August 5, 2014 at 11:31 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - Alex Sheitinger, a 17-year-old West Orange musician, was selected from hundreds of School of Rock students to participate in an East Coast mini-tour with the School of Rock AllStars Band, in support of Love Hope Strength, an international cancer charity, in a five-day tour that ended on Aug. 3.
Alex is the first student of the Montclair School of Rock ever selected to tour.
Matt Sandoski, owner of the School of Rock Montclair, said of Sheitinger, "He was one of hundreds of young musicians from around the United States to audition for the opportunity, and we’re thrilled that he made it – again.” This was Sheitinger's second year with the group.
The AllStars performed at locales like the The Stone Pony in Asbury Park; The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn; and at three shows at the Gathering of the Vibes festival in Bridgeport, Conn. The goal of the concerts was to raise awareness of the efforts of Love Hope Strength to build and help cancer centers nationally and internationally; boost awareness of global cancer needs; and to expand international bone marrow databases.
“The experience was one I’ll never forget,” said Sheitinger, who played guitar, bass and trombone and sang on the tour. “It felt amazing to play with awesome musicians who became close friends and really cared about putting on good shows at cool venues to help an important cause.”
Sheitinger is heading into his senior year at Seton Hall Prep in September. He auditioned for the AllStars Band in January and learned in April that he had been selected. Along with Alex, 24 School of Rock students from 12 schools in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts began their five-day tour on July 30.
According to Shannon Foley, executive director of Love Hope Strength, “We have roughly 200 bone marrow drives scheduled this summer and are stretched thin with volunteers and resources. Teaming up with the School of Rock AllStars gave us the opportunity to be at more concerts and festivals than we ever could attend without them.
"Amazingly, in the three years that we’ve been working with the AllStars, we’ve found 12 bone marrow matches among School of Rock families and supporters – which could mean the difference between life and death for a patient with blood cancer.”