Meet the Team

Our friendly, knowledgable staff is here to serve you.

Staff

Donovan Bankhead

Vice President

Donovan is the Vice President of Springfield Music, and has worked hard to position Springfield Music along with three other co-owned music retail stores to be fun, full service experiences for customers throughout Missouri and the surrounding states. He is highly-involved in the music industry, can often be found speaking at area universities, NAMM or NASMD, and is a bass guitarist and trumpet player. In additi...

Misty Kristek

Assistant General Manager

Misty is the assistant general manager. In addition to her duties as manager, she is in charge of accounts receivable and coordinating the lessons programs. If you are a lesson or rental customer, or a school, you probably know Misty. Some of you know Misty too well (pay your bills, folks!). Misty is a wife, mom and a hard worker! She's the glue that keeps the office together.

Mitch Brashers

Staff

To know Mitch is to love him. We know this because he tells us this all of the time. Seriously, customers LOVE dealing with Mitch, making him one of the most popular (and busy) people in the store. Please come in and chat him up - he's got the time!

Duane Lewis

Staff

As a working musician in the early seventies, traveling around the county was not an option, but a career in the music business was. With Duane’s mechanical aptitude and musical skills, instrument repair was the perfect job. Forty years later, Duane has a long-standing relationship with many of his customers, is a friend to all his co-workers, and consistently grows his clientele! Duane is a LEGEND as a re...

Paul Schmidt

Repair Facilities Manager

Paul is the Springfield Music repair facilities manager. He's a sax man who loves jazz. He has 25 years of repair experience and is known for terrific customer service. Although fantastic at all kinds of repairs, he specializes in woodwind instruments and elephant horns.

Kaela Chaffin

Staff

Kaela has been a techie since her early teens, and what started as a back-stage hobby in high school theater became a full-blown passion for running sound and lights. She began working at the Gillioz, launching her professional sound and light management career in 2009. Currently, Kaela works full time at Springfield Music dialing in the PA department while freelancing as a stagehand lighting and sound tech for ...

John Anno

Staff

Born and raised here in Springfield, John has been a guitarist for 15 years and active in the live music community for over a decade. John is here to help you achieve your musical endeavors with the right gear to get the job done.Come in, say hi, and he'll get you on the road to rock in no time!

Casey Kavanagh

Staff

Casey has been in Music retail since 2002 and has held just about every position possible in the music retail setting. Similarly to his diverse background in music retail, his musical talents are diverse as well. He's a unique breed of multi-instrumentalist. Casey's a band geek sax player who can play all woodwinds, and a vocalist who can play harmonica. He's known in the combo world as a guitar player and in th...

Mike Guffey

Staff

Ever know someone that makes you laugh every time you talk to them? Well, that's Guffey. A retired band director, where he had championship caliber bands at towns you’ve never heard of, he services all of our school accounts during his weekly visits to our beloved directors. No smart-aleck comments here, Guffey is the real deal, and a heckuva dude. Also known as "The Gizzard", "Guffster", "Guffarino" and "Suzy...

Instructors

Seth Cunningham

Instructor

Seth has been playing and teaching in Missouri for about 5 years. He has played with various ensembles around the state in everything from concert, marching and jazz bands to theatre groups and even the Springfield Music All Stars. When not teaching, Seth is working towards his bachelors of music education degree from Missouri State University, and serves as the drumline clinician at Glendale High School.

Austin Atkins

Instructor

Austin Atkins began playing guitar when he was in middle school. He was influenced by everything from classic rock to top 40 hits. Since then, he has played and recorded with artists across the country, from Alabama to New York. He specializes in teaching beginning guitar, adapting his teaching style to the student’s learning style.

Tara Lynn

Instructor

With over 20 years as a professional singer, Tara has known singer was her career choice since she was a young teenager. Her professional experience includes six year touring as a country singer, five years as the opening act for the Statler Brothers, and education from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to teaching vocal lessons at Springfield Music, Tara is sings in two...

Sean Clavin

Instructor

Sean Clavin has been teaching for over 25 years, averaging over 80 students a month in California. He moved to the Branson area in 2003 with Roy Rogers Jr. & The High Riders. For the past 16 years, he performed over 300 shows per year as their lead guitarist, dobro and mandolin player, and worked as a staff guitarist for Road Records & Chameleon Productions in SWMO. He has recorded eight full-length CDs ...

Ben Harrell

Instructor

Ben has over 12 years of playing experience, and he has been with Springfield Music since 2007. Ben holds a degree in Contemporary Music, and loves playing Blues, Rock, Folk and Acoustic music. His Favorite bands/players are Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Emmanuel and Joe Pass. A nicer guy you will not meet! And a GREAT teacher!

Bill Chapman

Instructor

When he's not on the road touring with his bluegrass band, The Chapmans, Bill Chapman teaches banjo lessons at Springfield Music. Whether you’ve been playing for years, or are just starting out, his professional experience allows him to teach all levels.

