Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles (RCLA) has joined forces with the annual FuzzFest to provide an Open House and Benefit Show for the RCLA.
Everyone is invited to check out the campus used for both the Girls and Ladies Rock Camps. Starting at 2 p.m., kids can attend a Mini Rock’n'Roll Clinic for Girls and Boys, including instrument instruction (instruments provided on site), button making, and more.
Adults will be able to speak with volunteers and counselors about what takes place during Camp.
Date: Saturday April 2nd
Suggested Donation:$5 (cash only)
Immaculate Conception School
Tickets may also be purchased here http://bit.ly/dMrOYI in advance, even for those unable to attend (your donations are always welcome!)… A suggested donation of $6** or more per person will allow names to be added to the admission list. Pre-sale buyers will be sent an exclusive live mp3 from each of the performing bands as a “thank you!”
Outdoor Stage with Performances from:
and The Dollyrots!
All proceeds from ticket sales and the snack bar will go to providing financial aid to girls attending the 2011 Camp this summer, July 25th-30th. Ladies Camp, also a fundraiser for the Girls Camp, takes place April 29th-May 1st. Applications are being accepted for both at www.rockcampforgirlsla.org
There will also be screen printing on site, courtesy of Angry Girl, to make special Fuzz Fest items – feel free to bring your own shirt/tote/whatever or purchase a shirt from Rock Camp or one of the bands and get it screened on the back!
There is a free raffle for those in attendance. The Grand Prize is a guitar from Daisy Rock Girl Guitars! (Must be present to claim prize.)
On Monday, you learned about what went into putting together the first Annual Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles in Part I of this III Part series (click here to read Part I). On Tuesday, you learned more about the actual camp week and activities that occurred during each camp day in Part II of this III Part series (click here to read Part II). Today, in this final Part (III of III), you will learn about the first Annual Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Showcase and a little about what comes next for this organization.
As the clock marked the not so rock ‘n’ roll noon-time hour, an eclectic group of women– outfitted in easily identifiable bright teal official 2010 Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles t-shirts, began to trickle into the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd. A music venue that has housed many musical performances from a who’s who of legendary rock outfits as well as singer/songwriters that include most of today’s hottest indie bands to rock ‘n’ roll royalty such as Elton John, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen to name a few. These women were all camp and showcase volunteers who in just a few hours would be witnesses and participants in the history that once again was about to be made in this venue, in the form of the first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles Camper Showcase.
About an hour later, excited campers would be arriving. Each of them ready to rock, and to show the local community what it was that they’d been learning and working on all week. Decked out in their screen printed t-shirts, with their band names emblazoned on the fronts and customized to fit each of their personalities, they were a mixture of nervousness and excitement. Upon arrival, each band of campers was met by their volunteer band coaches and counselors, who were at the ready to help calm their nerves, psych them up, and prepare them for their performances.
For many of the volunteers and campers alike this was what they’d all been waiting for. The much anticipated moment where the campers would take the stage and show what they’d learned in just a week.
A veteran four-time (by way of the Portland Camp) Camp Volunteer, April Buker, intimated, “My favorite part of camp is the showcase. It is the culmination of the week’s activities. You get to see everyone showing off what they’ve learned, and everyone supporting the camp as a whole.”
As the volunteers continued to set-up for the showcase and prep the venue. They excitedly tried to predict how the showcase would go
Reflecting on the first days of the camp, Silverlake-based Pediatric Surgery Fellowship Coordinator and Volunteer Band Coach, Natasha Tavakoli shared, “The campers were initially nervous and shy, but as the week progressed they bloomed into energetic, unafraid, supportive, and empowered young girls. It was inspirational for the volunteers to see this transformation and we were positively affected by the camp as much as the campers.”
As show time approached, the volunteers continued to think about how they themselves had been affected by the camp and by the campers.
Volunteer Keyboard Instructor and Band Coach for the camper band Trouble in Training, singer/songwriter Melineh Kurian commented on both her transformation during the week, her fellow volunteers, and regarding the campers she instructed as they worked towards getting ready for the showcase, “I knew that it would be a transformative experience for me as a female musician, and that I would be profoundly touched. However, the connections I made as a mentor and volunteer were far beyond what I could have imagined. I also wondered at first how easy or difficult it would be to teach keyboards to a group of girls with varying skill levels. My fellow teachers made it so easy to both have fun with our students, and to show them the skills they needed to be a powerful addition to their rock band.”
