With schools in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines, the School of Rock’s main mission is to bring music education to young people. The School of Rock network is the largest after-school music program in the United States. Their School of Rock Allstars represented the school by performing at Lollapalooza on the Kidzaplooza stage.
The School of Rock Allstars went through a rigorous audition process to perform. Although Lollapalooza isn’t the only music festival that these music students have the opportunity to being part of, it is the first time that some of these students have had the chance to perform at Lollapalooza.
After the students are selected from different institutes from across the United States, they were brought together to form that summer’s School of Rock Allstars. This year’s School of Rock Allstars featured students Tebby Cole, Hannah Potler and Madison Ogden.
Being a newly formed band, how was it this weekend coming together and performing together at the biggest music festival in the United States?
Cole: We played some shows together and had some rough nights and some very good nights. Today was a good day, we sort of hit the nail right on the head. Our first set was pretty strong, we haven’t had a really a strong first set. We’ve had a really good chance to bond with each other.
Potler: We’ve definitely had a chance to become a little family in a matter of 10 days. It’s pretty awesome to see everyone interacting on stage. All of our energy was present during our first set. It was pretty awesome.
Ogden: For us seniors this will be one of our last School of Rock shows ever. It’s definitely a really cool opportunity for one of our last shows to be playing at Lollapalooza. That’s a really big deal for us being in the presence of so many people that we idolized
The School of Rock Allstars is made up of students from across the United States. What did you guys have to do in order to be part of that?
Cole: We started in Austin, we got together and rehearsed for three to four days then we started touring. We’re all spending time together getting to know each other a lot faster than you would in a different setting.
Potler: Our group is made up of kids from all over the United States. It’s awesome to work with other kids from places you’ve never been before. I came here knowing no one. It’s so awesome to have made so many friends. Everyone has a common interest. You’re passionate about music and we all want to show that on stage. We all work hard together.
Odgen: I’d say after going through the audition process we learned the songs in a certain amount of time. We learned them on our own and when we got together we immediately practiced them together so no one has ever played with anyone before. We really have to be strong as a team and talented as musicians to be able to get together and be able to immediately and play these songs very well. Only having a few days to practice and then to tour it really helps you see what life as a musician really is and how it actually works. It’s really awesome.
Cole: It’s still a show. It’s still a performance. We have to make chemistry with each other or else it’s not going to feel right and it’s not going to look right.
For those of you ending in the program what can you take away from this? What are your future goals?
Ogden: I plan on pursuing music. I’m doing auditions for other places and figuring out what college I want to go to. School of Rock has definitely helped me discover what kind of music I want to do. I joined my freshman year of high school when I was very quiet and kept to myself. As I got into it, I met people who appreciated music like I did and appreciated me for my talent. It was really cool to see myself over the year’s blossom into the strong person that I am. This helped me discover who I am and make lifelong friends. This being the last show is really sad but knowing that I have the rest of my life to do the same thing is really an awesome feeling.
Potler: In my life I’ve been torn between different passions in the arts. I’m going to school for fashion but I definitely plan on keeping music a huge part of my life. School of Rock is an amazing opportunity that we’ll never get again. When I joined a year ago I didn’t know it would completely change my life.
Cole: Yeah the program is so unique. What other kids get to go play Lollapalooza in front of thousands of people? I was a 13-year-old pudgy kid with big hair when I started School of Rock. They helped me form my identity they give me something else to be, which is a rock star. School of Rock gives you that chance.