and Annie. She teaches privately out of her own studio and (in the past) as an adjunct faculty member at The Music Workshop.

Rachel Massey

Violin | Viola

The University of Denver: Bachelor Of Arts                                                                              

A student of Yumi Hwang-Williams, Sally O'Reilly, Joey Corpus, and Mark Lakirovich, Rachel Massey graduated from Denver School of the Arts as a violin major and continued her studies in violin and viola at Denver University and Longy School of Music. She has played under the direction of noted conductors David Zinman, Julius Rudel, and Michael Stern at the Aspen Music Festival, James DePriest at the Las Vegas Music Festival, and, most recently, Benjamin Zander as a member of the Boston Philharmonic. She has performed by invitation at Music on the Rhine in Dusseldorf, Germany, Aspen Music Festival, and on viola at the Las Vegas Music Festival. She is currently a member of Prometheus, a self-conducted string orchestra in residence at Philadelphia's Church of the Advocate. Rachel's repertoire also reaches beyond classical music, with recent projects including performances of jazz and traditional fiddle styles throughout the Boston area with Driftwood Duet, and a 2015 recording with Ran Blake, the founding chair of New England Conservatory's Department of Contemporary Improvisation, titled "Ghost Tones." 


Michael Simmons

Guitar | Uke | Bass

Boston University: Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Education
Temple University: Masters of Music History and Guitar Performance
University of the Arts: Bachelor of Music - Guitar Performance

Michael Simmons is a freelance guitarist and music educator with over 25 years of experience. He currently serves as Music Director at the Woodlynde School in Strafford, Pennsylvania and is an Adjunct Instructor at Montgomery County Community College where he teaches courses in guitar and music history. He teaches classical, rock, jazz and finger style guitar as well as bass and ukulele. Michael has two sons, one attends Conestoga High School and the other TE Middle School.

Tim Schilling

Guitar | Uke | Bass

A graduate of the University of the Arts (BM Jazz Guitar, 2013), he has been making a name for himself by performing in a variety of genres and venues throughout the country. In 2015, Tim embarked on a two-month tour with Matt McAndrew (of NBC's The Voice) as a direct support act for The Plain White T's on their Guantanamo And Beyond Tour. A short stint in Nashville, Tennessee also led Tim to perform on radio stations in the area with Transoceanic Records artist, Katie Hargrove. Most recently, Tim has worked as guitarist and musical director for Joe Bachman and The Party, a nationally touring cover act sponsored by Miller Lite.

Locally, Tim has worked with grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Ben O'Neill, award-winning gospel producer and keyboardist, Dana Sorey, vocalist Laurin Talese, and The Tiffany Jones Band to name a few. Tim has been a faculty member at the following schools of music; The Lumberton School of Music in New Jersey, Music Nation Academy in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and also served as an adjunct professor at The Community College of Philadelphia.

Contact

The Music Workshop

643 Lancaster Ave.

Berwyn, PA 19312

Phone: 610-240-0505

info@themusicworkshop.org

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