Originally from the Phoenix, AZ area, Lance moved to Flagstaff in the summer of 1985 to attend Northern Arizona University on a Music Scholarship and graduated with a Music Minor and Business Major. With the launch of Arizona Music Pro in 1994, Lance sought out to build a hub for local and touring musicians, a place where all musicians would feel comfortable and want to hang out, exchange stories and experiences and most importantly, would receive the highest level of customer service and product selection. Lance realized not only a personal dream, but a family tradition as well – Lance’s father and grandfather worked as music educators in the New Mexico and Arizona public school systems. As public school art and music programs continue to face budget cuts, the opportunity for private sector influence grows, and Lance has been able to leverage a great deal of positive change in the Flagstaff community through the Az Music Pro Trophy Program, Flagstaff Children’s Music Festival, a strong dedication to the A.M.P. Lessons Academy and a strong commitment to Music Education.
A husband and father of two boys, Lance is a classically trained Double Bassist who has dabbled with the guitar, violin, the trombone, and a slew of other instruments. Lance currently plays with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Verde Valley Symphonietta and various Classic Rock & Blues compilations and can be found teaching with NAU Summer Music Camp or hosting master classes for local school music programs.
Rich Neville, General Manager
Rich grew up in the panhandle of Oklahoma, Texas County. He began playing music at the age of 12 and has toured extensively with such top artists as Poco, Vince Gill, Mel McDaniel (Capitol Records), Ronnie Dunn (Arista Records), Debbie Campbell, Gus Hardin (RCA Records), and Blue Streak, among others. With over 40 years in the Music Industry, Rich is eager to share his knowledge and experience. Rich has been overseeing operations at Arizona Music Pro for close to 20 years and spends his day delivering top notch customer service and bringing a level of professionalism not commonly found in today’s Music Store environment . He’s savvy, well-traveled, a world-class bass player and a black belt in customer service. He knows everyone’s name and probably knows a lot of secrets too. Talking to Rich sort of feels like logging in to a wireless network. Despite being super-nice and approachable, Rich is a badass player and can throw down musically and intellectually. He has three grown children, and enjoys keeping current on anything musical, writing, cooking and hiking. Rich currently plays bass with Texola and is a popular session musician.
Vince Abeytta, Director of Operations
With more than 16 years of retail management experience, Vince solidifies the team's business operations expertise and ensures that everything at AMP runs smoothly and on all cylinders. From inventory and marketing to shipping and general strategy, Vince has his hands in all facets of Arizona Music Pro. Vince has been a musician, specializing in guitar, for more than 35 years and owned Northern Arizona Sound Reinforcement for over 10 years. No matter the challenge, Vince knocks it out without batting an eye. To round out his full arsenal of skills, Vince is even Factory Authorized by Fender, Gretsch & Jackson guitars to repair their instruments making Vince the ultimate swiss army knife - He simply can do it all.
Dean Neasham, Lessons Coordinator
Teaches: Guitar, Bass, Voice, Music Theory
Dean has been teaching for almost 20 years. He teaches all musical styles and all ages. Dean is also a contemporary worship leader. Feel free to contact Dean with any questions, comments or concerts regarding the lesson program.
Brad Bays, Instructor
Teaches: Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo
Professional musician Brad Bays has been playing guitar for 36 years, teaching for 20 years. He has a BA in music from NAU, many hours recording, countless solo performances, and has played with several bands around the US. Brad teaches classical, jazz, rock, folk, country, slide, and bluegrass styles on guitar. On banjo he teaches bluegrass, clawhammer/frailing, and plectrum styles. He teaches mandolin as well as other folk instruments to all ages and levels of students.
Jeff Rester, Instructor
Teaches: Bass and Guitar
Born in 1982 and raised in mid-Michigan, Jeff had an early start in music and began learning guitar when he was 10 years old. By his teenage years he was a part of several music projects including singing with the Barbershop Harmony Society (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America), a guitarist/bassist in a praise band for a local church, and a singer-songwriter in an independent Progressive/Metal band.
In his twenties he studied music composition and sound engineering at Lansing Community College. During this time, he started teaching private music lessons alongside learning various instruments and music theory. In the early 2000’s he joined an Americana/Rock band and spent most of his time touring throughout the Midwest in places like Cincinnati, Chicago, and Detroit. One of his greatest milestones was recording two albums at Rust Belt Studios in Detroit, MI with producer Al Sutton (Kid Rock, Greta Van Fleet, Black Eyed Peas, Bob Seger). When Jeff moved to Flagstaff in 2010 he quickly dug into the music scene by teaching and working at Arizona Music Pro as well as being a part of numerous festivals and shows in town. With over 25 years of experience, it doesn’t matter what the style is. Jeff enjoys teaching guitar, bass, ukulele, voice, and music composition to a wide range of students and age groups.
