As next door neighbors in San Francisco, Ryan Hoffman and Melanie Mesch got the chance to meet and get to know each other on their four-plex’s large shared balcony. It was on that very balcony that they learned about their mutual love of music, made tons of friends together, and partied for hours!
Even after dating for a while, Ryan was able to surprise Melanie when he casually mentioned that he had played guitar in a punk rock band, Chain of Strength, in the 90’s. In a true twist, it was a band she had seen play frequently at 924 Gilman, an old Bay Area venue where big names like Green Day and Rancid played too. They quickly figured out that they were probably at a lot of the same shows over the years! Five years later, they got married at the Hidden Valley Institute of the Arts in Carmel Valley. These days Melanie and Ryan are still actively enjoying their love of music and concerts and bringing their two kids, Miles and Avery, along for the ride too!
During her early years of college at Chico State, Melanie had her own radio show at the University Radio Station, KCSC Radio. She then transferred to San Francisco State where she earned her degree in Business with a minor in Music. After college, life took her around the world, even so far as Scotland, before she came back to the Bay Area. Here in the 680 stretch, Melanie worked for SRVUSD in the Facilities and the Child Nutrition Departments, before stepping aside to be home with the kids.
Ryan stayed true to his punk roots and following school he toured all across North America with Social Distortion and the Descendents. When he grew tired of the grind that touring and living on the road takes, he entered the sales and marketing world. He is currently the Regional Sales Manager for Zoll Itamar. Of course, when music is part of your soul, it can’t be totally left behind. Ryan partnered with Sony Music and together they own Quiet Panic, “a record label and artist management collective, which launches music and manages emerging artists.”
Together Ryan and Melanie have two awesome kids. Miles, sixth grade, has grown up surrounded by his parents’ passions and has come to love music just as much. He was even featured in a music video for one of the bands Ryan’s team manages – you can check it out online – “Alternative Rock” by Beach Slang. Miles loves playing baseball with Danville Little League. He’s been playing since 2016 and the whole family adores all the lasting friendships they’ve made with the other baseball families.
Avery is entering TK this year. She’s always loved watching Miles play ball and luckily for her, he loves to teach her! They’ve been practicing together and Avery is just about ready for the big leagues. This year she’ll also start soccer and swimming at Del Amigo, where the whole family loves to gather with friends during the summer.
Back in 2016, as Miles was approaching kindergarten, Melanie and Ryan decided to leave San Francisco and move here to Danville. It was an easy pick as Melanie’s family has tons of connections to the area. Her mother, Christine, was SRVUSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for 15 years and is now the VP for the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation. Her stepfather, Mike Williams, taught at Danville Music for over 40 years! And her younger sister Rebecca, has taught at both Sycamore and Green Valley Elementary Schools. “We were very familiar with the area and the amazing school district, and we knew that it would be a great place to raise our kids when they were school age…When we first drove out to look at the house on a quiet little cul-de-sac, we saw the neighborhood kids darting around the front yards playing hide and go seek, we immediately knew this was the community for our family.”
One of the family’s favorite traditions is volunteering at Atria Assisted Living, “The children are quite a hit during the holidays as Miles plays and Avery passes out the shakers and jingle bells to the delighted audience so they can play along. COVID shut down visitations for a while, but now that they are allowing visitors again, they have been asked to come back to entertain.”
Each year the whole extended family, even their 94-year-old great grandma, travels to Pacific Grove for a week. “The 13 of us have a blast spending time on the beach, playing games at night, cooking together, and of course, bringing out the instruments and performing. We have made lots of wonderful memories there.”
It’s no surprise that Ryan and Melanie live by “music brings us together” – even the nearby extended family joins in, “when we all get together, the instruments come out and it is a songfest. Every holiday the children and their cousins perform on their pianos, guitar, and ukuleles for the family.”
It won’t be long until we see Miles jamming on his red electric guitar with Avery, and her someday pink electric guitar, right beside him. Rock on!
By Alexandra Sullivan, Resident since 2017