Sunday, August 2, 2009

Girls Rock Showcase

Girls Rock, final day. Saturday, August 1.
Well, the day is finally here. The showcase is just a few hours away and there's still lots to do. Each band had 20 minutes of practice. When they weren't practicing their song, the girls were making buttons (thanks to the help of Fancy Tiger) or getting their hair and makeup done, which was very exciting for most. They made the most of it, getting tattoos, putting glitter on their eyes, cheeks and lips, and rocking out their hair. Some brought outfits that they had planned and others wore their logo'd t-shirts. After eating pizza (and reapplying the shimmer on their lips), the girls were picked up by their families and taken to the Mercury Cafe.

At the venue, the volunteers marked off an area for the girls and set up the merch table. Photographers took pictures and the instrument instructors ran through soundcheck. After the doors opened and the families started pouring in, the energy of the place just skyrocketed. Monique, project director for Girls Rock Denver, gave a tearful introduction to the organization, conveying how emotional it was to see a year and a half of hard work finally come to fruition. After that, it was all about the rock. The order of the bands could not have been more perfect, starting with the youngest band (they effectively tugged on the heartstrings of the crowd) and ending with the oldest (which included a 16 year old drummer with 5 years of drumming experience). So it was The Next Generation, Kosmic Rumbles, Trouble at Midnight, The Unknowne, Sparkling Lemonade and The Lighter Side of Dark. The camp volunteers were not the only ones emotional while cheering the girls on; the families were so proud of their girls and they created such an enthusiastic vibe. The Mercury Cafe was packed and I'm still amazed that none of the girls froze while onstage. They all remembered their parts and lyrics and the only mistakes were likely having more to do with not being able to hear themselves or each other. But none of that mattered because the crowd was so loud and supportive every step of the way.

As Trouble at Midnight was preparing for their performance, I put Sadie's tour posters on the stage. And they launched into the song without the worrysome nerves that I thought they would have. They were spectacular and I could not have been more proud. And sad. I was realizing that this was it. The end of a pretty intense week. The last band, The Lighter Side of Dark, was reportedly approached afterwards about doing a gig next summer at the zoo! Hopefully that'll work out somehow with the guitarist living in Kentucky. But just news of them being asked to play outside of camp was incredibly cool!

After the bands performed and the adults led them in the camp theme song that they created during camp, the girls scattered. I eventually found all my girls and gave them a quick hug and a card that I had for each of them. As some of them left, I had the urge to call after them, "let's go bowling or something," but instead it seemed as though this might be the last time I see some of them, and it was so sad! Zoe gave the volunteers boxes of cookies and the moms and dads of the rest of the band were so appreciative of our time, dedication and enthusiasm for what we were doing. It was so rewarding to hear the parents talk about how much their kids loved the experience and how the parents were planning on getting them the instruments of their choice. The showcase proved to be the inspiration needed to get others involved in the organization. So many people approached me and the other volunteers about wanting to be managers, coaches, instructors or just wanting to be involved somehow in next year's camp.

Volunteers sometimes don't get the luxury of knowing how much of a difference they've made on another life. But when I asked camper Alexis what lessons she has learned this week about being a girl, she answered: 1) Girls are smarter than boys and 2) Girls are really independent. So I know that somewhere in the midst of all the rock & roll, the girls learned a little something about empowerment, healthy self images and the possibilities of equality between genders. So I'm completely certain my time and energy went to a particularly good cause!

1 comment:

Ron said...

Aug 10, 2009

Caitlin Rowe, a 14 year old has organized a benefit concert for Girls Rock Denver, This program was brought to national attention in the Documentary Girls Rock.
The benefit will be held at the Denver music scene landmark Ziggies 4923 W 38th Ave, just 2 blocks east of Sheridan Blvd.
The show will begin at noon and run through 7:30 pm featuring 5 Denver Bands Eef, Cupid Paints Bind, Zen Conspiracy, LCD and Rachel James.
In addition to the concert, there will be a Bar-B-Que and raffles for great prizes.

About Girls Rock:
Girls Rock Denver seeks to empower young women and girls by putting instruments in their hands and unveiling what they already possess in their feet, fingertips, vocal cords, hearts, and minds.

We believe:
Girls should be seen and heard.
Potential is not dictated by gender.
In providing girls with a nonjudgmental space in which to be themselves.
In a girl's right to confidence, self-reliance, and courage.
Girls should be encouraged to express themselves with creativity and enthusiasm.
In the power of women and girls learning from each other.