Staff


Jessica Craft
Founder + Chief Executive Officer

After working in financial services, Jessica Craft founded Rock to the Future (RocktotheFuture.org) in 2010 with the mission of helping Philly youth achieve their fullest potential through free, student-driven music programs. She believes in the power of music to change lives and that arts should be accessible for youth in their own neighborhoods. A Temple University graduate with a degree in Business Administration and Economics, Jessica has been featured in the New York Times, named a Local Leader at the PA Conference for Women, and received the Designing Leadership award from the Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia. Her past volunteer work includes being a big sister through Big Brother, Big Sister, working with Habitat for Humanity, volunteer drum instruction at Girls Rock Philly youth and adult camps, and organizing community benefit events.

Josh Craft
Chief Music Officer
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.


Juliana Cala
Youth and Family Coordinator
Juliana is passionate about seeing the development of well-rounded artists, acknowledging the importance of collaboration among the music, business, and education fields. Music is close to her heart as she holds a Bachelor of Commercial Music in Artist Development in addition to an MBA from Liberty University. This moved her to join the Rock to the Future team in the summer of 2020. Having a bicultural background, being born in Colombia and raised surrounded by a multicultural community, has enabled her to empathize with diverse people groups and individuals and value cultural richness.


Alison Cornell
Engagement & Communication Coordinator
Alison joined Rock to the Future 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 moving to Philly, she worked as the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the List Visual Art Center in Cambridge, MA and as the Communication Coordinator and Assistant Curator for VAEFF NYC.  She also works as a visual artist and copy editor (ask her about Oxford commas). Alison passionate about accessibility in the arts, and is thrilled to join Rock to the Future as they share the magic of music education with the next generation of Philly musicians!


Kaamilah Moore
Mentoring Coordinator
Kaamilah leads the virtual mentorship program and lead Rock to the Future’s after-school program at Roosevelt Elementary. Prior to this role, Kaamilah volunteered at the MusiCore after-school program in North Philadelphia before helping to launch RTTF’s newest expansion in Germantown, where she served as the first Academic Coordinator at the site. These volunteer efforts along with other partnerships and collaborations were achieved through her own community service organization, the HLA Foundation – where she serves as Executive Director, which aims to work with underserved youth both domestically and internationally. Kaamilah has a background in career development and strategic management and works with CEOs, C-suite teams and Fortune 500 companies on their hiring directives, company-wide initiatives, and corporate social responsibility projects. Kaamilah holds both a B.A. and MBA from Florida A&M University


Victor Vieira-Branco
MusiCore Kensington Site Director
Victor has worked with education since 2010. Upon moving to Brazil from the United States in 2010 he began a career in the ESL industry. There he worked as a teacher and quickly became involved in administration. More recently, Victor directed a six-week international summer program in New York for 5 consecutive years. On the side he maintained a career as a musician, having studied Vibraphone Jazz & MPB Performance in Sao Paulo and performing frequently in the country as well. With a permanent relocation in 2019 to Philadelphia, his mix of background in educational admin and music made him a great fit for the Rock to the Future team as Site Director of the Kensington MusiCore Program.


Teaching Artists

Rock to the Future’s teaching artists have a range of musical and teaching experiences, and are all extremely talented and highly skilled musicians and instructors.

William Bausch
Music Instructor
William Bausch is a drummer who also plays guitar, piano, bass and flute with diminishing skill levels. He was stupidly lucky to study and play with some amazing jazz musicians, like Donald Byrd, Alan Dawson, and Ralph Peterson; he became obsessed with Cuban music, studying for a decade in NYC, Canada and Havana–he even learned to speak Spanish in the process; he got to play in a bunch of clubs in New York City, and tour all over Japan, Moscow, Brazil, Mexico, Austria, and parts of Massachusetts and Vermont. And he taught in public schools in NYC for over 25 years. He has three music degrees and looks forward to using them some day. Right now, he’s obsessed with composing, recording, mixing and learning more about the technology that allows him to do all that. Oh, and William went into the recording studio with his group SANTOS right before COVID struck and is hoping to release a new album very soon (www.santosmusic.online). Please don’t call him Will. Or Bill.

 


Emerald Chase
Music & Art Instructor
Emerald is a singer-songwriter and graphic designer. They were raised in Cape May, New Jersey, but moved to Philadelphia during middle school. When they started school in Philly, they also started attending Rock to the Future for musical education. During this time, Emerald gained experience through Rock to the Future in music theory and stage performance, among other things. After being influenced by several teachers, musicians, and artists, Emerald began attending college seeking a degree in education.


Dakota L. Gibbs
Music Instructor
Dakota is originally from Newark, NJ, where he picked up his first guitar and never looked back. After a year of playing, Dakota soon entered the local music scene playing solo gigs, rock band shows, freelancing with R&b and hip-hop groups, and joining the occasional jazz jam. He spent two years studying jazz guitar at the NJPAC Jazz for Teens Program, which in addition to performing in his high jazz big band, columinated in him snatching a Judge’s Choice Soloist Award at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival in his senior year. A recent graduate of Swarthmore College, where Dakota formed two bands that placed in local battle of the bands competitions, played at 4 college music festivals, gigged locally, and even opened for artist SASAMI. In addition Dakota developed a strong musician/band culture through his management of the campus band student space. He now calls Philly his home and hopes to connect his passion for social change with his passion for music. He is excited to work and grow with the talented youth and community of Philadelphia and Rock to the Future!


