School of Rock All-Stars at Big Cities Aug. 2

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118592496631559.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Each year, The Paul Green School of Rock students play more than 500 concerts to more than 200,000 people.‘);

The Paul Green School of Rock Music All-Stars will perform at Big Cities Lounge at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2. Cover charge is $7.50.

Before there ever was a School of Rock movie, Paul Green operated The Paul Green School of Rock Music, a performance-based, interactive music school in Philadelphia. The school, for ages 8-18, has grown to 29 locations nationally.

The school proceeds from the belief that the best way to learn to do almost anything is by doing it, and the school feels this is particularly true about music. Therefore, from the moment a student joins a School of Rock, he or she is playing music—loud, with other musicians on genuine equipment.

Before long, students are playing shows. These are not your old-fashioned, “wait through 50 other kids mangling their songs until your child’s turn arrives” recitals, but real rock concerts at real rock venues before real rock audiences complete with light shows, stagecraft and the occasional pyro.

The School of Rock All-Stars represent the very best of what the Paul Green School of Rock is all about. Composed of the best, brightest, and hardest-working students from various branches, the All-Stars have one mission: total rock destruction.

Each year, The Paul Green School of Rock students play more than 500 concerts to more than 200,000 people. The All-Stars have performed on stage with such artists as Peter Frampton, Jon Anderson (from YES), Alice Cooper, Adrian Belew, John Wetton and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. Students can frequently be found jamming such legendary venues as The Trocadero, The Knitting Factory, Café DuNord, WOW Hall, The Big Easy, World Café Live and BB King’s in Times Square.

Other notable performances include Chicago’s Lollapalooza, where they performed last year and are booked for two performances and three days of workshops in 2007; Austin City Limits in Austin, Texas; and Green Apple Music & Arts Festival in New York and Chicago.

The School of Rock’s goal is twofold: to help students realize their amazing potential as artists as well as to put them on stage in front of as many people as possible. To attain the first goal, the school has established a highly-competitive, yet thoroughly supportive, environment where students are challenged at every turn.

Shows are picked for their educational merit and content. By way of example, the school may have the students study Queen to learn about harmony, punk to develop performance skills and stage presence, Zappa for a crash course in musicianship, etc. If, on occasion, a student comes up short on a note here and there, it is viewed as a learning experience on the way to mastery rather than as a failure of any sort. When everything clicks on stage (which is more often than not), the sense of confidence instilled in the student from crowd, instructors and peers alike can be no less than a life-altering experience. The feeling of camaraderie at the school, as well as the recognition of each individual’s unique talents, gives the students a creative edge that can be found nowhere else.

For more about the Paul Green School of Rock, visit For more about the Aug. 2 show at Big Cities, call (815) 965-6026.

from the Aug 1-7, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!