From Band Camp To Future Rockstars

ORANGEVALE -- The culmination of a week-long summer camp at Almondale academy in Orangevale took place Friday after students got their final practice in before their big performance in front of friends and family.

“I’m a little worried and a little scared because I don’t usually sing in front of people,” said Shunem Gilead a 6th grader and camp attendee.

Matthew Hammond, Rock Band Camp Director said that “by Wednesday, Thursday [the students] were in full band mode, ready to perfect their songs.”

In just hours — some of these students have gone from knowing next to nothing about music to performing their own original song.

“I’ve seen them pick up instruments like within a few hours,” said Liam Shallock, teacher’s assistant at the camp.

Many of them learning how to play these instruments for the first time.

“I learned how to play more of the drums and now I’m playing the guitar,” stated Gilead.

And others— experiencing the joys of performing music with a band.

“Since I know I need their help, they know they need our help so it’s fun helping other people play their songs,” said Gilead.

Schallock said “after a few minutes to sort of calibrate with each other, you can make some really nice music.”

Their teacher hopes they’ll take their new skills and keep creating music even after rock band camp is over.

“My dream is that next week, when they’re not in band camp, they’re writing new songs, because it’s just a great way to process. If something’s upsetting you or you’re amazed by something and everything in between, to write it down, it’s a journal, when you put it to music, you actually remember it better. So I’m hoping this will be a lifelong skill,” said Hammond.

And the director of the band camp is hoping to expand the program at other schools and teach more students how to create original music.