Meet the Executive Team

A dedicated team of professionals with extensive expertise in franchising and a love of music education

music franchise presidentBrian Gross

Brian Gross is President of Bach to Rock, a position he has held since 2011. Immediately prior to that Brian was Bach to Rock’s Vice President of Marketing and Operations. Brian served as president of Rileyroos, a children’s footwear company, and he also was the general manager of Barton-Cotton Inc., a direct marketing and print production company. Brian began his career in banking at Bank of America and then moved into brand management for Kraft Foods. He also worked in brand management for Cover Girl at Procter and Gamble, and as director of business concept development for Sylvan Learning Centers. Brian earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Delaware and an MBA from University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Brian is a lifelong fan of classic rock and country. His first concert was AC DC,  and he recently rocked out to a live U2 concert. His best karaoke song is “Love Shack” by the B52s, and Guns ‘n Roses is his favorite band. Brian is a beginner guitar player and a wanna-be drummer.

Ralph RillonRalph Rillon
Vice President, Franchise Development & Sales

Ralph Rillon is Bach to Rock’s Vice President of Franchise Development and Sales. Before joining Bach to Rock in 2011, Ralph served as vice president of franchise development for ZIPS franchising, and he was also the director of franchise development for Sylvan Learning Inc. Prior to Sylvan Learning, Ralph was national director of sales and marketing for Southwest Equity Partners in Houston, TX, where he developed the Artistic Fireplace Surrounds concept. Ralph also served as national director of franchise development for Water to Go Diet & Nutrition centers in Las Vegas, NV. He has also been an independent business broker.

Ralph sang in recitals as a child and participated in elementary school plays. In the 1970s he toured with several bands as a full-time musician. Ralph’s favorite genre of music is soul. His favorite album is The Beatles’ first album, “Please Please Me.”

music franchise VPAngela Sakell
Chief Operating Officer

Angela Sakell is Bach to Rock’s Chief Operating Officer, a position she has held since December 2023. Prior, she served as Senior Vice President Marketing and Operations from January 2020 to December 2023, Vice President of Marketing & Operations from April 2019 to January 2020 and Vice President of Marketing from January 2013 to April 2019. Angela worked with Bach to Rock for two years as a consultant in her role as president of Sakell Consulting. Prior to founding Sakell Consulting in 2009, Angela was vice president of sales and marketing of BoardSource, a nonprofit dedicated to building exceptional boards in Washington, D.C. She was vice president of marketing, director of national advertising and director of program development and international marketing with Sylvan Learning Center. She started her career at various advertising agencies supporting brands such as Jiffy Lube, Precision Tune, Choice Hotels and Nutri-System. She has an MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD.

Angela played clarinet in her high school marching band. Her favorite musical genre is hip-hop. Her best karaoke song is “Fight For Your Right” by the Beastie Boys.

Aaron SchmidtAaron Schmidt
Vice President, Education and Technology

Aaron is Bach to Rock’s Vice President of Education and Technology, a position he has held since December 2023. Prior, he served as Associate Vice President of Education from January 2021 to December 2023 and Senior Director of Education from January 2020 to January 2021. Before that, Aaron served in several capacities at Bach to Rock including Director of Education from January 2017 to December 2019, Director of Curriculum and Training from September 2011 through December 2016, and Site Director at two Bach to Rock schools in Virginia from 2009 through 2011.

Aaron started taking piano lessons at the age of 5.  Over the years he has been inspired by a variety of artists ranging from Ben Folds and Andrew McMahon to Yuja Wang.  Over the years he’s picked up the banjo, ukulele, drum set, bass guitar, and guitar.

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Why Choose Us

The Bach to Rock Method

At Bach to Rock, we know that students learn music more quickly when they’re having fun! Our step-by-step curriculum keeps students engaged and rewards achievement at each level. Students get to choose which songs they play, learn from music pros, and perform with peers at live events!

Music Made Fun!

At Bach to Rock, students choose which songs and genres they want to play, making lessons more fun!

Band & Glee Programs

Through our Band and Glee Club programs, students get to play music with peers, a key skill for growing musicians!

Live Performances

Bach to Rock gives students the chance to perform live at local music venues, helping students build confidence on stage!

One-on-One Lessons

In private music lessons, our students learn one-on-one from some of the most talented music educators in the area.

Early Childhood Classes

Music is valuable for early childhood development! We offer programs for toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary students.

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Top Emerging Franchise 100 Franchise Connect Top 100 Education Franchises - 2022 Proud Member of NAMM Franchise Registry Member - Verified 2022 Vet Fran - A strategic initiative of the international franchise association - Since 1991 IFE - International Franchise Association - Member