GARY WENZEL - Guitar and Bass
(Comments by Fred Bernardo , owner of Fred's Music Shop ) Gary is a "Master Level" guitar instructor having over 40 years experience playing and over 35 years teaching the guitar. Gary has taught literally thousands of people how to play the guitar. He is an avid student of the guitar and a collector as well as a player and instructor. Many years ago, Gary, still a very young man, helped Fred out by taking over his student roster at our original store on North Ninth Street. Gary is one of the most respected guitarists in our area.
Gary Wenzel has had extensive musical training, and has studied guitar under the tutelage of such musicians as Marty Bonk, Ken Gehret, and Jack Wilkins. Gary is a very experienced musician and has been playing guitar since 1964 and has been playing the bass guitar since 1968. Gary has mainly taught at Fred’s Music Shop, but has also embarked on other musical ventures such as holding music workshops at Penn State as well as Albright College.
Gary’s favorite genres of music include Jazz, Rock, Blues, and Classical music. His primary influences include The Beatles, Albert Lee, Coltrane, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Jimi Hendrix. In addition to being a music instructor, Gary also has experience playing in front of live audiences. He has performed with Jazz Speak, Sonia V Trio, the Berks Jazz Project Anthology Duo, and Ken Gehret. Gary has also recorded music and collaborated with Jazz Speak and the Sonia V Trio.
BRIAN LEVERING - Guitar and Bass
Brian Levering’s music credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in Music Business from Lebanon Valley College. He is proficient in a wide range of musical instruments including guitar, piano, bass guitar, drums/percussion, and a variety of stringed instruments - all of which he has more than ten years of playing experience with. He has taught music lessons exclusively at Fred’s Music Shop. Brian enjoys mainly Rock music, but listens to a wide range of different musical genres.
Brian’s main musical influences include John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matt Bellamy, Jimmy Page, Ben Folds, Robert Fripp of King Crimson, and Scott Weiland. Brian has performed with various live acts such as Egon & the Slimers, The Three Amigos, Queen’s Ransome, Nine after Nine, Karmonious Funk, and Section 8. Brian also has his own recording studio where he writes & records for a music publishing company called RDSD Publishing.
DAVID ELLISON - Guitar & Bass
David Ellison is a highly experienced musician who was taught guitar by Paul Lechner while in High School. David began his journey into music while in grade school where he started on the piano, then moved onto the trumpet, afterwards he began playing the electric guitar and bass - both of which he has 44 years of experience with.
He has taught many students off and on, mostly friends and fellow band mates. His favorite styles of music range from Classic Rock to Modern Rock. His favorite artists include Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Nathan East, Flea, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Joe Perry. He has also performed live with many bands and musicians such as Laredo in Augsburg, the Sonny Miller Band, Country Freedom Band, Susquehanna River Band, The Chills, Up and Running, Sonic, Paradice, and Dave Mel Blue’s Band.
David also has recorded with the Susquehanna River Band, where they cut 45’s that were played in the jukeboxes where they performed at. In his spare time, David enjoys building guitars, building speakers, running sounds, and keeping his mind sharp by doing various puzzles and mind-games.
David’s family also includes people with extraordinary musical ability, and his entire family is essentially involved with music in some form or another. For example, his sister is an outstanding pianist and one of David’s cousins plays a pipe organ in a cathedral. His father played trumpet while he was in college.
DONNA UPSON - Guitar / Bass / Banjo / Mandolin
Donna’s college education/training credentials include the Nashville Online Songwriting Class (i.e. Song University) where some of her songs received publishing offers. She is influenced by, and studied the guitar styles of Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dire Straits, and Brent Mason. In addition to studying the guitar, Donna has studied the ukulele styles of Jake Shimaburkuro.
Donna is a very experienced and eclectic musician. She is proficient in both electric and acoustic guitar, which she has been playing for more than 20 years. She has also been playing the 4 &5 string bass guitar for 15 years, the mandolin for 10 years, the banjo for 5 years, and the ukulele for 4 years. She has demonstrated and taught her musical talent to others by working as a teacher at George’s Music Store in Spring City, Pennsylvania. She enjoys a wide variety of music, but her favorites include 90’s Alternative Rock, Classic Rock, Country, as well as Praise and Worship music.
Her primary musical influences include Mark Knopfler, Brent Mason, and Tony Rice on guitar, and Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele. She is also an experienced live musician that has performed with many acts such as Tickled Pink, Rob Stearns of Eagles Wings Ministries, Eugene Greco from Integrity Music, Book author Linda Oatman High, as well as various worship teams.
Donna also has experience composing and recording her own music. She released various albums and her songs that are currently available for download on iTunes, Amazon, etc… Also released by Donna is a ukulele song entitled “Stray Cat Tails” about rescued kittens, and Christmas CD titled “We 3 Kings.“ In addition to the aforementioned songs and recordings, she also co-wrote songs with Canadian artist Carol Lynn Friesen and Linda Oatman High.
In her spare time, Donna enjoys working with Adobe illustrator & Video Editor to create such works of art as the music video for her song “Stray Cat Tails” which can be viewed via YouTube.
DAVE MELL - Guitar and Bass
Dave Mell has
been playing music since 1972 in every type of band common to the
Eastern PA area. After years of exposure to many styles of music, he
has applied a wealth of musical influences to his own guitar and vocal
approach to playing blues-based music. Dave has played often
at BB Kings Club in NYC, and has recently toured mutiple cities in the
songs in all styles, arranging music, recording music (both his own
music and guest appearances on others recordings), and teaching guitar
are among Dave's interests.
SARAH KLINE - Woodwinds / Guitar / Bass
Sarah Kline is an experienced musician who received her education from Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania. She is a multi-talented musician who is well-versed in many different instruments. She has been playing the flute for 23 years, the saxophone for 14 years, the clarinet for 11 years, the guitar for 10 years, the bass guitar for 3 years, and has been singing for 22 years. She has taught at Fred’s Music Shop exclusively for the past ten years.
Sarah’s favorite styles of music include Rock and Heavy Metal. Her favorite musical artists are No Doubt and Michelle Branch. She has performed live with Middle Class Madness, and has filled in as a vocalist for Parkside Ave. on various occasions. In her spare time Sarah enjoys watching sports, reading books, as well as listening to and writing music.