Anthony Daniel <email@example.com>
Wed, Aug 7, 11:08 PM (13 hours ago)
to Doug, me
Because we at P.J. Olsson’s Rock Camp want the audience to have the best experience possible, sometimes that means our campers have to go through long, exhausting sound checks, which can be draining on our young musicians. Our sound crew, with the return of Aaron Posega and Kenny Stahl this week, will have every thing worked out very soon. For the Big Show [Saturday – August 10 – Rosza Center] there are four main bands, plus a few solo performances and special groupings, and, of course, some music from the boss. So, as you can imagine there are lots of logistics and dynamics (and other fancy words) for our audio technicians to work out. Take some time out from reading right now and give them a round of applause – they put in long hours during the two weeks of camp (often after the campers leave for the day). Without their dedication the Big Show would not be the awesome professional show that it is.
Returning from lunch today, the bands were told not to play music, but rather to chillaxing with each other – but also during which time they were to finalize band names, and to engage in a Rock Camp tradition – establish the image (the vibe) of the band, how they will dress to present themselves as such, to select images to be projected onto the screen behind them, and come up with a list of the band’s “potential” sponsors. The bands you will be seeing at The Big Show are: Lounge State of Mind, Flow State, Last Minute Mile, and MYLT.
Camp reconvened and each group presented themselves to their peers. Today’s final project was assembling some of our vocalist to rehearse for the big opening and finale numbers. If you have ever been to one of the Big Shows, you’ll know that these are often better than what our generation grew up watching on music variety television shows. I won’t reveal what this years spectaculars are, but remember back to some of my favorites…the cover of Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” when two young classical violinist started playing The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” by themselves and then were joined by the ensemble, and the one people still talk about, when members of Michigan Tech’s pep band came marching through the aisles joining in on Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk.” Priceless moments all.
Let’s meet our final round of campers:
Cailyn: a student at Houghton-Portage Schools
Hannah: formerly at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools and heading off to Ferris State
Maggie: formerly at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools and heading off to Ferris State
Jake: formerly at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools and heading off to Universal Technical Institute in Wisconsin
Question: What inspired you to pursue music?
Cailyn: when I was young I used to put on concerts for my grandpa with my Hannah Montana toy microphone, but it was the first time that I saw Brand New in concert, the energy of the show, the connection that was in the room, and everything felt so ginuwine, and at that moment I wanted to create that same type of thing for others.
Hannah: I’ve always been a finger tapper, and I used to bang on things with sticks when I was younger. I started playing percussion in 6th grade band, and got my first drum kit when I was in 9th grade.
Maggie: everyone in my family is musical – one of my earliest memories is singing karaoke to Pearl Jam’s version of “Last Kiss” at Shute’s when she was 4 [dad is a karaoke host]
Jake: my father was a musician and I used to try to play his Schecter when I was a kid, I started to seriously play when I was 10
Question: Is there a particular artists or genre you listen to that inspires the direction your own music takes?
Cailyn: currently The Grateful Dead, John Mayer, Leach, Boy Scouts, and Pink Floyd
Hannah: not really, but really enjoy playing with Maggie
Maggie: weird indie bands
Question: What instruments do you play?
Cailyn: bass, guitar, vocals, keyboards (piano, sythnesizer, organ), ukulele, mandolin, trumpet, tuba – she’s also a songwriter and working on a CD
Hannah: drums/percussion, guitar, bass, ukulele, keyboards, and she is a tambourine master
Maggie: keyboards, guitar, bass, mandolin, tuba, and vocals
Jake: guitar, drums, and bass
Question: Why should people come to the Big Show?
Hannah: because it’s gonna be sick, and rad! We have all been working really hard, and this program needs to be able to support itself
Maggie: for all the reasons Hannah said
Jake: it shows that us kids have an extreme level of talent – an adult level – and it is really worthwhile to come and see
Hannah and Maggie shared one of their favorite memories: in 2017, their band sat down for a family meal – they made spaghetti in a crockpot while rehearsing, and while they ate they listened to Italian music.
That’s amore! This program is about love. Like Joan, we love rock & roll, but as I keep saying, P.J. Olsson’s Rock Camp isn’t just about the music, we love these kids, we encourage them, we plant seeds – we send them out to be agents of positivity – much like the example of our leader. Isn’t this something you would want to support?
Written by Anthony Daniel