The time had come to see if the campers would be able to bring together everything they’d learned throughout the week to their performances on the Troubadour stage that afternoon. This was the opportunity for the parents and relatives of the campers as well as the local community to show up to see what the camp was all about firsthand—and show up they did, packing the Troubadour on that Saturday afternoon for a chance to witness history in the making.
Quite atypical of the usual jaded “too-cool-for-school” L.A. concert-goer crowd, the parents as well as relatives of the campers along with the general audience members vied for the optimum show watching positions in the front rows as the local news station cameras set up on stage.
Anticipating the camper’s musical debuts, Jodie Schell (singer for L.A. based band The Shakers), recalled her first experience performing in front of a crowd, “I vividly remember what it was like to step in front of an audience for the first time. I was 9, and I sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (dedicating it to my uncle who at that time was in the Persian Gulf war). Singing was something I LOVED to do, but I was so scared that I stared at the weaving of the microphone the whole time,” laughing Schell continued, “I think I sang the verses out of order. Those first steps as a musician are so scary and awkward, but they’re so important. We’ve all been there. It takes so much courage just to step under those lights and try, and that alone deserves a standing ovation.”
The volunteers and the courageous campers stood near the stage ready to support their “camp week comrade’s” performances, waiting for their own turns to shine.
They didn’t have to wait long as emcee (and Camp co-founder) Mona Tavakoli took the stage ready to get the show underway.
The showcase opened up with the camp volunteer led Punk Rock Aerobics, not unlike how the campers would start off each camp morning, which was promptly followed by the camp theme song “We Rock L.A.” performed by the campers.
(click on images to enlarge) Punk Rock Aerobics (pictured left) and Camp Theme Song Performance (pictured right)
photos provided by Beth Schore and Becky Gebhardt
Here is footage taken by a showcase audience member of the campers’ initial “We Rock L.A.” camp theme song:
Without missing a beat and with the professionalism and confidence that comes with having played at the very least a dozen shows and several months spent rehearsing together, the campers took the stage. One band after the other, with only one full showcase rehearsal under their belts, catching the audience off guard with their performances after being announced onto the stage by the highly-energetic Tavakoli (pictured right – photo provided by Bella Monge) with formidable introductions such as “This band goes way back, they’ve been together since Monday!” or crowd favorites like “This band has been touring all week– from the drum room to the guitar room to the bass guitar room!”
Undaunted by the flashes of the cameras going off and the video cameras in their faces (more…)
“It’s all happening…”
Los Angeles had been warned. Something was coming. Something was happening, but what? What was all happening?
Those three words echoed through the hallways of the Immaculate Conception School (a private Downtown Los Angeles school) the weekend of July 24-25, 2010, via the both excited and at times incredulous verbal outcries (as well as via Facebook status updates)– all coming from a very diverse group of young women (young mostly in age, but even more importantly in spirit) hailing mainly from the Los Angeles area.
Women not afraid of a little heavy lifting– literally and figuratively, as amplifiers, drum kits, guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, and mic stands were all carried to their destinations for the week ahead. Destinations which consisted of the classrooms labeled as “The Drum Room ,” “The Guitar Room,” etc.
Guitars and Basses photo by TRAffIK
Drum Room Photo by Beth Schore
(click on images to enlarge)
Who said women can’t carry their own gear? Who said women can’t rock out just like the boys? Who said women can’t take up space?
Women can be found loading in their own gear, rocking out, and taking up space in music venues all across the world on any given day or night. Most everyone has been lucky enough to have had many exemplary female artists/musicians, musical pioneers if you will, that have paved the way so that it could become commonplace for a girl to “rock out” just as hard, if not harder than the boys on any stage on any night.
Unfortunately, as a young girl growing up you don’t always realize this. When we are young our circles of friends and experiences may be limited, our families/customs/cultures/social circles may define us at that time, or we may just not realize the vast amount of options and opportunities that exist for us to explore and choose what we eventually want to do and who we want to become.
In 2001, a group of women in Portland, OR came together to create something to address these and other issues. What they created would eventually branch off to include over 20 affiliates across the U.S. (expanding internationally into Sweden, Montreal, and Vancouver). So what was this phenomenon? Again, we ask what was all happening? What were all of these women coming together to create?
L.A. was to be on the lookout for the first installment of the Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles.
