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John Xepoleas

Camp Director

John Xepoleas has been the drum instructor at Soundwall since their inception and has been the Director of Music at the camp since 2000. He works closely with Mike Williams in guiding the curriculum and success of the Soundwall music camps. John is one of the most respected drummers and educators on the West Coast. He started performing and teaching in 1974 and has been an active part of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene ever since. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performances from Cal State University Hayward has has performed in a variety of musical situations ranging from jazz, rock and fusion, to classical, big band, R & B and funk. John has contributed numerous articles to Modern Drummer and Drum Magazines and has two drum method books published by Alfred music, "Style Studies for the Creative Drummer" and "Essential Drum Lessons with the Greats". He has a popular YouTube channel featuring video drum lessons and teaches private drum and Skype drum lesson from his Pleasant Hill studio. He also has a popular OnLine Drum Lesson site where you can find a variety of practical, easy to understand, Online Drum Lessons. John is currently performing with the Fundamentals and Fundz Jazz along with other side projects and freelance acts.

Mike Williams

Music Theory & Rock Music History

Mike is the former Camp Director at Soundwall Music and has been involved since its inception. In 1995, he worked with Jana Pantazelos (Camp Founder) to develop the residential program as its Music Director. Mike earned his Master of Arts degree from CSUH in music composition. He teaches Music Literature, Popular Music and American Culture, Music Theory and Guitar at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA. Mike has taught privately since 1972 and in 1995 authored the advanced guitar instruction book, "Guitar Lessons with the Greats," for Warner Brothers Music.

Chris Meek

Music Director / Guitar Instructor

Chris Meek has been a perfoming musician and educator for more than 20 years. He currently owns and operates High Five Music Academy in Concord CA. Chris is also an in demand performer gigging around the Bay Area and beyond with Livewire (a top party band), 1st Avenue review (Prince tribute) and the Junior Deville Blues Band. He has played all the top clubs in the Bay Area including the Fillmore, Yoshi’s Oakland, The Masonic Auditorium, Bimbo’s, Fillmore Heritage Center and the historic Empress Theater. Chris has been on the staff of Soundwall since 1994 as guitar instructor and has since taken on responsibilities of Music Director. 

Ann Hughes

Vocal Instructor

Ann Hughes has been teaching at Soundwall since its inception. Three of her children are Soundwall alumni. She has been singing professionally for 40 years in the SF Bay Area and Los Angeles area. She has taught private and group voice in the SF Bay Area for 25 years. She has a diverse style covering jazz, big band, swing, gospel, blues, pop and rock. She was the music director at Canyon Creek Church in San Ramon for over 20 years and is still actively involved with that program. She also sings and subs with a number of local bands including: Ace High, Bob Claire Orchestra and the Cooltones. 

Chris Cole

Vocal Instructor

Chris Cole’s musical career started in the late 60's and 70s where he spent many weekend nights at the Fillmore and Winterland watching some of the greatest acts in the world on stage. It was at these historic venues that he got the singing bug. 

His resume is full of names from acts like Eddie Money, Jefferson Starship, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Big Brother and the Holding Company. Chris has performed nation wide and has toured with many well known acts as well as some local favorites. He currently fronts the Fundamentals band and a local jazz five piece. He can also be seen with guitarist Jeff Tamalier at local night spots. When he is not performing, he teaches tennis in the Napa area. 

Scott Hughes

Vocal Instructor

Scott Hughes attended Soundwall’s inaugural session, and has been performing and teaching music ever since. As a child surrounded by musical friends and family, he grew up with an understanding of how music-making connects people in both fundamental and profound ways. Scott is now a credentialed music teacher and vocal trainer, and has had the honor of working with many thousands of students and performers of all ages in their pursuit of music-making. Scott’s instruction marries musicianship, theory, vocal technique, movement and rhythm, composition and interpretation, recording and instrumentation, and fundamentals of sound mixing and reinforcement. He is thrilled to be part of the Soundwall team, and can attest to the musical growth of Soundwall students as both an instructor and a parent.

Marc Levine

Bass Instructor

Marc has been a full-time musician since age 17. He has performed or recorded with the following artists: Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Dionne Warwick, Olivia Newton-John, Melissa Manchester, Michael Damien, David Hasselhoff, Burt Bacharach, Dianne Schuur, Rosemary Clooney, Gerry Mulligan, K.T. Oslin, Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain. He has been a bass instructor at Soundwall since 2005.

Adam Schuman

Guitar Instructor

Guitar Instructor - Adam is a Bay Area musician who has been teaching since 1998. Adam has toured nationally and internationally and several compositions (performed and co-written) have been placed in television and movies. Adam is currently working with San Francisco based band Static and Surrender. 

Mike Ramos

Guitar Instructor

Longtime Soundwall instructor Mike Ramos (and also former camper) has taught guitar since 2000. He attended Monte Vista High School in Danville, CA and received a degree from Harvard College in 2005. Mike has toured Japan, played at the Monterey Jazz festival, and was twice a member of the Grammy High School Band. Mike studies, performs, and teaches many styles of guitar including jazz, blues, rock, country, classical, and metal. 

Eliana Athayde

Bass Instructor

Longtime Soundwall instructor (also former camper), Ellie currently tours nationally and internationally with Innovative Leisure recording artist Nick Waterhouse. After studying at USC Ellie became an in demand bassist in Southern Calforinia - performing and recording with The Hi-Fi Honeydrops, Jacaranda, Jon Batiste, and Louise Goffin. 

Michael Hughes

Drum Instructor

Former Soundwall camper Michael Hughes is an American drummer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied drumming at L.A. Music Academy with Joe Porcaro and Ralph Humphrey and spent a decade performing in LA with artists such as Tal Wilkenfeld, Frank Gambale, and Robben Ford. In 2012 he returned to the Bay Area where he teaches and gigs full time. He is the drummer on "Heavy Feel" by Larry Coryell as well as Throttle Elevator Music's "Area J" and "Jagged Rocks" featuring Kamasi Washington. 

Chris Haman

Drum Instructor

Chris Haman has been a drum set and percussion enthusiast since the age of 10. Throughout his academic career as a young man he constantly formed rock bands with schoolmates and others who shared a passion for creating music. Working with musicians and students is a highly rewarding experience for Chris. Specializing in rock, latin, and jazz, Chris always strives to provide his students with the most well-rounded musical experience. In 2015 he graduated from San Jose University with a music performance degree in jazz studies. Currently Chris stays busy with his band Super Soul Bros and plays various freelance gigs with local musicians in the bay area. Teaching remains to be one of the most fulfilling aspects of Chris’s life. 

Matt Watson

Recording Instructor

Matt has been with Soundwall since 2015. His formal music education began with percussion in the 3rd grade school band, but many of his earliest memories involve music. After graduating from U.C. Davis' prestigious Agriculture and Resource Economics program, with high marks, Matt desired to expand on his musical and technological abilities. Since then, he's earned a certificate in Music Industry Studies from Diablo Valley College. Additionally, he's had the opportunity to study privately with a number of accomplished musicians. His current activities include providing recording services, as well as, teaching drumming and audio engineering/recording.

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