Rock School tunes at Fox, PMSS

Student musicians show their musical chops this month.

If you want to get a taste of what teenage music students are grooving to these days, visit two Tri-City high schools next week.

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Rock School students at Terry Fox and Port Moody secondaries are hosting concerts at their respective schools in Port Coquitlam and Port Moody to show their musical talents.

But both shows are being held for different reasons.

Terry Fox will present its bi-annual Rock the Fox, a semester-end performance at the Terry Fox Theatre for students in Steve Sainas’ class.

Proceeds from the event will aid Rock School and recording arts programs run by Sainas, the winner of the 2015 Juno/MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award.

His 30 bands — including Rock School Overdrive (below), a BTO tribute group that, last fall, was entered into the CBC Canadian Music Challenge — will play original tunes and covers from:

rock school overdrive

• Jan. 15: Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Eurythmics, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sara Barallies, Randy Newman, Tate McRae, Kodaline, Ben E. King, Kaleo, The Tragically Hip, Sonic Youth, Chelsea Wolfe, Iggy Pop, and Metallica;

• Jan. 16: Joan Jett, Billie Eilish, Rhianna, Shawn Mendes, Ben Rector, Kanye, Frank Ocean, Twin Shadow, The Jackson 5, Beyoncé, Outcast, Jorja Smith, Trip Lee, Fieh, Grace Potter, Jimmy Eat World, Wheatus, Sum 41, Green Day, Nevermore and Jeff Loomis;

• and Jan. 17: Kanye, bülow, Panic at the Disco, Beach House, Tom Cochrane, King Krule, City and Colour, Bryan Adams, Bachman Turner Overdrive and In Flames.

Tickets at $5 are available at the door or via the music office; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, student musicians Bukola Balogun, Nina Lu and Karina Kuzmiszyn — plus  two dozen teenagers — want to drum up support for Port Moody Senior Secondary’s Rock School by showing prospective students what it’s about.

On Jan. 18, they’ll put on a concert featuring past Rock School students with the goal to increase enrolment for the next academic year (a Rock School class begins next semester under the direction of teacher Mike Luniw).

Solo musician Balogun — an IB student who last year scored the grand prize in a MusiCounts Battle of the Bands competition at The Roxy in the lead up to the Juno awards ceremony in Vancouver — will perform as will about half a dozen acts.

Called Phoenix Rock, a nod to the school’s symbol, the 7 p.m. concert will hear original and cover songs from rock, indie and R&B artists. Among the student musicians and bands are Anja, January, Seven Hundred and Max Volume. And all proceeds from the show will benefit MusiCounts, a Canadian music education charity; tickets are $5 at the door.

Tom Lee Music and Your Dollar Store in Como Lake Village are sponsors but Balogun said more prizes are needed for the raffle (email to help).

Lu, who plans a career in music production after graduation, said she hopes the concert inspires other PMSS students to pick up an instrument and sign up for Rock School in September 2019.

“People need to take advantage of what we have here,” Lu said. “We have excellent recording equipment and hardly anyone is using it. It may seem daunting at first but Rock School teaches you who to set it up and record songs. It’s a shame they’re just sitting there collecting dust.”

• For more details on Rock the Fox, visit the Facebook page. For Phoenix Rock, go to

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