Rockin’ in the Free World with School of Rock Elmhurst


On Dec. 10 and 11, School of Rock Elmhurst performed their end-of-year showcase. With performance groups using themes ranging from “Motown,” “Sound City,” “Abbey Road,” “Muscle Shoals,” “Sunset Strip,” and “Haight-Ashbury,” there were a number of genres played over the two nights.

The performance was held at Base Camp in Lisle, a location that was enjoyed by many participants. “It was a really cool venue,” said junior Chris Ziebert. “It was interesting and not somewhere you would think to hold a rock performance.”

Chris Ziebert, from the Kid Program, is a part of a School of Rock dynasty. His mother, Amy Manning, was in the Adult Program, while his sister Anna Ziebert is a singer in the Kid Program.

“I rehearsed the songs where I sang vocals over and over in the car while commuting to and from my job,” said Manning.

Performing a show like this requires a time commitment beyond the weekly required classes. Each participant had their own individual way to prepare for the show. “I listened to my songs every single day, and would put time aside to practice them,” said junior, Natalie Riecker. Playing music also provides benefits to band members beyond learning to play an instrument. “Drumming is almost like a meditation,” said Manning, “Playing drums gives me a lot of calmness and relieves anxiety.  Singing is pure, unbridled joy.”

The performance allowed students to escape their comfort zones during practice. “The music from Muscle Shoals was something different then I had ever done before so I thought I would change it up and challenge myself,” said freshman Kate Piechaczek.

School of Rock even provided life lessons to their students. “School of Rock has given me so much,” said Ziebert. “Before I started I was really shy and I didn’t have a lot of friends. Through School of Rock, I have met such an amazing group of people that I consider my second family. I have really gotten my confidence up. School of Rock has given me so many opportunities.”

At the end of the day, being in a band performance is really about working together.  All School of Rock performance groups meet once a week for two hours and fifteen minutes to play together in addition to private lessons and individual practice time. “We all got along great due to the fact that we all have a passion for music, and perfecting our craft,” said Riecker.

“When we played our songs together, we strove to be better,” said Nick Pomatto, freshman. “The performance went very well.”