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Registration is open for Kelowna's newest rock school

The Rotary Centre for the Arts has announced that registration is open for its newest youth program, the RCA Rock School.

To celebrate and raise funds for the music program, there will be a concert with performances by The Oot n’ Oots and Down the Lees on May 9 at the Mary Irwin Theatre.

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The RCA Rock School is designed for youth who have a passion for music and want to take their skills to the next level. Participants will have access to facilities and equipment and be mentored by professional musicians.

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 the community and educational programming specialist at RCA and the drummer in Branchroot Ensemble, and Laura Schultz, RCA’s marketing manager and member of the rock band Down the Lees.

“We’re thrilled to be launching our Rock School,” Schultz says. “There doesn’t seem to be much of an all-ages music scene that supports and encourages youth to get on stage in a big way."

“We thought there was a chance to step up the game by providing youth with the necessary skills to start a band and allow them to perform live on our stage.”

The program covers a range of topics including music theory, performance skills and songwriting, as well as provides the opportunity to collaborate with peers and perform in front of live audiences.

“I learned many valuable lessons both as a musician and also as an arts organizer while playing in a rock band when I was young,” Stauffer explains.

“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.”

Registration for RCA Rock School is now open for the spring for ages 11-14 with classes beginning in April, and for the summer for ages 13-17 for a week-long camp in August.

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

All proceeds raised will go towards launching the music program and purchasing instruments.

The event is sponsored by K96.3 Classic Rock, New Country 100.7, Engel & Völkers and Axiom Mortgage Solutions, and numerous businesses have contributed raffle prizes.

RCA is a registered charity that is dedicated to providing opportunities for community members to engage in and experience the arts.

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