Bangor Area Teens Get To Spend The Week Rocking Out
I think everyone kind of hopes that at some point in your life, you get to do something profoundly meaningful. Especially to yourself. Not that you don't want to do meaningful things for other people, but sometimes it's nice to feel like our time on this Big Blue Marble had a direct purpose. And I always thought I knew exactly what that looked like.
I always assumed it would be something I did with my music career. But I also always assumed it would be in the performance setting or whatnot. But the last couple of years, I've learned that there's a lot to be satisfied by on a soul-level, by helping people to learn, to grasp new concepts, and see them through.
The last couple of years, I've been spending parts of my summer working for the Maine Academy of Modern Music with the Bangor Rocks program. We gather up a bunch of musically inclined teenagers, and give them a safe place to learn and play music all day long. They pick songs, and put them through the paces of getting them right.
It's not like a regular summer camp with swim lessons and arts and crafts. We show up, we rock, we eat lunch, we rock, we go home. And do it again the next day, all week long. And the work shows. We even got to do a small private show for the parents. Everyone was masked, and at much more than the recommended social distance.
For that matter, all week long, all the kids were masked and had their own bottle of hand sanitizer. We made sure not to trade instruments, and took hourly breaks to clean everything. I definitely felt like I was rocking in an operating room. Hahaha. Bangor Arts Exchange also really stepped up to the plate as well, making sure the building was safe.
This week I worked with a group of junior high/high school students who were playing tough songs like Tom Sawyer by Rush, and The Ocean by Led Zeppelin. These can be hard songs for adults, let alone teenagers. But they put int the time, and made the effort, and it shows 110%. See for yourself in the videos below. But.... as they say... prepare for your face to be melted, and your mind blown.