GUILDERLAND Leave it to the youth to show us rock ‘n’ roll is far from dead.
A group of young rockers set out to prove that point on the evening of Friday, Aug. 17, in a gig at The Cone Zone in Guilderland. Performing classics like “Born To Be Wild,” “Wish You Were Here,“ and “That’ll Be The Day,” perhaps what was most impressive about this crew was they had only been playing together for a week.
The rockers, ages 9 to 14, took part in the Music Studio’s Rock Camp program, which aims to teach kids the basics of rock ‘n’ roll music and the fun of playing and performing in a group. It culminates with a real gig. Fiona FitzPatrick, Joshua Goldhaber, Philip Ruggirello and Jason Horne rocked out on vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass and drums.
Noel Liberty, director and founder of The Music Studio, said the Rock Camp was born as a way to reach kids outside of the traditional classical music programs.
“We know there is not only one type of music … the kids enjoy learning about different types of music and enjoy rock,” she said.
Adding a live performance to the program also makes for an important learning experience, he said, since it teaches the basics of improvisation and playing for a crowd. Ryan Devine, the teacher of the program, accompanied the band.
Devine holds a degree from The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He has performed with several bands in the area over the years and is a classical music player who enjoys rock just as much. He has taught at The Music Studio for the past eight years.
Liberty described him as “passionate” about the program. She mentioned that the kids sounded “really good” after spending just one week with Devine since he really puts a lot of effort into this program.
The Rock Camp program has been an ongoing part of the summer programs of the Music Studio for the past years.
“It’s just been a staple,” said Liberty.
With over 500 students learning classical music at the Music Studio, the camp accommodates those who wish to spread their musical wings a bit. Liberty said that she wanted the students to put hard work into their playing, but also to “have fun.”
The Music Studio, located on Central Avenue in Albany, is celebrating its 35th year. To learn more, visit the-music-studio.com.