Contemporary Music Center Rock Camp to Perform at Hylton Center

Trio of young women perform at CMC's @4410 performance space. (Photo Credit: Anne Oyhenart)

Haymarket and Chantilly’s Contemporary Music Center’s nationally-renowned Rock Camp students will perform a recital concert at the Hylton Performing Arts Center Aug. 18. Tickets are $15.

Rock Camp’s 15 bands and 70-plus performers will perform live at the Gregory Theatre from noon to 3 p.m. and again at 4 to 7 p.m. with performers signing autographs after the show

“Last year the show sold out. This year we’re breaking it into two shows,” said Contemporary Music Center owner Menzie Pittman.

Pittman said the concert features children and teens, ages 8-17, plus one adult rock band.

The performance includes guest artist from the Harmony Inc. award-winning band, “Epic,” and progresses through a variety of rock bands, all composed of students who attended one or more of the CMC’s three Rock Camp sessions.

According to Pittman, some of their young performers had attended season after season, improving their skills and growing as a band.

Most of these students come from local schools such as Patriot and Battlefield high schools. Others attend local elementary and middle schools, while others attend private or public schools in Fauquier and Fairfax counties.

Pittman expects the concert to break expectations of what a student recital can be. In fact, when Music Inc. Magazine visited one of their recital concerts, they decided to feature the Rock Camp in their national magazine. That is because there is a professional level of quality to the performances.

“It might be the best kid event that comes through this area- definitely the most unique. This is a chance for younger musicians and adults to be rock stars,” Pittman said.

After 30 years as a performer, Pittman values not only musical proficiency, but performance quality. It is why he built the performance space @4410 with professional-level acoustics and why he emphasizes live performances with his students.

“They realize that this is their product,” said Pittman, and as such, he has teachers work on improving that product, asking the students, “How [can you] do it better, how [can you] make it matter?”

According to Pittman, showmanship is a major component of that experience, and thus, Pittman encourages his musicians to think of themselves as performers, bringing their own connectivity to the music.

Emily Stedman plays at @4410's grand opening. (Photo Credit: Anne Oyhenart)

“We want them to have a good time: spike up their hair, put a fedora on, stand in front of the lights and really feel perfect, because they absolutely are the stars of the show.”

To that end, he is impressed by the Hylton Center as a beautiful venue with the highest musical standards.

“(At the Hylton), they are treated like rock stars. They have their own dressing room; they have their own crew. Nobody puts this much effort into lighting, sound and support,” Pittman said.

He also expects the audience will appreciate the quality of the musicianship with a mix of instrumentals and “vocals that will blow your head right off.”

Readers interested in attending the Rock Camp concert can reserve tickets ahead of time with the Hylton Performing Arts Center.


© 2013, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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