THE ROCKCHESTER TEAM
Dylan Hilliker - Founder, Head of Music Curation
Dylan Hilliker is a student and musician from Rochester, MN. He is currently studying Music Business with an emphasis in production at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. He enjoys playing drums, hiking, and going to shows when he is not trying to remember what work he needs to be doing. He created ROCKchester with the goal of establishing a unified arts community. He hopes that this event will showcase all of the talent that young adults in southeastern MN have to offer as well as encourage the greater community to continue to empower and support the next generation of local creatives.
Andy Furness - Graphic Design & Branding Consultant
Andy Furness is a student, designer, and musician from Rochester, MN. He recently graduated with a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. When he isn't scrambling to finish three projects that are all due the same day, he is probably in the bath, asleep or feasting on macaroni and cheese. As a musician, he appreciates the opportunities that are being created for young artists in Rochester, and strives to contribute to the growth of spaces and events like ROCKchester through his design knowledge.
Emily Nelson - Chief Photographer, Branding Consultant
Emily Elizabeth Nelson is a photographer, musician, beyond from Rochester, MN. She graduated in December of 2017 from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, with a BA in Communication. She spent her final term of university in London, UK, followed by three months of wandering around Europe before returning to the motherland. Thanks to her university experience, time abroad, and deepening draw to the photographic arts, Emily has discovered her undeniable passion for capturing artists and musicians. She is overjoyed to be back home and a part of the ROCKchester team, encouraging young talents to express their creativity.
Kevin Andrews - Founder, Festival Emcee, Social Media Consultant
Kevin Andrews, a musician, audio engineer, and social media aficionado from Rochester, MN is studying physics and math at the University of St. Thomas. Deeply fascinated about the physics of acoustics and the math behind musical composition, his studies help to inform his passion for his craft. Frontman for the soul pop band, Kevin & The Keepsakes, he loves nothing more than to sing, dance, and command a crowd.
Isaac Jahns - Social Media Consultant
Isaac Jahns is a singer, guitarist, and Twitter specialist from Rochester, MN studying broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. As a 2015 graduate from Rochester Mayo High School, he's dabbled in the triple threat of theatre, choral performance, and fronting local bands. His current project Greentop plays shows in Rochester and Columbia. When he's not making music or tweeting, you can catch him on a hockey rink in the winter or a baseball field in the summer.
Kristen Brown - Head of Visual Arts Curation
Kristen Brown is a student from Rochester working towards completing her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography and minor in Art History at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Interested in curation and outreach of young emerging artists, Kristen has has worked with ROCKchester to expand the festivals inclusion of visual arts. As a visual artist herself, Kristen works in a variety of mixed media with primary interests in painting, film, digital and hybrid photography methods.
Jack Hilliker - Teen Consultant, Videographer
Jack Hilliker is a student and musician from Rochester, MN. He is currently a sophomore at John Marshall High School. As a self-taught guitarist, Jack has performed at several open mics and shows around Rochester as well as performing with the band Dystonia (R.I.P). In addition to making music, he enjoys hanging out with friends and collecting vinyl.
Terri Allred is the Director of Community Engagement for the Women’s Shelter and Support Center. She also produces the Women and Spirituality Conference in Rochester in September. She is Dylan and Jack Hilliker’s mother and biggest fan. When Terri isn’t working, she enjoys dancing and traveling.
Ryan Utterback is the owner of Pure Rock Studios of Rochester, Rochester's premier music lesson and performance center. As a young drummer, Ryan was in search of place like PRS: a place where budding musicians can take lessons, have opportunities to perform, as well as form bands with other students from the program. This type of program just hasn't been offered until now! His goal is to inspire musicians off all ages to strive to be part of live music performances. It is his belief that music is a gift that is to be shared with the masses.
Drew Medin moved to Rochester in the spring of 2013. He is an experienced multi-instrumentalist and works as an instructor and Studio Manager at Pure Rock Studios. He is also part of the band Breakthrough, plays regularly with local country band County Line Drive, and was recently appointed to the Rochester Civic Music Board. He believes that music and arts ought to be promoted in the city and fully supports ROCKchester's mission to provide opportunities for young musicians and artists to showcase their craft.
Zach Zurn is a singer, songwriter, and producer from Rochester, Minnesota. He has a love for reverb, offset guitars, honest songwriting, and clever lyricism. He seeks to create beautiful, thoughtful, and inspiring music. Zach owns, operates, and produces at Carpet Booth Studios located in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. Zach has played in several cities including London, England, Kansas City, Houston, Minneapolis, and Louisville at various music venues, festivals, conference centers, universities, and other venues. Zach is available for commissioned songwriting, session/studio work, live performances, co-writing, production work, workshops, music lessons and more.
John Sievers studied trombone at the University of Northern Iowa where he performed with the university’s top jazz ensemble and continued playing as he pursued his Ph.D. in English at the University of Minnesota. Sievers has performed with notable musical acts like The Buckinghams, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, etc. as well as a wide variety of bands in the Rochester area. In 2016, Sievers founded the Rochester City Jazz Festival. Currently, Sievers contributes a weekly article for 507 Magazine focusing on music and the arts in Rochester, and he can frequently be found supporting local musicians and artists. Sievers advocates for local artists, musicians and creatives every way he can. In 2017, he was awarded the Mayor’s Medal of Honor for Artistic and Cultural Achievement.