Bach to Rock Music School owner Nick Valente wants to give kids and adults of all ages and abilities the chance to play an instrument and perform in front of others.
“We believe that anyone who loves music should be able to learn, play and sing music either as a soloist, duet, ensemble, band or glee club, and have the opportunity to perform in the community,” he said. “Our programs start at age 1 to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to real instruments to begin their musical journey.
“Our curriculum is age-appropriate, while our repertoire of songs available for students respects the artist’s original material through our payment of royalties for the use of copyrighted materials. We honor those artists who have inspired us with their craft and adamantly teach our students to do the same as they develop as performers.”
The music school has a dedicated room for its Beat Refinery program, where DJ students learn how to scratch and mix on one of seven stations. Bach to Rock Penfield also teaches music production and recording arts in the recording studio.
The band program is geared toward students that achieved basic proficiency in an instrument and is available for ages 6 through adult. Students participating in the band program are placed into a band based on age, musical genre interests, ability and instrument preference.
Bands practice once a week, and create a band name, logo, T-shirts and story. Then, Bach to Rock Penfield coordinates events to provide the bands with opportunities throughout the year to play out at gigs in family-friendly atmospheres, including its yearly “battles.”
Hundreds of Bach to Rock students recently performed in front of friends and family at two battles at Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex. The Battle of the DJs featured live competitions by Beat Refinery student DJs showcasing their best mixing, scratching and mashups.
Volunteer judges from local DJ organizations determined the following winners.
Best Mix Execution: Erik (first place), Jonathan (second place) and Colin (third place).
Best Stage Presence: Jaedon (first place), Dan (second place) and Natalie (third place).
Most Creative: Noah (first place), Jaedon (second place) and Jack (third place).
Best Crowd Response: Caleb (first place), Jason (second place) and Elijah (third place).
Best Technical Capability: Noah (first place), Natalie (second place) and Jeffrey (third place).
Best Overall DJ: Dan.
The Battle of the Bands featured 12 student rock bands performing two to three songs on a platform above the ice rink. The winning bands were determined by a panel of volunteer judges, including WCMF’s Dave Kane.
Upper Division (ages 12 and older)
Overall Best Band: Rings of Essence.
Best Audience Reaction: Shades of Soul.
Best Stage Presence: Radiators.
Tightest Band: B2R5.
Best Set List: B.E.A.T.S.
Most Creative: Atomic.
Most Fun: The Jammers.
Most Original: Rings of Essence.
Lower Division (ages 6-11)
Overall Best Band: Yes? No!
Tightest Band: Yes? No!
Best Set List: Rock Raptors.
Best Stage Presence: Just Trouble.
Most Creative: Saffire Rock-Its.
Most Fun: Lightning Hawks.