This year’s Youth Arts Academy Rock Concert, Commotion, had a new look and new venue – The Music Box, formerly known as Anthology and a major player in the San Diego Live Music Arena! Kids in the Youth Rock Band Program (14 different bands) and Monday Night Jazz Band at YAA were able to rock out on a professional stage and put on a phenomenal rock show. Each band played two songs that they rehearsed throughout the year. Singer/Songwriters: Danae Cargill, Milissa Reed, Josue Vasquez and Baylee Brosnan performed originals.

This was the real deal for our students. Stage, lights, sound engineer, green room all created an experience they will never forget. Instructors Steven Crowle, Scott Sayre, Julia Whelpton and Mark Weed were there to help facilitate a smooth transition of the bands. Famous Roni Lee, the original guitarist for Kim Fowley’s LA punk band Venus and the Razorblades and founder of Play Like a Girl Records, emceed the event. She shared fun facts of the band members, encouraged the audience to support the Youth Arts Academy by informing them of a text to give campaign and impressed the audience and students with a performance that rocked the house. The Youth Arts Academy instructors and Roni Lee performed, “I Love Rock and Roll” showcasing Roni’s experience with Joan Jett and the Runaways, two strong individuals that lead women to the rock industry.

Family, friends, supporters and board members supported the event that was held from Noon-4:00pm by raising funds to support the program in between bands. $2,500 was raised the day of and almost $5,000 was raised for the entire event with ticket and t-shirt sales. All proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs – Youth Arts Academy and will help keep the instruments and department up and running.

Special thanks to Roni Lee, Frank Rodrick (Photographer), Kaya Young (volunteer), Studio West, the hard working Music Instructors and Music Box for supporting this outstanding event.

In YAA’s Rock Band Program, students learn the ins and outs of being in a rock band from compositional and rehearsal techniques to the preparation needed for a live performance. Learn more here.

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Photo credit: StrayShots – Photography by Frank Rodrick