The Frederick Rock School. By now, you’ve surely heard of it, right? It’s one of the coolest things Frederick has going for it and this weekend – Saturday, to be exact – the school is going to host its first open house in its eight year existence. Headlining the day will the the Blues Vultures, bands from the school will also take the stage … and a tiny band called DoubleMotorcycle will perform as well. We recently caught up with the school’s founder, Scott Marceron, to talk about the open house, his long history with music, how his school picks teachers, the success of some bands that were borne out of his school, and of course, what we can expect from the extravaganza on Saturday. The fun kicks off at noon, friends. Don’t be square. Be there.
First, can you explain however briefly how the Rock School came to be and how your involvement with it began?
The Rock School came about when a friend of my wife and I said someone we knew was doing a program for kids that got them playing together in bands. Kela and I visited the friend and I was blown away by the kids. We came home and I said I want to do something like this but on a larger scale. That is how our school and program was born. We wanted to give kids from Frederick County a safe, creative place to learn from the best instructors around.
How do you guys select the teachers? Are there any notable ones you could tell us about that stand out to you?
We select the teachers that we think will not only bring top notch music education but also teachers that will be amazing positive role models. All our instructors stand out and each bring invaulable schooling, performance and life experience. We have teachers that have degrees from Berklee and Belmont to local schools like Hood College and Shepherd University. We also have staff members that are national recording and touring artists. The students are getting the best of the best at our school.
You have helped cultivate some successful bands at the school – can you talk a little about some of the more memorable bands that have come together as a result of the Frederick Rock School?
Yes, we have cultivated some amazing talent from our little “Farm Town!” From Audra Mclaughlin, who made it to the finals of “The Voice” on team Blake, to two amazing rock bands from Frederick that all met at the rock school. Bad Seed Rising and Goner both signed record deals with Roadrunner/Atlantic Records. Both bands have toured nationally and most recently have been a part of the Vans Warped Tour. We also have numerous students go onto esteemed music colleges such as Berklee and Belmont on music scholarships.
How did the idea for the open house this weekend come to be? You have a few bands playing – how did you decide on who you wanted to play?
We have not had an open house since we opened eight years ago and we thought, “Why not have an open house celebration?” We’re going to have food trucks, a Key 103 live broadcast, performances and free lessons. Local legend Ronnie Younkins, from the band Kix, is bringing his band The Blues Vultures, and my friend Colin is bringing his amazing alt-rock band DoubleMotorcycle. Rock School performances will kick off the day at noon. We will also be raffling off a guitar and taking clothes donations for both Florida and Puerto Rico hurricane victims.
What’s your current perception of the local Frederick music scene? How can it improve? What’s it already doing well?
The local scene is thriving. With more and more venues doing shows and bringing national acts through Frederick, it will continue to grow.
What is the best song ever written, according to you, and why?
“Sailing On” by Bad Brains. Nothing gets me going more than this song. Pure rock fury!
Where do you see the Rock School being in 10 years from now? Is this something you’re committed to long term and if so, for how long?
I see the Rock School still preaching the gift of music in 10 years. Music soothes the soul on so many levels. My dream is to hit the lottery or find that private investor who sees our vision and makes this place free for all who want to be involved. I see what our little place does for these kids on daily basis. And I want to give it to everyone I can.
You used to be in bands yourself – do you miss playing? Would you ever considering starting up another band again?
I still and always will play bass guitar. I’m currently taking lessons to be a better guitar player. Like I tell our students, “You never stop learning.” The greats still work on their craft. Currently, I’ve been asked to jam with a band and I’m really thinking about it.
What’s the craziest rock and roll story you could share that you’ve experienced?
I’ve been around and met pretty much everyone I’ve looked up to, admired, etc., in the business, but nothing compares to watching that first performance from a brand new student band. The excitement, nervousness, accomplishment and sense of pride that these kids walk off the stage with is why I do this. It is by far the most amazing moment in rock ‘n roll for my wife and me.
And finally, what can we expect from the Frederick Rock School Open House this weekend?
Amazing performances, food and fun.