Local artists are the focus of the next School of Rock show. On February 5 at The Irenic, students of the local music school will be performing selections from bands such as The Donkeys, Barbarian, Wild Wild Wets, Weatherbox, Hideout, Mrs. Magician, Little Hurricane and Octagrape, among many others. This is the third School of Rock show in which the students have covered local bands. In the past, they have played songs by legacy acts such as Rocket from the Crypt and The Locust, but this one is specifically focused on bands that are active in the scene right now.
"The point of the event is to make sure that students are excited about the scene," says Tyler Ward, music director of San Diego School of Rock. "To see how much great music is coming out of our little village."
Nineteen students have been rehearsing for 12 weeks on the songs for the show, and in some cases have even been visited by members of the very bands whose songs they've been learning to play.
"Since it's all local bands, a lot of these musicians have been able to come and hang out with them," studio coordinator Dan Faughnder says. "It's cool to have the kids be able to play with them."
Every year, School of Rock puts on a handful of live shows, many of which focus on the works of one specific artist. However, the locally focused performances are some of the most popular they've ever done. As Faughnder notes, it often takes local musicians by surprise.
"This one is always the best attended," he says. "Bands come out and bring their friends. They're like 'Check this out! Kids are playing our songs!'"
"For bands in San Diego, it can feel like we're in a smaller pond, but the tight-knit community makes our scene special," Ward adds. "It's awesome to see bands get love from a music school. I don't think they're expecting to get support from education and youth in that way."