Brian Streckfus, guitar faculty

Brian Streckfus received his Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. There, he studied with Ray Chester, who chairs the guitar department at Peabody Conservatory and is one of the world’s leading guitarists. In addition, he has also studied with other notable pedagogues including classical guitarists Serap Bastepe-Gray, Julian Gray and James Hontz, as well as jazz guitarists Brian Kooken and Vincent Corson.

In addition to guitar, Mr. Streckfus has long-standing interests in numerous music topics, including the pedagogy of guitar and the pedagogy of music theory. He also has a love for music technology, and his knowledge of music equipment in general is invaluable for an aspiring guitarist. He often incorporates and explains effects, chord detection programs and interactive games that help students develop the necessary fundamentals to become successful musicians.

Brian Streckfus started music at age 9, playing percussion on a snare drum. Soon after, he started playing on a full drum set and taking private lessons. After playing various orchestral percussion instruments in middle school band, he discovered guitar at the age of fifteen, playing tabs of his favorite songs and jamming with friends.

The new-found interest in guitar and in music became a turning point in his life. He quickly developed a love for music, and was inspired to enroll in three years of guitar and music theory, extra-curricular jazz band and private lessons in high school.

One major reason Mr. Streckfus continued with music is because his grades improved dramatically the year he really got into music. He thinks that music gave him a purpose that he wouldn’t otherwise have had. “That’s one of many reasons,” Streckfus says, “that music lessons should be available to everyone.”

Shortly after that, Mr. Streckfus studied classical and jazz guitar in college, played in jazz big bands for a total of three years, and continued to collaborate with musicians in diverse genres and styles, acquiring extensive ensemble experience both in and out of school. In addition, he has performed jazz, popular and classical genres at numerous Maryland music venues. These include Baltimore’s Lyric Opera House, Miriam A Friedberg Concert hall, Towson’s Recher Theatre, Fret Fest at Goodwin Hall, the Cohen Davison Family Theatre, Fallston Hall and Fletcher’s.

More than anything, Brian Streckfus is motivated by a desire to give back to the music community, to keep the art of music alive and available, and to improve music pedagogy by incorporating technology.  It isn’t unusual for him to work on and teach rock music, electronic music, improvisation, Indian ragas, and classical music on the same day. The versatility of his chosen instrument, and the sense that there is always something new and exciting around the next corner, is what he believes keeps his students coming back for more.

Check Availability

Patrick Sise, guitar faculty

A dedicated private teacher since 2006, Patrick Sise has over 10 years of teaching experience. Since 2012, he has guided the Guitar Program at Frostburg State University, where he is lecturer in Guitar.

A native of Richmond Virginia, Mr. Sise started playing the guitar when he moved to Elkton, Maryland at the age of eleven, and received his Associate of Arts degree in music/guitar from Cecil College in 2006.  While attending Cecil College, he received the 2005/06 Cecil County Arts Council Fellowship, which awarded annually to one student for artistic excellence.

Mr. Sise holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Guitar Performance and Guitar Pedagogy from the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Julian Gray.  During his graduate studies at Peabody, Mr. Sise was awarded a graduate assistantship with the music education department.

An active performer, Mr. Sise has performed at a wide variety of venues throughout the northeast region, including the Guitar Foundation of America’s regional symposium, Cecil College’s Milburn Stone Theatre, the Port Deposit Heritage Corporation concert series, and the Lehigh Valley Classical Guitar Festival.  Other notable performances include the 2010 Port Deposit Heritage Corporation Holiday Concert where he performed with Peabody faculty member Donald Sutherland, organist, and the 2009-2010 John E. Marlow Guitar Series. In addition to solo and chamber concerts, he is currently concertizing with his duo partner, guitarist Mark Edwards. He has performed in master classes for Manuel Barrueco, Adam Holzman, Laura Oltman, David Leisner, David Starobin, William Kanengiser, Bruce Holzman, Ricardo Cobo, Lorenzo Micheli, Ana Vidovic, and Nathan Fischer.

A versatile musician with eclectic tastes, Mr. Sise is the founder of Arizona Bay, a band that is dedicated to performing the music of  Tool as well as original compositions.  Mr. Sise is also an active member of We Love the Underground.  Both bands have performed all around the Baltimore area at popular venues such as the Ottobar and Angel’s Rock Bar in Power Plant Live.

Mr. Sise is active in community outreach programs.  During his student days, he was a member of Creative Access, a student-run volunteer performance program. In addition, he was a site coordinator for the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Baltimore City Veterans Hospital, where he performed monthly.  He is currently active in the Face-to-Face Guitar program, an organization that provides free lessons to Baltimore’s inner-city elementary school students.

Check Availability