School of Rock Mason has placed four students on the national School of Rock AllStar Team. They will tour the Chicago area at the end of July and play the world famous Lollapalooza Music Festival on August 1. “We are very proud of the four who were selected – they are excellent and hardworking players,” said School of Rock Mason owner Tim Garry. “We are especially proud as a school for placing four members on the team, an above average number. It speaks well of the program and the staff we have at the school.”
The four students who made the team are guitarist Brandon Bihn, who will be a senior at Lakota East High School, bassist Caroline Joseph, who will be a freshman at Lakota West High School, drummer Derek Johnson, who will be a freshman at Ross High School, and bassist Jacob Snow, who just graduated from Mason High School.
School of Rock is a network of performance-based music schools that has more than 110 locations in the U.S. and 15 more outside of the U.S. It sponsors a national AllStar program that puts the best students in the system on tour during the summer. AllStars are chosen through a rigorous audition process. The 150 students selected into the program represent the top 1% of the more than 15,000 students involved with School of Rock worldwide. These students are divided into six teams, each of which puts together its own show for a week-long tour.
The four School of Rock Mason AllStars are on Team 1. They will perform at several locations in the Chicago area starting July 28 and ending with their Lollapalooza performance on August 1, the first day of the three day festival. They will actually kick off the entire festival with a performance at 11:30am, and they will perform another set at 3:30pm. Other performers that day include Enimem, Artic Monkeys, and Lorde. Other headliners of the festival include Outkast, Skrillex, Foster the People, Cage the Elephant, and Kings of Leon.
“This is a fantastic opportunity, and I am glad to be a part of it,” said Brandon Bihn. “I am really excited about getting to play with the best of the best at School of Rock and look forward to meeting the AllStars from other schools.” Caroline Joseph added, “I too am really looking forward to meeting kids from the other schools. I think it’s so cool that we get to play and enjoy Lollapalooza. A lot of my favorite bands are playing the festival this year.”
Caroline, Brandon, and Jacob each joined School of Rock Mason when it opened two years ago. Derek joined soon after. All four play in the school’s regular seasonal shows and are also members of the school’s elite show band, which plays frequently throughout the year from small local events to Cincinnati’s Fountain Square. Each has played more than 40 shows between regular seasonal performances and the show band.
Caroline and Derek will be among the youngest of the AllStars. Both were still in eighth grade when they auditioned this past winter.
All four students are not strangers to large music festivals. They have played with School of Rock Mason at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, and at Cincinnati’s MidPoint Music Festival.
School of Rock Mason now has more than 140 students. It has programs for kids 7-18 and for adults. Its programs include private lessons in guitar, bass, drums, piano/keys, and voice; performance; summer camps; and workshops. The performance programs get students performing shows live on stage at real rock venues. The regular performance program has three shows in rehearsal that will be performed in August: The Eagles with Linda Ronstadt, Jimi Hendrix, and The White Stripes vs. The Black Keys. The adult performance program just performed in June and will restart in August. Go to Mason.SchoolofRock.com to learn more about the school and its programs.