While most students are spending their summers relaxing at the beach or in the pool, one school is still in session.
But these are no ordinary students, and this is no ordinary school. The students are young musicians at the School of Rock Fort Washington – a music school which celebrated its fifth anniversary last January. The school is designed not only to provide a solid music education for children and young adults but also to offer experience preparing for, and performing in live shows.
This summer, students have been hard at work preparing for the next series of shows the school will put on taking place in September. These are:
- The Rolling Stones, Sept. 7 and 8
- Best of the ‘90s, Sept. 14 and 15
- A Tribute to Hair Metal, Sept. 21 and 22
- Beastie Boys versus the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sept. 28 and 29
In addition, several seasoned musicians have visited the school, most recently Dave Lombardo, drummer of the popular thrash metal band Slayer, and Jennifer Batten, a former guitarist for Michael Jackson who ran a guitar clinic for the students.
Possibly most busy this summer is the school’s House Band, a collection of School of Rock students described by musical director Jim Love as, “A small, select group of some of [the school’s] most dedicated and advanced students who get the chance to play outside of the school and represent [the school] to the public.”
The House Band went on a six-day, five-show, four-city tour of Texas at the end of June, where the students were able to showcase their talents to a large audience in Texas’ major cities, as well as introduce themselves to counterparts at the School of Rock’s Houston location.
The House Band musicians are also preparing for the end of the summer, when they will be playing at the ninth annual WimBash in Hartford, Conn., a music festival organized by bassist Doug Wimbish of the 1980s experimental rock band Living Colour. The House Band will be performing alongside members of Living Colour, as well as special guest Lauryn Hill. The House Band was recruited to play the show after Wimbish came to visit the school in April.
The House Band, in conjunction with the Junior House Band, has also played 10-15 local shows, and will be playing several more before the end of the summer.
More information about the School of Rock and its upcoming events can be found at fortwashington.schoolofrock.com.
The school is located at 425A Delaware Drive, Fort Washington.