Anna Hagood, Instructor
As a young flutist in high school, Anna was accepted into regionals yearly and All-State her senior year. She studied with Philip Swanson, a former Flute professor and principal flutist for the NAU Symphony. Summer of 1999, she attended a two week Flute Master Class in Lake Placid, New York with renowned flutists such as Julius Baker and Jim Walker. She started out as a Flute performance major at NAU and unfortunately because of some injuries decided to finally minor in music and went on to travel in France and receive a BA in French. Recently, she keeps up playing flute for fun and has enjoyed accompanying children’s choir concerts and playing duets with friends. Mostly classically trained, she has also dabbled in improvisation. She has experience teaching beginning-intermediate players and has even seen some players move onto studying music full-time.
John T. Wooten (JT), Instructor
Teaches: Guitar, Bass
John T. Wooten, aka JT has been teaching at Arizona Music Pro for more than two years. JT teaches Guitar and Bass with a focus on fretboard visualization and music theory. JT specializes in lead guitar, and teaches students the basic understanding of music theory that will serve them well throughout their musical paths. Students that like classic rock and heavy metal will be best suited to JT as a teacher and will learn many techniques such as sweeping, tapping, and finding their own musical ear. JT's students are encouraged to find their own style of music. JT wants to instill the idea that your instrument is something to have fun with, the better you get and the more you learn and apply, the more fun you will have!
Cayson Morrison, Instructor
Teaches: Drums, Percussion
Cayson has been drumming for more than 20 years and teaching at Arizona Music Pro for 6. He enjoys teaching interested people of all skill levels and ages. Drums and rhythm teach important lessons for musicians of any instrument which extend into lessons that apply towards life. Cayson teaches in a way that a student learns techniques for listening, focus, relaxation, independent thought, communication and time travel. He especially enjoys and teaches polyrhythms, jazz, improvisation and ideas that break convention. Cayson's intention is for the student to incorporate what s/he learns in her drum lesson and to apply and/or notice it artistically in the world that surrounds.
Patty Gross, Instructor
Teaches: Piano, Voice
Patty Gross started her career as a musician at age 3, singing with her father on the radio. She started piano lessons at age 7, and from the ages 13 and 17 she studied under Austrian concert pianist, Margaret Neufeldt. Patty continued her education at New England Conservatory where she studied voice, piano and advanced theory. Mrs. Gross moved to Flagstaff in 1996 and began involving herself in several music programs and teaching privately. She has been with AZ Music Pro for over two years now. She loves to mentor the younger (and sometimes the older) people in our community with playing, singing, or performing.
Mary Schlanger, Instructor
Teaches: French Horn, Trumpet
Mary is currently attending Northern Arizona University where she is studying Horn Performance with Nancy Sullivan, Principal Horn Lecturer in Horn and Chamber Music. At NAU, she is a member of the NAU Symphony Orchestra, NAU Wind Symphony, and several Chamber Horn ensembles. In High School, Mary performed with the Coconino High School Band as well as, the Regional Honor Band and the All-State Honor Band. She toured Europe with the Arizona Ambassadors of music, performed with the Curry Summer Music Camp for eight years and Arrowbear Music Camp for four.
After college Mary plans to pursue her love for French horn by getting a Masters and a Ph.D in horn performance.
David Martinez, Instructor
Teaches: Brass, Trombone, Tuba, Euphonium
Current Ensembles: NAU Symphonic Band, Brass Quintet, Trombone Quartet, Jazz Band 1, Trombone Choir
David Martinez is a sophomore music education major at Northern Arizona University with an emphasis in trombone. An expert on many diverse brass instruments, David has played in many of the ensembles at Kingman High School, including: principal euphonium in the wind ensemble, and lead trumpet in the second jazz band. In addition, he has played tuba and trombone for the Kingman Community Orchestra. David participated in the Northwest regional honor band and as principal trombone for the Northwest regional honor orchestra for two years. He also had the honor of playing bass trombone for the Arizona all-state orchestra and participating in the Arizona all-state jazz band.
In college, David has served as principal trombone of the NAU symphonic band and wind symphony. He has also been a member of the top jazz band and the NAU trombone quartet. Additional chamber music experience includes substituting for the Elden Brass (NAU’s faculty brass quintet) and his current position with the NAU student brass quintet.
Rachel Butherus, Instructor
Rachel Butherus was born in Greeley, Colorado and moved to Flagstaff in 2016 to pursue a Master's degree in Suzuki Pedagogy at NAU. Rachel received her undergraduate degree in Violin Performance from the University of Northern Colorado where she studied under Richard Fuchs and Margaret Soper- Guiterrez. Butherus has toured with orchestras and played in chamber festivals across Italy, Germany, England, and the Czech Republic. Rachel is currently a member of the Skylight City String Quartet located here in Flagstaff where she enjoys making music with fellow Flagstaff Symphony members and friends.
