AVALON SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Meet the owner and founder, John Kolbrich, School Overview and Interview (as featured in Insight Magazine Sept 2012)
Our mission is to provide an excellent foundation in music instruction to students of all ages and levels. We help our students reach their goals by offering high quality music lessons and by providing our students with public performance opportunities through Recitals, Festivals, Concerts and Recordings.
The Avalon School of Music provides musical instruction to students of all ages in the Greater Orlando Area. Our core efforts and focus are to provide the best educational services to our students. We provide year-round private music lesson programs that inspire students to do great in life.
We have a passion for all kinds of music ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Opera to Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop and Rock. Our students benefit from seeing our love for the art and from our personal attention to their individual needs. All of our private students receive a one-on-one customized lesson to help with both performance and theory as they progress. We help them develop a strong foundation which improves their performance in school, church, community, or a garage band! Whatever your musical goals may be, we will get you there!
Our teachers are friendly and experienced professional musicians and educators, many of whom have Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate Degrees. They love what they do and are thrilled to be sharing their wealth of knowledge with anyone with a willingness to learn.
The Avalon School of Music was a dream, literally by its founder John Kolbrich. The concept of the school came to him one Sunday morning in early 2003. After having a clear vision of the school in his dream, John did some serious soul searching to make this a reality. John has been an active musician performing professionally for over 30 years but had always worked within the Information & Technology industry in Sales & Marketing for both small and large corporations. This dream, as it has turned out, was much larger than that 20 year career. Once the decision was made, there was never a moment of looking back!
By May 2003, John began teaching students on piano and trumpet in a home based studio he set up. The months went by quickly and soon other instruments were added. Additional teachers were brought in to teach guitar, drums, sax, violin and later voice, bassoon, oboe, flute, and trombone. The school grew to 200 students being taught at the house every week! At that point, in mid-2004, a decision was made to open a brand new music center with a key focus on music education. For the students’ convenience, a retail & rental center was added to the model to service the school’s students, as well as local private teachers and musicians. With this new facility, John has shown us that dreams really can come true! Two years later another school was opened (Orlando School of Music) followed in 2008 when the current Avalon Park School was opened) The original Avalon School and Music Center was renamed “East Orlando School of Music” in 2014 and recently moved to a brand new location in Waterford Towers next to the US Post Office.
Founder John Kolbrich has had a strong passion for music since he was a young student himself. Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, John was surrounded by music from an early age. His parents, John and Paula, had a love for music and exposed and encouraged him and his older sister Erika to learn music early in life. John started taking private lessons on accordion at age seven and then picked up trumpet a few years later. At age nine, John decided he wanted to perform on stage. By high school, music was the center of John’s life. His high school band teacher, Mr. Tony Malokowsky, was a great influence and mentor to him. Mr. “Mal”, as he was known, was so dedicated to his students that when John wanted to play in the jazz band and did not have transportation, Mr. Mal would drive twenty four miles at 6:30 a.m. to pick John up. This was in an unheated VW Beetle in the Canadian winters!
John continued his studies in music through private lessons while attending DeVry University in Toronto where he studied Electronic Engineering and graduated in 1982. John studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and also with well-know trumpet teacher, Rainer Schmidt. Rainer was a big influence in John’s musical life. As John puts it, “He changed the way I thought and played trumpet forever!” Rainer was principle chair at Toronto ‘s O’Keefe Center and he also performed in Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, one of Canada’s top big jazz bands. John adopted Rainer’s methods and has taught his principles to all of his students.
In 2015 John reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Margaret. After so many years, it was instant love and they married in 2016! They have 7 grown children between then and 6 and counting grandchildren! Margaret took early retirement as an Ontario Public School Elementary band and music teacher, and permanently relocated to Orlando in early 2020. She has become John’s business partner in expanding to 5 school locations in total (4 in the greater Orlando area, and one in Tampa- Westchase) with future growth in their plans!
John and Margaret reside in Avalon Park with family nearby, and maintain a vacation home in Ontario to be with Canadian family during visits. They actively manage all 5 locations with an amazing staff in place to run the day to day operations of the schools. John’s son Philip was initially a piano instructor since 2005 at the schools and later became a managing partner. After 10 years he thought he would put his MBA from UCF to work and decided to have a change of career to start his own very successful Real Estate team with his wife Gisele in the Avalon Park area. In 2019, John’s daughter Julianna who had been a student of the school since age 6 (now 24), joined the family business as an assistant director and teacher. John continues to perform regularly with the group called “Europa” celebrating over 25 years of specializing in medium to large Oktoberfest venues performing German folk, pop and rock on a national level. Music is alway around John and his family and they love sharing it with the community!