Jodi Kelley
Choral Ensemble Instructor
Jodie began her journey as a musician at the age of four, when she first began violin lessons. In 2012, Jodie earned her bachelors degree in music therapy at Temple University. Jodie’s teaching career began ten years ago, and she has taught violin, piano, guitar, voice, and theory. Jodie taught through the School of Music, R&M music studios, and Perelman Jewish Day School, and led the Carousel House Choir for two years. As a teacher, Jodie hopes to show her students that music is not a chore, but a beautiful journey of growth and dedication. 

Namarah McCall
Music and Creative Maker Lab Instructor
Namarah is a Philadelphia-born artist exploring sounds and words to represent the echoes of the heart. A singer-songwriter, educator, storyteller and gamer enthusiast, Namarah shares her interpretation of how we live life, grow and change and the stories that take us through the journey. Namarah is excited to join the Rock to the Future team as the Music and Creative Maker Lab Instructor. Namarah weaves together Rock, Rn&B, Pop, Gospel and Hip-Hop – an experimental practice to share her soulful voice and intricate melodies. When Namarah is not in the classroom, she can be found performing on main stages like the TLA, working production for her local church, or coaching performers across the greater Philadelphia community. She is an activist and community change-maker, believing that anyone can impact the world if they are willing to make unique partnerships to reimagine the world through music, the arts and any other medium – in Namarah’s world, it’s about the human connections we form that make life worth living.

Jordan McCree
Music Instructor
Jordan is a percussionist, composer, teaching artist, sound designer, and producer in the Philly area. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts. He is able to teach a variety of percussion instruments from drum set, to hand percussion, and mallet instruments. He is absolutely thrilled to collaborate with all the students at RTTF. He is a member of the Philly-based Hip Hop group, ILL DOOTS. #ILLMOVEMENT

Victoria Watts
MobileMusic Supervisor and Band Coach
Victoria was born and raised in San Diego, California. In college, she moved to the east coast to attend the Contemporary Music Center. 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 topped the Philadelphia pop charts on Reverbnation, was a finalist for Rock on Philly Magazine’s Artist of the Year, won Best Song at the Akademia Music Awards, and was a finalist at The International Songwriting Competition for best song. In addition to her musical accolades, she is also a music journalist. Furthermore, Victoria is an experienced instructor teaching ages six to 60+ in a variety of regions throughout the country. 

Julia Rainer
Ready for the Future Club Instructor


Bashlee Sanon
MusiCore Germantown Academic Coordinator
Through her education and volunteer experience Bashlee has focused on social change and community engagement. Both are things she believes are essential to understand when you desire to create a positive impact within a community. She aspires to use her passion of educating others on how to find themselves and use their voice to make a difference. Excited to join the Rock To The Future staff as the Academic Coordinator, she believes that with the right guidance and understanding students will have the desire to bring out the best in themselves and succeed academically, socially and emotionally.


Tori Potenza
MusiCore Kensington Academic Coordinator
Victoria is a Boston native who made Philadelphia her home several years ago and is dedicated to serving her community. She is an education professional who has been working as a Museum Educator at Eastern State Penitentiary for the past four years. She believes that educational programs and cultural institutions are essential to bettering our communities and give more opportunities for different types of learners. She has a Master’s in Public History and has dedicated her education to advocating for students, empowerment for women, and environmental causes. She also has several creative projects like hosting and producing a local podcast, and writing for a film blog. She believes a variety of creative outlets are important for development and educational success.


Jeremy Blessing
Music Instructor
Jeremy is a Philadelphia resident who graduated from Central High School in Northwest Philadelphia and earned his Associates in Humanities from Community College of Philadelphia. He has worked for the School District of Philadelphia and has served as a music instructor and show director for the Princeton School of Rock. Jeremy is an experienced vocalist and musician and has played the guitar, bass drums, keys, and Ukulele. He is passionate about music and providing music education to young people in Philadelphia


Cameron Cephas
Band Coach and Instrumental Instructor
Cameron is a graduate of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia, and he has volunteered and worked with the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Beulah Baptist Church. He has over five years of experience providing mentorship and teaching music theory and rhythm to middle and high school students in Philadelphia. He is a skilled drummer and musician, and he enjoys working with local youth and teaching music in a creative and collaborative setting.


Jake Kaplan
Bass Guitar Instructor and Creative Maker Lab Instructor
Jake recently moved to Philadelphia by way of Massachusetts and is excited to be sharing his love of music with the city’s at-risk youth and teens. Jake earned a Bachelor’s in jazz bass performance from the University of the Arts, where he graduated in 2017 with honors. He went on to continue to study music – earning a master’s degree in Jazz Studies and Composition at the New England Conservatory in 2018. Through honest performance, education, and composition, Jake wants to help others explore the depths human experience as well.

Barron Lacy
Piano, Vocal, and Choral Ensemble Instructor
Barron Lacy is from Upper Darby, PA. Having studied music from a young age, he continued his music studies after graduating high school and obtained his B.A. in Music Education with a piano concentration from Cairn University.  The transformative power of music to inspire and enrich the lives of others, especailly in the lives of youth, is a deep passion for Barron. In addition to teaching at Rock to the Future, he has been a music teacher in the School District of Philadelphia since 2014.