Rick Hendry

Instructor

Rick has been playing guitar since the age of 9. He was first influenced to pick up the instrument when he saw The Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. A year later, on his birthday, he got his first guitar. After years of professional playing experience, Rick started teaching guitar in 1994 at a local St. Louis music store and from September 2004 to September 2008 taught guitar and performed f...

Jennifer Farmer

Instructor

Hey all! My name is Jennifer Farmer and I'm a teacher here at Springfield Music. I've been playing for 19 years and love it. I play anything from classical to bluegrass music. I have a two year old daughter that keeps me on my toes, and I work at MSU. I'm very laid back and love the interactions I have with my students. It's definitely a blessing to get to see the progress they make in lessons.

Ian Nix

Instructor

Ian started singing before he could talk and started piano before he could walk. (Just kidding. He started piano when he was six and could totally walk before then.) He picked up the guitar around age eleven because his older brother was learning and, like every younger brother, he wanted to be like his older brother.  Ian has played lots of band instruments through middle and high school, trained classica...

Andrew Tiefenbrunn

Instructor

Andrew Tiefenbrunn began his studies in saxophone at age 11 while starting out as a member of the beginning band program in Owensville, Missouri. As Andrew continued to develop, he had many superior ratings whilst performing in saxophone trios and as a soloist. As a senior in high school, Andrew was a member of the East Central College community band under the direction of Aaron Bounds.  During his work at ...

David Pira

Instructor

David began his studies in the city of Pereira, Colombia with Adriana Marin and Marcela Jimenez. After moving to Bogota and getting admitted in the Central University he continued his studies with Laura Ospina and Petar Ivanov for a period of 3 years. Then, he got admitted with an outstanding audition to the Conservatory of Music at the National University of Colombia where he received lessons with M.M. Gabriel ...

Karolina Fraczak

Instructor

Karolina Fraczak began her violin education of competitive solo performing at age 6 in her home country of Poland. She moved to the United States at age 13, where she added orchestral education to her studies. One of the first orchestras she joined, was the Springfield Drury Civic Orchestra as the youngest member. Following that, she was accepted into Springfield Junior Youth Symphony, and later Springfield Yout...

Kevin Underwood

Instructor

Kevin Underwood went from getting lessons in Northeast Arkansas largest music program to being one of the areas most sought after instructors, becoming a well known player, coming in second place in Memphis national battle of the bands and eventually having his own hard rock instrumental show in Branson Missouri. He is currently in production on his second solo album and is always in pursuit of musical knowledge...

Kara LePage

Instructor

Kara LePage is a senior at Drury University where she is working towards her bachelors in Music Therapy. She's a graduate of Children's Music Academy and has been playing the piano for 12 years. She also plays the cello (8 years), guitar (5 years), and is a classically trained vocalist (8 years).  She sings with the Springfield Chamber Chorus and all of the choirs at Drury. She's in a band called Blue False...

Makayla Scott

Instructor

Makayla Scott is a Senior at Drury Univerisity currently pursuing a BA in Music and Vocal Performance. She is a part of all three choirs at Drury, and has toured internationally with Drury Singers. She also plays piano and guitar, and has done so for several years. Her true passion is singing and song-writing, which she does a lot of in her band Blue False Indigo.

Kurtis Achterman

Instructor

Kurtis has played upright bass and bass guitar for almost 20 years starting with his school orchestra in fifth grade. Since then he has gone on to play a wide range of music in youth symphonies to rock bands. He loves to teach new musicians giving them insight he wish he had been given as young musician, passing on the view that the most important thing about music is the joy it can bring to your life.

Rachel Moore

Instructor

I have been playing piano for about 9 years now. I attend Evangel University where I am currently working toward a degree in music. I love everything about music and it brings me great joy to share that love of music with others.

Leianna Cantrell

Instructor

My name is Leianna Cantrell and I am teaching violin and viola at Springfield Music. I have been a violinist for 9 years and I have always had a passion for music and teaching. I am a Music Education major at Evangel University and will be starting my sophomore year this Fall. I look forward to sharing my love of music with my future students!

Daniel Pasquale

Instructor

Daniel has been playing drums for 14 years, with early influences in jazz and rock music. He has played in a wide variety of live musical environments, and has studied nearly every musical style applicable to his instrument. Daniel has always been fascinated with both the technical and stylistic aspects of playing, and understands exactly what it takes to become a modern, well-rounded drummer. Daniel earned his ...

Bridget Ruark

Instructor

Bridget Ruark has been interested in music since she was in kindergarten and heard a jazz band perform at her school. Since then she has performed with many different ensembles all over the country including jazz bands, concert bands and marching bands. Bridget graduated from Missouri State in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Music Education and taught in public schools for two years. She is currently working on ...

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