SOUTH ORANGE & MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Local Heroes band has announced the cast of its second annual concert, SOMA Rocks, on January 11, 2020. SOMA Rocks 2 will showcase the deep musical talent of the residents of South Orange and Maplewood: The band will accompany five local singers — Matt Ramsey, Joanna Young, Allison Posner, Heidi Raney and Charlie Pollock — all SOMA residents with first-rate talent and performance backgrounds, including on Broadway, stage and screen. SOMA Rocks benefits the Columbia High School Music Parents Association, a nonprofit organization comprised of parent volunteers that make sure the CHS music program continues to thrive for all students.
Ramsey has been with the Blue Man Group since 2000 and has performed in the New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and the Megastar Tour casts. He has worn many hats within the company including Associate Director of Live Performances, Blue Man Trainer and Creative Lead.
Pollack has been on Broadway in Violet, Urinetown, and 9 to 5. Among other shows, he has been seen on television in JesusChristSuperstarLive!, Elementary, and recurring roles on TheGoodWife and TheGoodFight.
Heidi Raney is jazz vocalist and classically trained piano player who was born and raised in Maplewood and is an alumni of Columbia High School. She completed her BFA in Jazz Vocal Performance at The New School, and has performed at NJPAC, Shanghai Jazz and various jazz venues across New York and New Jersey.
Joanna Young has been on Broadway and in the national tours of The Drowsy Chaperone, Les Miserables, and Grease! She starred at SOPAC in the world premiere of Rated P….For Parenthood (original cast recording and Off Broadway run).
Allison Posner has performed at venues such as 54 Below, Ars Nova, Ensemble Studio Theater, Joe’s Pub, Urban Stages, ART/NY and the Signature Theater. Her favorite roles include the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Jill Mason in Equus, Susan in Tick Tick Boom!, and Jocelyn in Volleygirls.
“We all have day jobs and kids, but love to play music together and wanted to create an event where we could help local talent shine, entertain our friends and neighbors, and give back to our community,” said Matthew Katz, Local Heroes drummer and co-founder of SOMA Rocks. “Our first SOMA Rocks in January 2019 was highly successful, with a packed house of more than 320 patrons, and we’re expecting an even greater crowd in January 2020.”
David Pohl, the band’s guitarist and SOMA Rocks co-founder, added, “This town is unique — we are lucky to be surrounded by such great talent — and my bandmates and I have the honor of giving them a night to be rock stars.”
The local singers, which change each year, choose their own songs with a mix of styles from The Clash to Dolly Parton, and from Linda Ronstadt to Radiohead. Then, The Local Heroes band arranges and adapts the tunes for the show. The band, the core of which consists of SOMA residents Pohl, Katz, David Shields, and David Diamond, rehearses throughout the year to prepare pieces for its guest singers and make sure they are all in sync for the big night.
SOMA Rocks 2 will take place on January 11, 2020 at The Woodland [60 Woodland Road] in Maplewood, NJ, starting at 8 p.m. Talented singers from the CHS a capella program will be the opening act. For further information and tickets please visit www.somarocks.org.