FREE Rock School Blowout concert downtown | Arts & Culture
Twelve rock-and-roll-playing bands will liven up downtown at the free Rock School Blowout on the Riverwalk at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m.
If you haven't been to a Rock School Blowout before, you don't know what you've missed - but I can tell you they are a LOT of fun. I've gone with my children a few times and we've always had a great time. This time, my nine-year-old will be performing on bass, so it will be especially entertaining (for me, at least.)
Dozens of Patel Conservatory Rock School students will perform songs they’ve learned during this 12-week class session. Before classes began in September, students auditioned, were grouped into bands and have since been taught by Rock School instructors Lee Ahlin and Paul Stoddart.
At this outdoor concert, the bands will play some old classics by groups like Journey ("Anyway You Want It") and Joan Jett ("Hate Myself for Loving You") and the Black Hearts, along with those by newer artists such as Train, Adele and Blink 182. Eleven of the groups are comprised of teenagers and students as young as eight; the twelfth band consists of adults.
I've known Lee for over almost two decades and can testify to his tremendous work ethic and fantastic way with children. He's worked professionally as a musician, composer and educator since 1975 when he graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in theater and speech.
In 1983, he collaborated with Phil Hall on Children of the Day and other critically praised musicals. Lee teamed up with award-winning playwright Bill Leavengood, and their piece, Hellenback High, was produced by the prestigious New York Theater Institute in July of 1998.
Soon after, the two wrote Webb’s City The Musical, commissioned by the Pinellas Millennium Committee. The Live Arts Peninsula Foundation remounted the play and commissioned Ahlin to write the songs for the full-length musical, Crossing the Bay.
Over the last four years, he's has teamed with a local theater company to create musical adaptations for young audiences, such as Snow Queen, which was published and has been produced nationally. He has written five full-length musicals and eight musical adaptations of Shakespeare, 12 pieces for young audiences.
Paul has been teaching guitar and music theory/arrangement/songwriting for more than two decades. He has played in, written for and arranged music for several bands in Chicago, San Diego, Boston and Tampa. He plays in an acoustic duet, as well as a four-piece rock ensemble, that tour throughout the Tampa Bay area. He graduated cum laude from the Berklee School of Music in 1989 with a major in Songwriting. In addition to Rock School, he teaches guitar at the Patel Conservatory.
Grab a blanket and head downtown for a lovely afternoon by the river, listening to some good music and having a great time. You can buy food and drinks on-site.
Visit www.patelconservatory.org or call 813-222-1002 for more info.