What happens when you take children from completely different backgrounds, cultures, ages and talents and throw them together as a performance team?
What you get is a breathtaking show on the Promenade Stage. Twenty-five performers from the Folsom, Orangevale and El Dorado Hills captivated onlookers on Sunday at the California State Fair. The show was produced by Rock Generation, a program that uses performance techniques to build up the self-esteem in children and teens.
As one audience member commented, “These kids don’t need any help with their self-esteem. From the time they walked on the stage, I was hooked. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.”
The show opened with a group of middle schoolers from Pacific Technology school hip hopping to “Are You Ready.” Next came a jazzy blues number performed by six beautiful girls representing four different school districts. Watching them perform in perfect precision it is hard to imagine that they met for the first time just a few rehearsals ago. But that is the magic of the Rock Generation program. It focuses on how the strengths of each individual child add to the success of the team. Every performer has talents; Rock Generation helps them to discover and nurture their own unique abilities.
The highlight of the performance on Sunday was when the vocals of Taylor Haines combined with the strong percussion of Alex Gutierrez and AJ Fletcher in the song “Dog Days are Over.” One little unknown boy danced around in front of the stage as if overcome by the music.
“He adorably exemplified the effect that the song’s rhythmic power had over the audience. We couldn’t help but tap our toes,” said Susan Holt, the groups’ director. “It is so rewarding when a show comes together so wonderfully. It always takes me by surprise how formally inhibited, reserved children simply come alive with confidence when they believe in themselves. Confidence is a powerful quality.”
Another incredible moment came when children age 7-17 performed together in a ’50s medley complete with pink poodle skirts and black leather jackets.
For more information visit rockgeneration.org or call (916) 834-4846.