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Rotary Centre for the Arts launching Rock School for youth

A pair of local bands will be taking the stage at Mary Irwin Theatre on May 9 to celebrate and raise funds for the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) Rock School launching this spring.

Attendees of the fundraising event will get to watch Down the Lees and The Oot n’ Oots perform, as well enter to win raffle prizes and meet the program instructors.

<who> Photo Credit: RCA

The Rock School will provide an opportunity for youth with little to no experience in playing an instrument to learn from experienced musicians in the Kelowna music scene.

Ezra Cipes of The Oot n’ Oots, Laura Schultz from Down the Lees and Andrew Stauffer from Branchroot Ensemble will be leading the RCA Rock School with occasional guest instructors.

They will introduce youth ages 11-14 to rock music with beginner music lessons, rock history, the ins and outs of running a band and more.

Schultz, RCA’s marketing manager, says she’s noticed Kelowna doesn’t have much of an all-ages music scene that supports and encourages youth to get on stage in a big way.

“We felt like there was an opportunity to step up the game,” she explains. “This is where we came up with the idea for the RCA Rock School.”

Stauffer, the RCA’s community educational programming specialist, says he’s learned many valuable lessons both as a musician and an arts organizer.

“Now that I’m an adult with access to instruments and a venue, and with colleagues who are interested in teaching, I want to make what I had growing up more accessible for teens and youth who are looking to play music now,” he explains.

Students of the Rock School will learn guitar, singing and keyboard from Schultz, drums from Stauffer, and bass and singing from Juno-nominated Cipes.

The RCA is a non-profit organization that depends on the generosity of sponsors to help fund projects.

Engel & Volkers, Axiom Mortgages, K96.3 Classic Rock and New Country 100.7 are sponsors of the Rock School.

All funds raised at the celebration event in March will go towards music equipment for the program.

Tickets are pay-what-you-can from $10 to $30 and can be purchased here.

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