School of Rock students record first album

Justin Dickie
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AMHERST One month into the newly-formed School of Rock, instructor Mike King could pretty much just grab a guitar and become a peer to his students.

King started promoting the School of Rock program, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. at the Tantramar Theatre, in mid-September. The program got off the ground at the first of October.

AMHERST One month into the newly-formed School of Rock, instructor Mike King could pretty much just grab a guitar and become a peer to his students.

King started promoting the School of Rock program, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. at the Tantramar Theatre, in mid-September. The program got off the ground at the first of October.

To offer an idea of the progress made to date: the group of 15 students recorded an album on Sunday.

Its crazy. Its insane, really, King said of the chemistry and ability the kids possess. From my perspective, I dont know how theyre doing it. It was an idea I had and I thought This looks really good on paper, but is this going to be possible?

Im a musician myself and it takes time to create a piece of music with people that youre familiar with. Most of the people here dont even know each other because theyre all from Springhill, Oxford and Amherst. Theyve all heard of each other because its a small music community, but theyve never performed with each other and a lot of them are really coming together and its kind of amazing, really.

The group of students, all in grade 12 or younger, is divided into four bands. On Saturdays, they get lessons on the music industry, like recording and promotion, for example. On Sunday, they jam.

Kalei Petten, 14, and Charlotte Fresia, 11, both said the program has been a lot of fun so far.

Petten has been involved in music for three years. She plays guitar and sings. Shes been writing songs on her own for awhile, but getting together to write with a band has been a whole different experience.

It was actually a lot of fun because we had so many ideas coming from different angles. It made the song better, Petten said. You have more control when youre doing it by yourself, but with other people I guess you have more ideas to make it better.

Fresia has been writing, recording and performing with her dad, Eric, for years. Shes playing with kids her age for the first time and enjoying it.

I already know a lot about show business and everything, but I thought it would be fun and I might learn some more and itd be cool to have an opportunity to play with somebody else, Fresia said.

Now with a recorded album, the School of Rock will be going public with its material. There will be a CD release party on Nov. 14 at the Tantramar Theatre, with the bands performing their original songs live.

Itll be a two-hour show, starting at 8 p.m.

We want to thank everyone involved and hope that they come out on the 14th, King said. Its free, too.



Organizations: School of Rock, Tantramar Theatre

Geographic location: AMHERST, Oxford

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