Shawn Dennehy is the Stringed Instrument Repair Technician, a music instructor here at Arizona Music Pro, a sound engineer, and professional musician. As a repair technician, Shawn’s specialty is in repairing acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, banjos and ukuleles. He has extensive experience in repairs, restorations, custom modifications, and is now offering custom built guitars at an affordable price range. Shawn also studied music education at NAU and taught music full time before becoming a repair technician. Shawn say, “I am passionate about sharing music knowledge and promoting the love of music.” At AZ Music Pro, he takes students in guitar, bass, uke, mandolin, and songwriting. As a sound engineer, Shawn runs a small studio, works with local and regional audio/visual production companies, recording studios, and also runs an Open Mic Night every Monday at Hops on Birch. As a professional musician, Shawn plays guitar, bass, and sings for Lucky Lenny, Blammity Blam, Viola Gets Lucky, Mr. Whisker, and as a solo and freelance guest artist. Shawn is also the band leader and songwriter for touring bluegrass group, Lucky Lenny. Shawn has performed in 4 different countries and all over the United States. Shawn also hold a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology from Northern Arizona University.
Neil Wilson - Service Manager
Neil remembers fondly getting his first guitar when he was around five. His Dad helped him learn and also taught him guitar repair later in life. A collector of guitars he still has his first guitar, restored, but with the battle scars of his climbing trees with it. Throughout grade school Neil learned most of the band and orchestra instruments as he was trying to find “his instrument”. In high school he took several years of music theory classes as well as guitar lessons from some of the better local talents. Traveling the country he ended up taking classes at the Malecarne School of Music in New York. After a few years of running photography studios and learning/playing the guitar on the east coast he moved to Arizona where he and a friend started the Flagstaff School of Music. As a lifelong artist, Neil tries to continue to build his custom guitar work while also bringing his energy, over 30 years of playing music, teaching, instrument repair, retail sales, business and management experience to Arizona Music Pro. Expect to see him on the sales floor giving top-level customer service or in the guitar shop utilizing creativity and attention to detail.
Avery Wilson - Sales & Customer Support
Avery was surrounded by music as he grew up in a very musical family. For most of grade school he was homeschooled and chose to learn the bass guitar over most other topics. As he grew up he switched to the guitar, learning from his Dad as well as high school classes and other sources. Avery has also spent years honing his skills at guitar repair and has a solid grasp of what it takes to run a business and be part of a successful team. He has a broad appreciation of music and has knowledge ranging from 60’s folk songs to modern EDM and techno music/recording. Avery brings years of experience in customer service, guitar repair, and music together at Arizona Music Pro and has found some of his true talents in sales, customer assistance, and guitar repair at Arizona Music Pro. Look for him to give you great customer service and enthusiasm!
Wyatt Blair - IT / Marketing / Sales & Customer Support
Record label founder. Recording wizard. Power pop maestro. Wyatt Blair is a man of many disciplines. Blair began Lolipop Records out of his parents’ Laguna Beach garage in 2010 with a simple goal of recording his friends and sharing their music with the world. When Wyatt moved the label to Los Angeles in 2012, he inadvertently started a rock ‘n’ roll revolution — spawning an army of sweet-toothed teens with an insatiable appetite for the sugary garage pop sounds of Lolipop bands — most of them discovered by Blair himself. Blair continued to write, record and produce his own music at a prolific rate. His debut full-length, “Banana Cream Dream,” immortalized his love of all things sweet and solidified his place as one of LA’s top tunesmiths. Tiring of the Los Angeles rat race, Wyatt moved his operation to Flagstaff, and continues to run his label, record and produce all while assisting Flagstaff's budding musicians in finding and learning everything they need at Arizona Music Pro.
Emilio Ferrara - Drums
Emilio has been studying and playing music for his whole life. Anything he can get his hands on - Trumpet, Euphonium, Guitar, Piano, Voice, and Drums – have all contributed to his passion for rhythm and theory in music. After his latest passion for the drumkit led to a letter of acceptance at Berklee College of Music in Boston, he knew drums were at the top of his list. His love for rock, alternative, and metal was inspired by bands such as Paramore, Muse, and Of Mice & Men, and have set a strong foundation for fun, heavy hitting, technical drumming that is always a blast to play! He also runs a remote studio business, for which he has played drums with local artists and continues to strive for musical expertise in many facets.
Robb Belcher - Winds Repair
Robb Belcher is originally from Mt. Vernon, Ohio and received a bachelor of music education from Ohio Northern University in 1978 and a master of music in trombone performance from the University of Cincinnati (C.C.M.) in 1981. He was principal trombone with the Midland-Odessa (Texas) Symphony and Lone Star Brass Quintet from 1984-1992. He then taught at the Temple College (Temple, Texas) from 1992-2000. The main duties were first and second year music theory, trombone and euphonium lessons, and ensembles including jazz, brass and early music. He has free-lanced on trombone throughout his career and enjoys a variety of music styles.
He worked at Arizona Music Pro from 2006-2017 as shipping and receiving manager, wind instrument repair, salesperson and brass teacher, and is back now to focus on the wind repairs.