Why join our ensemble program?
Our ensemble sessions are fun programs that allow young musicians to meet other young musicians from across the county, form new relationships and friendships, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
What is our ensemble program?
The Rock Academy holds several ensemble sessions a year. A session usually consist of eight two-hour rehearsals and includes at least two public performances.
Who can join our ensembles?
We gather together vocalists, guitarists, keyboardists, bassists and drummers and put them together to form a rock ensemble. We also include horn sections with select ensembles, opening them up to trumpet, sax, and trombone.
What kind of music do they play?
Our ensembles focus on rock music and related genres. They perform classic rock, hard rock, country rock, metal, alternative, grunge, punk, post punk, pop punk, new wave, and more. Our repertoire spans over 70 years of rock music, from the 50’s to current releases.
How are the songs selected?
Our songs are selected to fit the instrumental make-up and individual capabilities of our ensemble members. The students themselves often have a say in the setlist and contribute potential material from among their favorite tunes.
How often do the ensembles perform?
Our ensembles usually perform at least twice a session, sometimes more depending on the availability of the ensemble members to play additional available shows.
Where do our groups perform?
We perform at locations and events all over Clark County. We’ve regularly performed at the Invitational Youth Jam at Billy Blues Bar and Grill in Hazel Dell. We’ve performed at the Clark County Fair, Battle Ground Harvest Days Festival, and the Harvest Days Parade. We’ve also performed for National Night Out, community and private events, often teaming up with non-profit organizations.
What do students learn in rehearsal?
Our students learn how to function as a member of an ensemble. They learn to find their place in context of a larger group. They learn how to assemble a setlist of songs and play them from memory. They learn complete songs from beginning to end, not just licks or sections of songs. They learn how to set measurable targets to achieve larger goals. They learn how to drive and shape the form of a song in performance.
What do students learn on stage?
They learn how to be in the moment. They learn how to think on their feet and respond quickly to events as they unfold in real time. Most of all, they’re rewarded for all their work in rehearsal with the thrill and joy of delivering a dynamic performance in front of an appreciative audience.
How do our ensembles help students grow?
Our students grow in confidence in their abilities to play their instruments, work as a member of an ensemble, and perform and present live in front of audiences. They learn to think creatively and flexibly. They learn about interfacing professionally with musicians and other people in our community. They learn about the other instruments the ensemble. Some even pick up second and third instruments. They hone their skills on their current passions and sometimes find entirely new passions.
What other opportunities does our ensemble program offer?
In months without an active session, we’ll often prepare Alumni Jams. These are available to those who have already participated in at least one regular session. The students who sign up will have one rehearsal to learn four songs from our repertoire, and perform them the following evening. It’s an great way to keep their skills up between sessions.
Recording and music videos
During select sessions, we’ll choose one of the students’ best songs, and record them in our project studio. We’ll then set aside time and shoot a music video and put it out on YouTube.
Students are invited to write their own material and share it with the band. It’s a great opportunity for a budding songwriter.
Students with exceptional skills, experience, and understanding can be appointed to lead sectionals. Some may even lead the ensemble on stage.
Unpaid internships are available for qualifying professionally-minded music students. They will come alongside the director in preparing, planning, and executing rehearsals and performances. This provides them with experience and professional references.
How much does it cost?
Our regular sessions cost $249 per session. Our Alumni Jams are $25 a jam.
How can I sign up?
If you’re ready to sign up, use the button below to find out about our upcoming sessions and sign up online.