New Beginning For School Of Rock


Roslyn is home to all sorts of creative people. Those who have a talent for music can go to many places, including The Roslyn School of Rock, an institution that has been at 154 Mineola Ave. for the past four years.

The Roslyn School of Rock was previously part of a franchise that included 160 stores in both the United States and in eight different foreign countries. But this past August, Tory Ridder and Ned Kelly purchased the Roslyn store, making it independently operated. On Saturday, Aug. 20, the store held an open house, complete with live music, giveaways and tours, all to celebrate their new presence in Roslyn.

Both men are happy to be in Roslyn.

“We love Roslyn,” Ridder said, adding that both men became interested in purchasing the store after a visit several years ago with the manager and some students. “We immediately fell in love with the facility,” Ridder added. “We met with staff and students. And once we saw some students perform, we thought about purchasing it.”

Tory Ridder and Ned Kelly (second and third, right)
Tory Ridder and Ned Kelly (second and third, right)

Both men had spent about two years looking for a store where they could advance their musical plans. And both left the corporate world in order to become entrepreneurs.

“We already have put our personal touches on the store,” Ridder said. “The structure was already there. We are also putting our personal efforts into the community, making Roslyn Rocks more than just a place where people take guitar and drum lessons.”
And so far, Ridder is pleased with the results.

“Our house band in second to none to anyone in the country,” he claimed. “The young people who come in are incredibly talented, incredibly nice in the way they treat and mentor younger students. Out students are looked up to in the community and at the schools. There is a wealth of talent in Roslyn and we are fortunate to tap into it.”

Ridder said the house band had a busy summer, playing at festivals throughout Nassau County. He adds that the School of Rock draws students not just from Roslyn, but from the North Shore and South Shore and even Queens County. With its location on Mineola Avenue, there is never a parking problem for both students and customers.

Growing up in Westchester County with a passion for rock music, Ridder was first introduced to the concept in 2009 after he saw a group of School of Rock All-Stars perform with Jon Anderson, the former vocalist for his favorite rock band, Yes.

Friends since childhood, Ridder and Kelly knew it was the perfect way to inspire kids in their community and through a unique performance based approach. The two have enrolled all five of their children in the program and look forward to expanding the concept throughout the region. Ridder himself is a musician, playing as the lead drummer for a local band, Sway.

The Roslyn School of Rock plans to unleash that same confidence in its students as they embark on a musical journey and from the results of last summer, it looks to be well on the way to its goals.






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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.


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