Riverfield Rocks the Cains: Much goes into putting on student showcase concert
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Saturday, January 19, 2013
1/19/13 at 6:55 AM
It's not often that a school gets its band together to rock 'n' roll all night.
Especially on the stage of a historic music venue.
Cain's Ballroom hosts Riverfield Country Day School for its second go-round of "Riverfield Rocks the Cain's" on Saturday night.
This year's theme is loosely "Cain's Ballroom Bands," as bands will cover popular, modern rock acts such as Jack White, The White Stripes, Band of Horses, Imagine Dragons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Broken Social Scene and even Radiohead, Coldplay and Muse.
"We do music that everyone has a big interest in, especially the performers," said Paul Knight, Riverfield Rocks director. For the larger bands, students even rewrite the songs to accommodate parts for everyone. "Music is discovered from the inside out."
The children are led by Knight, music theory and history teacher who also directs the school's band program and drum line. Knight has taught at the school for eight years, he said.
Helping him is assistant director Scott Jones, former bassist for longtime Tulsa rocker Caroline's Spine.
The last showcase was in 2008, and it sold out. A few things have changed this time around. For one, organizers aren't taking canned goods to help feed the needy. Right off the top, $2 from every ticket sold will go straight to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
"It's easier to manage, and the money will go straight back to our community," Knight said.
Also, the lineup has more than doubled. Saturday's lineup includes 71 students and nine bands of sixth-graders through 12th-graders, Knight said. Bands include Bubba Chump, Hayakawa, Big Cat, Sirens, Frantic Freedom, Blue Vendetta, Band of Bronies, Plastique and Axios.
A lineup with that many bands might seem nigh unto impossible to manage, but Knight considers it "easy" compared to many of the major band events he helps direct each year.
"Cain's handles lights, sound, ticketing. Really, it's our easiest show of the year," he said. "I love this venue. It's a place that I visit often for concerts. Most of us do."
But it's less easy for the students. They've been practicing nearly every day for weeks. Some bands include as many as a dozen students, Knight said.
Knight said the benefit of using up-to-date "setlists" is many-fold. The kids' intense interest helps them grasp complicated music theory, history, problem solving and teamwork issues. "This helps me get through to them more quickly. Many of them grasp music concepts that aren't understood until college."
It also helps everyone learn how to succeed through trying. "This is important. Music is a universal way to teach kids that they can find success through failure. Nobody is perfect when they start. Everyone makes mistakes. With music, kids learn to play through it and learn that often people don't notice (a mistake) if you just keep going.
"Even when something is right, it's still subjective."
RIVERFIELD ROCKS THE CAIN'S
When: Doors open 6 p.m., showtime 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main St.
Admission: $10 at the door. All-ages. Plus, $2 of every ticket sold will go to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Children age 4 and younger get in free.
Original Print Headline: Much goes into putting on student rock show
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Robert Beers plays drums at Riverfield Country Day School during rehearsal for "Riverfield Rocks the Cain's." MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World