MONTVILLE, NJ – The 26th may be Thanksgiving, but Monday, November 23rd was Rocks-Giving at Montville Township High School. More than two dozen student musicians and two alumni gathered for a concert-fundraiser to help the Wyman family, whose nine-month-old daughter Emma is undergoing treatment for cancer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
More than 100 people attended the concert, which featured pop, heavy metal, punk, rap, jazz, and classic rock-n-roll and raised $1,644 for the family.
Josh Carus opened the show with a spot-on rendition of “Atlantic City.”
“I don’t normally like covers of Bruce Springsteen songs, but I loved this!” raved parent Susan Champion.
Her son, junior David Champion, then covered the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer.”
View the video here Paperback Writer.
Sophomore Madeline So sang “Losing My Religion,” with a guitar solo by Billy Billand.
View the video here Losing My Religion.
Madison Motherway then kicked up the tempo with the Elle King song “Exs and Oh’s.”
To view the video, click here Ex's and Oh's.
Bass guitarist and junior class member Catherine Tsilionis sang Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song.” Tsilionis is also president of Montville School of Rock, and said that she helps determine the set list and keep things organized.
“Everyone usually has a song in mind they’d like to sing and they bring them to Mr. Sia, the club’s advisor. He maps out the parts for every musician for each song, and teaches them to each person at the practices,” Tsilionis said. The club meets three times a week, including a four-hour Sunday practice.
“The lead singer for each song just depends on whose voice works with it,” she said.
To see her cover of “Love Song,” click here: Love Song
Sruthi Gudimella sang “I want you back,” and David Champion also covered Should I Stay or Should I Go.
Then the club called up alumni Mike Park and Alus. MTHS 2012 graduate Alus won the first Montville Idol contest in 2012, and also performed at Project Graduation for the MTHS class of 2015.
“I loved performing with School of Rock today and when I was in high school,” Alus told TAPintoMontville. “There aren’t many clubs where kids can play contemporary music. There’s choir, and the musicals [plays], but this club lets the kids decide what to sing, and it’s really fun.”
Alus, who is signed with All Def Digital, sang her original song “Ordinary Girl,” which can be viewed here Ordinary Girl.
Alumnus Mike Park and Alus along with Sruthi Gudimella, Amanda Rosado and Madison Motherway finished off the show with "I'm gonna lose you,” which can be viewed here: I'm Gonna Lose You.
After the show, Alessandra Guarneri, a junior who played the drums for the group, told TAPintoMontville, “I took drum lessons for a year and then I taught myself to play after that. I’ve been in the club since March. The best part is getting to play for causes like Baby Emma!”
Sruthi Gudimella, who is also a junior, said this is her second year with School of Rock, and she loves playing with a bunch of people who love music as much as she does.
Club Advisor Anthony Sia said, “The kids are immensely talented and I love working with them!”