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School's (nearly) out for Rock School

Rock the Fox is May 15, 16 and 17 at the Terry Fox Theatre in Port Coquitlam.
Gumbleed — a Chinese punk tribute band made up of James McGonigal (guitar, vocals), Leo Huang (vocals), Feiju Wang (drums), Reilley Tomiyama (guitar, vocals) and Sarah Harrison (bass) — perform at Rock the Fox this semester. Huang and Wang are SD43 international students.

Cover tunes by Adele, Pearl Jam and Ed Sheeran — and about two dozen more songwriters — can be heard at Rock the Fox next week in Port Coquitlam.

The three-night concert is the “final exam” for grade 9 to 12 students in this semester’s Rock School, a program designed by Juno award-winning teacher Steve Sainas at Terry Fox secondary.

The young musicians’ first show — also the first stage performance for several students — is on Tuesday, May 15 and will feature songs made popular by: Leonard Cohen, Harry Styles, Calum Scott, Noah Kahn, Rihanna, Drake, the Eagles, Dawes, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Discord, Demerit, Gumbleed, System of a Down and Make Them Suffer.

The next night, on Wednesday, May 16, there will be songs from: Extreme, Jason Mraz, Leonard Cohen, Rihanna, James Bay, Calum, Scott, Imagine Dragons, Bebe Rexha, Machine Gun Kelly, One Republic, Ed Sheeran, Radwimps, Ling Tosite, The Garden, Bon Jovi and Ensifirum.

And on Thursday, May 17, the tunes are by: Bane’s World, Daniela Andrade, 21 Pilots, Henry Rollins, Descendants, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Leonard Cohen, Alex & Sierra, Hozier, Pink, Maroon 5, Six Pence None the Richer, Jeremy Passion, Neck Deep, SZA, Khalid, The Killers and Pearl Jam.

As well, some student bands will also play their original compositions.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. at Terry Fox Theatre (1260 Riverwood Gate, PoCo); tickets are $5 at the door (cash only) or from Rock School students. Doors opens at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Terry Fox Rock School and Recording Arts programs.

Meanwhile, students currently in grades 5, 6 and 7 — for the 2017-’18 academic year — can learn how to play guitar with Sainas in July.

The blues musician is leading the inaugural Summer Learning Guitar 6, 7, 8 at Kwayhquitlum middle school in PoCo, from July 10 to 27 at 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. The course is free to students in SD43; however, a $15 equipment fee will be applied.

Sainas said the skills-building class is open to all levels of guitar players, and acoustic guitars (with nylon strings) will be supplied.

“We’re going to play the songs they want to learn,” he said, noting tunes by Jason Mraz and Ed Sheeran as well as television theme songs tend to be the most popular. “It’s a rare opportunity to learn from a teacher who is also a professional musician. The class also gives kids a head start if they want to join Rock School at Fox.”

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