Last week we received the Brainerd Community Ed summer activities book, and as I flipped through it, I saw a full page ad for the Mark Munson Memorial School of Rock on page 54. I immediately showed it to my girls. They're in seventh and eighth grade, and last summer, they were blown away by the School of Rock concert they saw. That night Tornstrom Auditorium came alive, animated by an incredible sound system and light show, but most importantly-the beating hearts and smiling faces of band after band of talented youth.

I didn't sit with my family in the audience that night; I was watching from the wings. You see, I was lucky enough to be an instructor for the School of Rock, and I can't say enough about the whole experience. At the start, there was a group of young people who loved music, but they didn't really know each other; then, over the course of only six days together (noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday, on back to back weeks), bands were formed, songs were chosen (by the participants), parts were practiced, and minds were blown. As instructors, we were all incredibly proud of the performances we saw at Tornstrom the night of the concert, but even more exciting was the growth in confidence and ability that occurred within each band. It was amazing.

I'm planning on doing it again this summer, with my girls this time, and I hope people reading this consider getting the young people in their lives involved, too! Whether your kids are involved or not, mark your calendars for this year's School of Rock concert, which will take place on the evening of July 25 at Tornstrom.

Come see what it's all about; you won't regret it.

Ryan Deblock