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Three Eminence High School freshmen and Curtis Moss, Eminence Independent Schools’ Music Director have turned music class into a rock band.
Travis Fahey, Jay Monroe and Meagan Riley play traditional band instruments for the first 45 minutes of band class. The three students and Moss set aside another hour for dueling distorted Les Paul guitars accompanied by Riley’s belting vocals for school supervised sonic goodness.
The ultimate goal for the band, so far unnamed, is to make a show out of it.
“We had five in band and we are now at four in the actual band class. Three of those students were beginners and after playing an hour to 45 minutes straight as beginners they were pretty much done,” Moss said. “Their lips were dead from playing instruments and such, but two of them had played guitar together, we have a student who plays as the drummer and Meagan said she would sing. That is pretty much how it started.”
Moss works with students in an advisor capacity. He keeps them focused and help ensures the group makes appropriate song choices.
In between songs, Eddie Van Halen-esque finger tapping riffs follow jokes with good spirited camaraderie. The students learn in a group dynamic while still having fun.
“Basically the most important that I have learned is how to play with someone who is also playing the same instrument,” said freshman Travis Fahey. “I like rock music and playing guitar so it intertwines with that. It’s hard to keep time with everyone else and keep in time with a drummer it’s fun.”
Freshman Jay Monroe played guitar with a few friends before but never had a group that performed in front of an audience. He now plays the national anthem at the beginning of Eminence basketball games.
“I like playing with other people it’s way more fun than playing by myself,” Monroe said. “The first time I played the national anthem I kept saying to myself ‘don’t mess up, don’t mess up’. “
Meagan Riley sings the vocal on the band’s three cover songs: Guns N Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”, The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and Green Day’s “Holiday.” She is the only female in the band, but her male band mates don’t cut her any slack.
“They make fun of me in a kind way,” Riley said. “I’ve known these guys since kindergarten.”
Riley says everyone participates in song selection.
“It really depends on us and how fast we can learn it,” Riley said. “And if I can sing it.”
Each student collaborates with a varied difference of musical taste.
Riley likes the musical artists Christina Perri and Adele. Fahey likes modern rock like the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace and alternative music. Monroe musical interests range from blues, jazz and a wide spectrum of heavy metal from Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera to Black Sabbath.
The rock band now plays a regular gig at the Eminence basketball games as the school pep band. Moss hopes to keep the momentum going.
“We hope to get some donations together so we can buy a mixing board to help out with performances,” Moss said. “You don’t have a show yet and the music must come first.”
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