Meet the Team

Our friendly, knowledgable staff is here to serve you.


Donovan Bankhead


Donovan is the President of Springfield Music, and has worked hard to position Springfield Music along with four 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 addition to ...

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


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


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


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


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!

Mike Guffey


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...


Austin Atkins


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


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


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


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


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.

Jennifer Farmer


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.

Rachel Moore


Rachel Moore has been playing piano for about 9 years now. She attends Evangel University and is currently working toward a degree in music.  She loves everything about music and it brings her great joy to share that love of music with others.

Leianna Cantrell


Meet Leianna Cantrell. Springfield Music’s violin and viola instructor. She has been a violinist for 9 years and has always had a passion for music and teaching. She is currently a Music Education major at Evangel University and will be starting her sophomore year this Fall. She looks forward to sharing her love of music with her future students!

Daniel Pasquale


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


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 ...

Kassidy Swindle


Kassidy has been studying piano for ten years, and will graduate from MSU in the spring 2018 with a degree in Piano Performance. She has been with Springfield Music for over a year, but has been teaching a total of five years. She has had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of students: from age 3 to 63, and from a number of cultural backgrounds. Kassidy says her favorite part of teaching is connecting w...

JonPaul Dean


JonPaul (Jp) Dean has had an interest in music and education from an early age. As early as he can remember, he’s always wanted to be a band director. Starting in 6th grade, Jp has been playing trombone and euphonium for almost 12 years. Currently, Jp is in his senior year at Missouri State University where he is studying Instrumental Music Education. Jp has a wide variety of playing experience, including:...

Ryan Templeton


A Midwest native, ’90s kid, music theory nerd and blogger, Ryan has been fascinated with music since playing the trombone in middle school concert band. In high school he discovered his love for the bass guitar and between the two instruments he has performed in a wide variety of venues, from Carnegie Hall to The Outland Ballroom. As a bass player he has performed in rock, indie, metal, folk and worship ba...

Luke Lyons


Studying music throughout his college career, Luke Lyons holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music, as well as a Masters of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Missouri State University. Having been involved with music throughout his life, he began studying piano with Jennifer McAtee at Ozarks Technical Community College before transferring to Missouri State where he studied piano with Dr. Wei-Han Su and horn with Dr. L...

Mark Stauffer


Mark Stauffer, BM, SAA; is an active performer and teacher throughout eastern Kansas and western Missouri. He has had the privilege of sharing the stage with performers such as Evanescence, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, and Sarah McLachlan. He is a member of the Kinnor Philharmonic. He formerly performed with the St. Joseph Symphony and the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. He started his pedagogy educa...

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