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‘Groovy, hippy, trippy’: SJR’s rockstars ready for show

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St. John’s-Ravenscourt students are bonding together as they rehearse some "groovy, hippy, trippy songs" for the 23rd annual Rock Show.
 "The Rock Show is a community and the more that you do it the more you come to love it," said Grade 11 student Stephanie Fennell, who will be playing flute, piano, and vocals. "Even if you don’t get the leading parts the first year, as you move up through the grades, you get bigger and bigger parts. So you grow and become, more and more, a part of this amazing community called Rock Show."
This year’s Rock Show is titled Age of Aquarius. Hosted in SJR’s gym, it will feature classics from The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, and more. The show includes over 70 student performers and 20 backstage crew members.
In order to prepare for a show that expects around 1,200 in the audience over three nights, students start practising in October. With a 29-song set list, rehearsals are split up so every song is practised equally.
"We rehearse a lot," said Dasa Silhova, a Grade 10 student who plays synthesizer, drums, and guitar in the show. "It’s been a really good experience."
 Cole Milberg is in Grade 9, making this year’s performance his first. He auditioned in September and will be playing guitar and vocals during the show.
"I think it’s a great experience," said Milberg. "It’s a good way to way to improve in music because it’s a (chance) to play as a large group. It’s pretty rare to be able to play in such a big band."
The songs this year are based on the summer of 1967. Even though all the students in the show were born in the late 1990s, they enjoy the music.
"There’s always a theme, and these are nice," said Grade 10 student Michael Kevern, who will sing in the show. "The parents like it. Like last year I was in Ballroom Blitz, and after the show and after the song a bunch of moms came up to the lead singer and expressed how much they were brought back to their youth."
The show is under the direction of former teacher and historian John Einarson, who said they’ve hired the same lighting crew to put on shows at the MTS Centre making this year bigger than ever.
"It’s a lot of fun," said Fennell. "I really love expressing myself musically, so this is a great outlet for me, not only to do that, but to perform and to be in front of hundreds of people a night which is a really cool experience."
Age of Aquarius has three performances running from Monday April 22 to Wednesday April 24.
All shows start at 7 p.m. and are $15 in advance at the school’s reception, or at the door. For more information email Brenda Stewart at bstewart@sjr.mb.ca or call 204-477-2400.

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