To give a little background on what inspired this, we look to the very first Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Summer Camp which took place in August, 2001, on the Portland State University Campus. This excerpt from their mission statement makes their intentions perfectly clear, “We want to eradicate all the limiting myths about music and gender that make girls afraid to speak up, sing out, and make noise. We want to abolish all the obsolete traditions that restrict many girls’ and women’s free musical expression and obstruct their access to the world of music. We seek to demonstrate—through lessons, mentorship, positive examples, and the shared experiences of the staff and volunteers—that every genre of music from the heaviest to the most delicate, and every technical job and creative endeavor in the music industry, is available to any girl or woman who wants to explore it.”
The further you delve into learning about the camps and those that volunteer and support it, the more you realize that statements like the following truly represent the underlying theme of all of the camps involved.
“It’s not just about rock ‘n’ roll, it’s about all musical genres. And it’s not just about being a musician, it’s about being an active agent in music culture and industry. We believe that by teaching these things, we can help girls develop—musically, mentally, and emotionally—toward their own ideas of who and what they want to be.”.
“It’s not just about being a musician, it’s about being an active agent in music culture and industry,” that’s something that many people, musically inclined or not, can get behind. That statement could also be used to describe the members of the eclectic rock-folk Los Angeles based band Raining Jane (pictured right – photo by Larissa Brantner-James). Having volunteered since 2005 at the Portland and Seattle camps two of the Raining Jane members, Becky Gebhardt (bass, guitar, sitar) and Mona Tavakoli (drums, vocals, percussion), were in disbelief that one didn’t exist in their home base of Los Angeles, and decided to begin the journey to give the city a much needed camp of their own.
They began with recruiting their own bandmates Chaska Potter (vocals, guitar) and Mai Bloomfield, (vocals, guitar, cello) as well as family members (Natasha and Newsha Tavakoli), and other close friends to begin laying the groundwork.
Hours and hours (adding up to days, weeks, and eventually months) of hard work were put in to start the process of giving the “City of Angels” a camp that could look past the glitz and glamour of a city where so many come to make their dreams come true. A camp that would strive to address the all too real issues that are associated with growing up that plague the female youth population of this city (as well as pretty much every city in the world) all the while teaching them the discipline and empowerment that can come through learning to play and eventually mastering a musical instrument, the motions of their bodies, or through finding their voice (whether it be used to communicate with band mates or an audience).
A phone call to John McKenna, Director of Marketing and Development for Immaculate Conception School, resulted in the ending of the search for the, at the time, yet-to- occur camp’s location. From the initial call, Tavakoli and Gebhardt were met with an alignment in the understanding of and a resonating with the new camp’s mission from McKenna who enthusiastically offered his support of the cause before, during, and after camp.
With the camp location secured, a “foot off of the brakes and full speed-ahead” attitude was adopted as a full-fledged campaign was initiated and executed to increase community awareness about the camp as well as to recruit the first round of campers and volunteers. With a presence at various community events such as the Silverlake Jubilee, the Don’t Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival (put on by mother-daughter team Allison and Tiffany Anders), FYF Presents events, as well as local farmers markets (pictured left, Rock Camp Volunteers at the El Serreno Farmer’s Market photo by Erin Hughes) and concerts throughout the city, the idea of the camp was enthusiastically well received– and also met with many incredulous utterings of “I can’t believe something like this didn’t already exist in L.A.!”
The volunteer meetings and fundraisers continued (among them one of the few official Runaways film preview screenings authorized by Apparition Films, which included a Q&A with Cherie Currie), the curriculum was planned, and the anticipation kept building.
photos by Maria Schriber
(Click on images to enlarge)
Taking the current economic state of the country into consideration, the members of Raining Jane decided to start a scholarship fund for the camp. Soon enough good friend singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles, a headlining artist on this year’s Lilith Fair, followed suit providing five scholarships to the camp. L.A. based band EZ Tiger also donated scholarships from funds donated by their fans. The Feeding the Soul Foundation, an Oceanside, CA organization that “brings community together in creative generosity” while “promoting local artists, foundations and businesses that make a positive difference by creating events that draw attention and opportunity to their talents and intents,” also donated scholarships (pictured right, scholarship check and Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Volunteers –photo by Erin Hughes) to the camp from funds raised at their “Muse-ic” event (which featured performances from Tristan Prettyman, Alysse Fischer, and Jessie Payo).
“It’s all happening” (more…)