The second annual Classic Rock-a-Thon starts at 8 p.m. today at Redmond’s Old Fire House (OFH) Teen Center, 16510 N.E. 79th St.
Local music professionals and peers reviewed applications from bands whose members are between 13 and 20 years old. Each submitted a demo of songs recorded between 1950 and 1990. Eight semi-finalists were chosen and performance dates were assigned through a random pick from a hat. (See sidebar for band and performance information.)
Last year’s Classic Rock-a-Thon was organized by Redmond teen Andy Lawrence and Chris Cullen, program coordinator at the OFH. Students, parents and grandparents rocked out to hits made famous by Queen, The Rolling Stones, Golden Earring and more.
“Everything we do at the Old Fire House has young people working with us side by side,” said Cullen, who this year agreed to mentor an Eastlake High School senior, Gabrielle Rousseau, as well as working with Lawrence again.
Rousseau’s culminating project involves producing, marketing and judging a Battle of the Bands event.
She’s a drummer and lives in Sammamish but went to rock camps at the OFH in junior high and formed a band called The Black Stilletos. That band broke up when she was in ninth grade and she has since been busy as a member of Eastlake’s dance team. But she missed the music scene.
“I got in touch with Wendy Simmons at Rock School (which has outlets in Kirkland and Seattle) and she suggested that I contact Chris Cullen since he puts together shows here and has lots of contacts in the music business,” Rousseau explained.
Back in October, Cullen asked her to design a poster for this year’s Rock-a-Thon and she’s helped with getting sponsorships, as well as “talking it up at other teen centers and recruiting bands … There’ve been a couple of stories about it in my school paper. Chris and Andy have connections in Redmond and Issaquah and I’ve got Sammamish connections.”
Rousseau was also a judge at the recent Sound-Off competition at EMP and will tackle other chores at the Classic Rock-a-Thon, such as equipment set-up and videotaping.
She hopes the Rock-a-Thon will draw people who don’t usually hang out at places like the OFH.Visit www.theoldfirehouse.org for more information.