Supporting Our High School Music Programs

The event was held at a beautiful venue, Rhythmix Culture Center in Alameda. We had an OK turnout for a Thursday night, and of course a school night. However, it was a positive learning experience for everyone involved and especially for the kids, as this was their very first time performing at a real live showcase type of venue. They were all so excited to play on the large stage, so happy to hear themselves through a professional sound system. They truly had smiles on their faces the entire night. We are looking forward to doing more to help the Encinal High School Music & Arts program, as they are in desperate need of funds to help with traveling costs to get to competitions for the remainder of the school year. In writing this, I truly hope that I can catch the attention of those who are able to help these wonderfully passionate and talented kids.

In keeping with my past topics and having gone through this recent joyful experience, I thought I would share the check-list we used to help teach the kids the ins and outs of a performance: load-in, set up, sound check, the green room (if available), what to be ready for, what you can ask for, things you should know, things the staff should know, things the sound person should know, why a stage plot very helpful, giving the sound person your set list if you’re doing covers, what to wear. All these things are important when prepping for a live show. Our load-in was fairly simple, although at this particular venue we had to use the ADA lift to get the gear up to the second floor. It took four loads for us and only one load for the kids…..lucky! Having them set up around our gear was very helpful, since they used most of our gear anyway (with exception to the drums, as I am a lefty and my son is a righty). Proper mic placement and monitor placement was a very good learning experience for them. They have three horns (alto sax, trumpet, and trombone), so it helped for them to hear their blend once the mix was ready (i.e., front-of-house and on-stage monitors). Going through the line check process was cool for them, as well. Sound checking drums was so much fun for my son. He seemed to be so happy, and you could see the passion and excitement on all their faces. They were all very eager to learn all that they could about every little thing. The dressing room was set up, and it was cool to just chill and talk music and show prep stuff with them all. Lots of food, snacks on hand, plenty of water, and family for built-in support…….that’s always great!

So I think overall, it was a happy, exciting night, and I am so grateful to share it with my son, the other band members, my bandmates, family and friends, and now with you. Thanks to everyone.

Stay true to your self and in sharing your sincerity to supporting the venue. We should all remember to never forget, that without the venue, we have no venue to share our true passion…our music!

So stay tuned as there will be more to come. Peace.

Ren

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