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Handley students put in charge of organizing rock concert

At Handley High School, Raymond Hare’s CTE lab class, also known as “School of Rock,” has embarked on a unique journey through which they have been able to undergo a variety of hands-on experiences preparing them for real world opportunities.

Through a partnership with the Reach and Teach program, students in Hare’s class have worked to put together a rock concert that will be held in the Handley High School Gymnasium on Oct. 5 from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

The concert, titled “Rock the County,” will feature The Velcro Pygmies, an ’80s cover rock band, who’s mission is “education through experience.” The band consists of Cameron Flener – lead singer and co-founder of Reach and Teach, Max War – bass guitar, Chase West – electric guitar and Chris Eddins – drums.

Handley band student Tristin Vinson was selected by the Reach and Teach staff to join the Velcro Pygmies on stage at Rock the County and jam out with the band for one of their songs during the concert.

Hare explains that the Velco Pygmies bring the rock concert experience to students who might never get the experience otherwise through the Reach and Teach program.

“This (program) helps to bring passion and build confidence in students through group efforts in entertainment and education,” Hare expounds.

The Reach and Teach program serves as a large fundraiser which gives back to schools that partner with them while at the same time enriching students and teaching them a diverse amount of life skills.

Through Reach and Teach, students are shown how to plan, promote and execute a concert, while simultaneously learning content knowledge as well as employability skills, such as teamwork, communication and problem solving.

“Students learned the processes of brainstorming, goal setting, budgeting, selling and promotion. They have learned the value of teamwork and have also researched several topics using the KWL method (Know, Want to Know and Learn), as well as designing the concert logo, promotional T-shirts and concert ticket designs,” Hare mentions.

For the students, this event process has been a valuable learning opportunity as they have been able to work as they would in the real world. By creating a concert budget, setting goals, designing concert tickets and flyers, and completing numerous other assignments, students have built up valuable marketing skills.

Last week, Flener visited Handley to check on the progress of the class and make some final discussions pertaining to the upcoming concert.

“We finalized certain decisions regarding the concert setup, stage layout, electrical requirements, etc.” Hare explains, “He (Flener) also spoke with the ‘School of Rock’ class to give them a further understanding as to what the concert will truly be like.”

As the time is getting near for the concert to take place, Hare reflects on the work the class has put in and discusses what they hope to get out of the concert.

“Our goal is to bring the concert experience to students who have never experienced it before. As hosts, we hope to make the concert as memorable and enjoyable for guests as possible,” Hare says. “My goal as a teacher is to inspire as many students as possible through project-based learning.”

Participants in Handley’s student-led concert efforts are (front row kneeling, from left) Maleah Lambert, Tilajhia Winston, Miley Swick, Madison Foster, Jayden Foster, Ray Hare (teacher), (front row standing) Christopher Cruz-Medina, Christian Burton, Ariel Rowland, Tristin Vinson (student performer), Cameron Flener (lead singer-Velcro Pygmies), Hayden Nixon, Austin Knight, Sunshine Foster, Jayden Curtis, (back row, standing) Tiler Boyd, Landon Snow, Nick Busbin, Tmarion Phillips, Taylor Mitchell, Brandon Wyckoff and Dooley Green. (Not pictured are Diamond Kepner and Jamerqui Lewis.)

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