Arts and Culture

This school is ready to mentor the next generation of rock stars

RCA Rock School raising funds for launch

Kelowna is about to get its very own school of rock.

And although Jack Black may not make an appearance, it’s being led by the next best thing.

The newly launched Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) Rock School is designed for youth who have a passion for music and want to take their skills to the next level.

The course is led by Ezra Cipes, a member of the Juno-nominated children's rock band The Oot n' Oots; Andrew Stauffer, who is both the Community and Educational Programming Specialist at RCA and the drummer in Branchroot Ensemble; and Laura Schultz, the RCA's Marketing Manager and a member of the rock band, Down the Lees.

“I've always wanted to start a rock school,” Schultz told Kelowna10. “This is something I’m very passionate about, and they were open arms to making this happen. So, I brought it to Andrew and now we're trying to make it happen.”

Participants will have access to facilities and equipment and be mentored by professional musicians with years of experience.

The focus of the school isn’t just to teach kids how to play instruments, as it will delve into other important facets of music, too.

“The idea would be to work with students within a group, but then also come together to form two to three, maybe four different bands,” Stauffer explained. “They'll be learning one or two songs, they’ll learn some rock history. Kids will learn the dos and don'ts of running a band and rocking out with their buddies.”

Cipes believes Kelowna has a strong music culture but needs spaces like these in order for it to truly thrive.

“Musicians, we’re all a little weird you know? And weirdos need to be together,” Cipes said. “We’re going to make great culture here. We’re going to make great music here, and we’re going to inspire the next generation.”

On Tuesday, May 9, a concert will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to raise funds to buy musical instruments and to mark the school's launch.

The Oot n' Oots and Down the Lees will perform during the event.

Tickets are available for purchase on the RCA website.

Published 2023-02-25 by Robin Liva

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