MORRISTOWN, NJ -- The sound of music reverberated within the walls of the Dark House Lounge on Dehart Street Sunday as 21 members of the Chatham School of Rock performed to a large crowd under mutlicolored studio lights.
The young performers wowed a crowd of parents, friends and lounge patrons with a two-hour set of original compositions and popular rock music. The 220 enrolled students range in age from seven to 18 and represent varying skill levels and musical backgrounds, but all share a passion for music and performing.
The Chatham School of Rock performers are an evolving music group with a rotating roster of talent. The school's music director, Art Lima of Nutley, is a graduate of the University of Connecticut who began his musical pursuit at the age of 9. He plays multiple instruments and has performed with numerous bands over the years. Lima is a co-owner of the Chatham branch School of Rock, established in the borough in January 2007.
The school's motto, originated by founder Paul Green in 1998 in Philadelphia, "Inspiring Kids to Rock...On Stage and in Life!" inspired the 2003 film "School of Rock" starring Jack Black.
From its original site in Pennsylvania, the School of Rock blossomed into an international franchise with schools in North America and Mexico. The school's instructors focus on the fundamentals of popular music and music theory. Students are encouraged to play at least one instrument and to sing.
Students learn and perform songs from popular bands and artists such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd. The Chatham School of Rock has performed with some heavy-hitters of the music industry. This past June, the school performed with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bernie Worrell of Parliament and Funkadelic fame. Worrell's Local and Legend organization hosted the Chatham School of Rock along with other groups at the Unionville Vineyards in Hunterdon County, New Jersey in front of a captive crowd. The Local and Legend is an organization devoted to aspiring young musical/performing talent and helping them with scholarships.
"[The Chatham School of Rock] has an open enrollment and we perform music from all genres," Lima said. "We have kids at the beginner to intermediate to advance levels." The Chatham School of Rock is located at 60 Main St. Chatham, New Jersey. The school has a web presence at http://chatham.schoolofrock.
com/ where interested parties can find information and show schedules.
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