Academy of Rock’s Revved Up Growth

Academy of Rock's Revved Up Growth

Paige Ellis, Staff Member

Battle’s second year of operation settles some dust and lends for more clubs and programs to get their feet wet. Our chapter of Academy of Rock hit the ground running, wasting no time. Mr. Smith and Mr. Soden quickly set up weekly meetings, community events, and future projects. Gaining members quickly, the club has over 30 participates so far, which is impressive for its first year.

The club has been working with Hickman and Rockbridge to recreate a twist on the long-standing tradition of Battle of the Bands, an event that has regretfully lost its fire in past years. A new tradition is forming this year and they are calling it the “Patchwork Project,” originally known as “Swiss Army Knife,” a term coined by Wes Wingate, owner of The Bridge, which is a local live music hotspot in downtown Columbia. Over 45 active musicians of all kinds from all three schools, not necessarily in the club, are randomly assigned into bands and eventually compete. Mr. Smith said to “think of if like a quilt. We’re patching musicians together to form something bigger and greater.” Groups will be assigned prior to Christmas Break and will have until May 1st to compile a five song set list of original songs. One song must be a cover preformed in any style the group decides, e.g., metal, rock, etc…

The club gets together every Monday for an informal jam session or for band planning time, all centered on the general admiration and appreciation of music. One of Battle’s big projects was to tie dye club t-shirts. Cloth covered Smith’s floor, while bags, rubber bands, and old paint shirts floated around the room. Around 15 members were able to make it, but made sure to color enough for the remaining members. A quick demonstration was given, then they were set free to explore their artistic abilities with fabric dye. Within a matter of minutes, the room was transformed into a colorful art studio with students on the floor taking turns requesting songs to be played in the background. No Academy of Rock meeting would be complete without the music. The shirts help both bring the group together and “promote and bring awareness for the club,” said Mr. Smith. The club seeks to build interest from the student body and involvement with community gigs at local venues, such as The Bridge, downtown. Their most recent show was December 3rd, and the club is rooting on the school’s support in future shows. The shirts represent the club well, each one very different from the next, but all with the same colors and themes, as each person involved comes from very different backgrounds and ideas, tied together with their appreciation of music.

For a first year club, the Academy of Rock has already set some pretty firm roots at Battle. With support from Hickman and Rock Bridge, the ideals and goals of the group will be well cherished and hopefully long-standing. With obvious parallels and new additions, the club is an open environment for anyone who has a raw appreciation of the arts to get together and share ideas.

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