Founding Executive Director
Jessica (McKay) Craft founded Rock to the Future in 2010 after working for Janney Montgomery Scott, a prestigious investment firm in Philadelphia. Jessica studied music through public school as a child starting with violin, saxophone, and clarinet in her early years, then percussion in high school. She believes in the power of music to change lives. A Temple University graduate with a degree in Business Administration and Economics, Jessica has been featured in the New York Times and named a Local Leader at the PA Conference for Women, among other awards. In 2014, Jessica completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership certificate program and the Designing Leadership series in 2017.
Her past volunteer work includes being a big sister through Big Brother, Big Sister, working with Habitat for Humanity, teaching drums at Girls Rock Philly youth and adult camps, and organizing community benefit events. She is also currently the drummer for Philadelphia band Conversations, who opened for The Beach Boys in 2014.
Joshua is a Philadelphia-based songwriter and music instructor who has been teaching music for over fifteen years. He has taught for Paul Green’s School of Rock, Farrington’s Music, Major Music, and privately. Because of his love of teaching and dedication to Rock to the Future, he worked his first two years at RTTF on a completely volunteer basis. From arranging music for weekly band rehearsals to teaching music business and songwriting, Josh is always ready to encourage, support, and inspire young creative minds. He has written songs for notable local bands such as The Bee Team, Conversations with Enemies, and many more. He combines his love of and talent for music with his love of teaching to encourage the success of students at Rock to the Future.
Katie is the Development Director at Rock to the Future and has been with the organization since 2012. A thoughtful strategist with superior leadership and communications skills, Katie brings her 11 years of nonprofit experience to the team as well as a passion for mission-driven work that makes an impact. After graduating from Penn State University in 2006 with a B.A. in Journalism, Katie completed a two-year term of national community service with AmeriCorps, where she was named a ‘Member of Excellence’ by her peers in 2008. Katie most recently worked as a Policy Analyst at the Clean Air Council in Philadelphia from 2008-2012, where she funded and coordinated projects to implement sound state and federal clean air policies while increasing community awareness through events, earned media, and community outreach. As a singer/songwriter herself and the lead vocalist for local band You Do You, Katie is passionate about increasing access to the arts for underserved youth in Philadelphia.
Assistant Program Director
Cameron is a clawhammer banjoist and Old Time musician with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and Composition from George Fox University. He teaches Music Foundations, Choir, piano and guitar in MusiCore, MobileMusic, and RTTF’s summer camps. When he’s not teaching at RTTF, Cameron hosts Get Up in the Cool, a weekly podcast featuring interviews and live music with today’s best musicians playing Appalachian fiddle and banjo music, and teaches clawhammer banjo lessons.
Becky is a former high school English and writing teacher and college prep counselor who taught for six years before joining Rock to the Future. While teaching at Germantown Academy followed by Chestnut Hill Academy, she was instrumental in creating the Writing Center and Visiting Writer Program at both schools. Becky has a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in Italian Studies from Franklin & Marshall College and a graduate degree in Arts Administration from Drexel University. She is dedicated to working with youth on their educational success, helping them to building foundational skills to assist them throughout life, and planning for their futures.
Outreach & Development Assistant
Alison joined RTTF in the fall of 2017. She has a BFA in Film and Video from the School of Visual Arts and an ALM in Museum Studies from the Harvard University Extension School. Before relocating to Philly, she worked as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the List Visual Art Center in Cambridge and as the Communication Coordinator and Assistant Curator for VAEFF NYC. She also works as a Garden Guide at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens and as a visual artist, and is a co-founder of the Projectionism art collective. Alison passionate about accessibility in the arts, and is thrilled to join RTTF as they share the magic of music education.
Lawrence Farmer IV
Lawrence is a multi-instrumentalist and composer and is the Band Coach at RTTF. He comes from a lineage of musicians dating back to the Funk Brothers of Motown. Lawrence attended Drum Major Academy as a teen and also studied Jazz Piano at Temple University while still in high school. Lawrence has traveled the world with Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland-America Lines as a member of their Show Band. He has toured and performed with gospel, rock, jazz, funk, hip hop, pop & and R&B artists ranging from Tye Tribbett, Mya Harrison and Ray J as well as American Idols Fantasia and Reuben Studdard and many more. He now serves as Musical Director in two amateur/semi-Pro theaters in PA and South Jersey.
Manny Ohemeng is a jazz trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and educator living in Philadelphia. He has been playing the trumpet for over ten years. He received his Associate’s Degree in Music from Montgomery County Community College and Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Manny leads his own band called Emmanuel Ohemeng III and Perpetual Motion. He has earned various awards and honors throughout his music career such as winning the 2013 Berklee College of Music’s Summer Music Program Scholarship, and winning the Tonya Dorsey New Vision Music Scholarship. Manny is currently working on his first EP and has played with artist such as trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, trumpeter Chris Botti, saxophonist Bobby Zankel & the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, pianist Alfie Pollitt and many more
Rock to the Future’s teaching artists have a range of musical and teaching experiences, but all are extremely talented and highly skilled musicians. Trained formally and playing various genres of music, they have performed live and on studio recordings with numerous bands.
Adam has been a drum instructor for more than 10 years, and he is starting his fifth year with Rock to the Future. He has a B.S. in Music Industry from Drexel University and has previously worked as a live sound engineer and recording engineer for venues and studios such as The Trocadero in Philadelphia and BBKings in NYC. He lends his talents to many local bands and currently plays drums for Reverend Mantis, Head Flip, and The Last Barbarians. He is also a singer / songwriter for The Towering Pine.
John is a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist with experience performing in various types of venues. A motivated music teacher dedicated to the success of his students, John joined RTTF in 2016 as the creative coordinator for our MusiCore after school program in charge of the students’ band’ rehearsals, preparedness for performances, and artist spotlights. He also works at the Gibson School of Music and has recorded with the band Fresh Fire and the Grammy nominated artist Da TRUTH.
Victoria was born and raised in San Diego, California. Coming from a musical family, she had a love for music from the very beginning, and wasted no time developing her musical passions. Though a California girl at heart, her gypsy intuition led her all over the US and abroad. In college, she moved to the east coast to attend the Contemporary Music Center, a by-invitation artist colony, at which she acquired further skills in live performance, studio work, and songwriting. After a stint in Nashville, she moved to Philadelphia to play bass for Talain Rayne and guitar for Element K. Victoria now tours full time, both as a solo artist and the front woman of her full band show. She has been featured on Philadelphia’s Radio 104.5 and Delaware’s WSTW 93.7, as well as countless podcasts and publications. She has topped the Philadelphia pop charts on Reverbnation and was also one of Rock on Philly Magazine’s finalists for artist of the year. Her songs have achieved recognition as well, both with Akademia, winning “Best Song” for her single “Long Way to Go,” and with The International Songwriting Competition as a finalist for best song. In addition to her musical accolades, she is also a music journalist who has been published in Elephant Journal, Rock on Philly Magazine, Unfolding Destiny, M Pire Mag, and writes countless articles for her own music blog. Furthermore, Victoria is an experienced instructor teaching ages six to 60+ in a variety of regions throughout the country.
In addition to Rock to the Future’s program and administrative staff, we work with a variety of featured teaching artists and substitute teachers that teach instrumental lessons. We are also supported by over 25 volunteers who assist with program volunteering (tutoring, music, mentoring), committees, and administrative support.