By Georgie Charette ’23
Have you ever dreamed of standing on stage and slamming on the strings of a guitar? Screaming your heart out for a crowd dedicated to you? Rock Band is a club dedicated to giving students a space where they can grow on stage and become the rockstar they are meant to be.
Rock Band started as a class, and became a club after the Covid-19 pandemic. For six years before the pandemic, Mr. Perkins, a current member of DOS, was hired to work at Frederick Gunn to teach Rock Band, Jazz Band, Songwriting and Music Technology because the music teacher at the time did not feel that she could properly teach these classes. When Mr. Perkins began teaching Rock Band, it was not a very popular class and only had one section of about three students but quickly took off to be a two section class with about ten students in each section. Mr. Perkins attributed the majority of rock bands successes to the concerts being thrown in EPAC and on the dining hall patio.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, students were sent home for the winter term, yet the rock band was determined to put on a concert for the community when they returned to campus, and ended up being very successful in doing exactly that. Mr. Perkins said that this concert is one of his fondest memories from teaching the class, and that the students are what really made the event. “The students were awesome, they were like nothing is going to stop this, it doesn’t matter if it’s pouring rain and we all have covid this is happening,” Mr. Perkins said, as he recalled the energy around the event. Marcus Jacob agreed that this was also his favorite memory of the class before he and Ashleen Hay took it over as a club.
Marcus and Ashleen have been working hard to keep the energy surrounding Rock Band up even through the separation created by covid. They were both previously involved in the class and loved it with all their heart, so when it came into question whether or not Rock Band would continue, they jumped at the opportunity. Ashleen said, “I didn’t want to see rock band go away as an option all together and I knew that other students felt the same, so I met with Marcus and here we are.” Currently, they are trying to bring back some ‘coffee house concerts’ that used to happen about three to four times a year in the student center or on the dining hall terrace. They aren’t stopping there! Ashleen and Marcus hope to also bring back a concert in the winter that used to happen, and potentially a concert on the turf coming soon… Stay tuned!
Overall, Rock Band was a huge part of “The Gunnery”, and students refuse to let this tradition fade as we continue as The Frederick Gunn School. With enthusiasm for music, and hard work we have seen the culture of Rock Band re-establish in our community. Rock Band has been an integral part of the Frederick Gunn school’s culture since its beginning and more specifically since Mr. Perkins had twenty students in the class. It will continue to remain an integral part of our community under the leadership of Marcus and Ashleen, and The community hopes to see you all at the next concert!