Students show business is a business
To quote some wise philosophers, it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
Some students at the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts found out just how long, with an intro to the music biz devoid of theory and steeped in reality.
Partnering with ArtsQuest’s Musikfest Marketing program, the youngsters became modern-day Phil Grahams, tasked with booking four acts for a concert block at Musikfest Aug. 4.
The students were responsible for everything save for stocking extra guitar picks. Through the leadership of their teacher, Ann Gillette, and Patrick Brogan, senior vice president of programming at ArtsQuest, the youth learned a lot about what it takes to put on a show. The workload included reviewing band/artist submissions, booking acts, promoting the show, managing a budget, procuring sponsorship, creating design elements for promotions and producing show elements.
During a student-created news conference May 7, the youth announced their lineup - Allentown-based Banchi, All Types or Kings from New York, Carver Commodore from Florence, Ala. and Reading, Pa.-based Vitruvia. Each band will play a 40-minute set starting at noon and continuing at the top of the hour through 4 p.m. that day. The students titled their concert block as “Charter Arts at the Fest.”
“It takes a village to produce Musikfest,” said Brogan during the news conference. “..It shows the students that Musikfest is not just about showing up one day in August and putting some bands on the stage. Rather it takes a team effort.”
“This is really an important class for us,” said Diane LaBelle, the executive director and CEO of the school. “Part of our philosophy at this school is that the community is our campus.”
Among the lessons student learned, Kylie Brown, a student at the school, said it showcased how much work, planning and research is required to put on a show. She added that the students’ “social media savvy” will prove to be an asset promoting the acts over the next few months.
Prior to the news conference, the act Banchi performed an acoustic set on a balcony, combining lead licks with rhythm guitar.