OCEANSIDE — Teen bands rocked the Pier Amphitheater at the Beach Fest celebration July 24. Musicians ages 12 to 24 took the stage to play rock ‘n’ roll classics and some of their own original tunes. The theme of the event was “rock your park” in recognition of July as National Park and Recreation Month.
“The key component to July Park and Recreation Month is how important parks and recreation are,” said Javier Bermudez, recreation specialist. “We have a lot of sports leagues and classes for youth. We want to see kids use parks on a daily basis.”
The eight teen rock groups that performed for the celebration are from The Fine Tune Academy owned by Fintan Roche. As part of their instruction, students regularly play live performances.
“I want to inspire my students with the most real, awesome rock show I can put together for them,” Roche said. “Students play in about eight shows a year. This is one of our bigger ones.”
The Beach Fest concert boasted a quality sound system, backstage passes and goodie bags for performers, and ample security. “Everyone is giddy to do this show,” Roche said.
“We love music,” said Kelsey Stevens, singer for Emergency Shut Off. “That’s what keeps us playing.”
Break Down was the headliner group at Beach Fest. The band was the third place winner in the Carlsbad Battle of the Bands, and took home the people’s choice award in the Fallbrook Battle of the Bands.
Many of the teens that performed are working towards building a career as professional musicians.
“The biggest key to success is practice,” Roche said. “Talent comes as an obvious result.”
For teen bands that are short a musician, a professional musician from The Fine Tune Academy house band sits in to complete the group.
“It gives kids that don’t have their own band a chance to play with a band,” said Chris Vallez, house band member.
To get ready for the show, band members practice an hour a day on their own and attend three two-hour group practice sessions a week.
Roche teaches students ages 12 to 60, but the majority of his students are pre-to-mid-teens.
“The joke is most of my best friends are age 12,” Roche said.
Currently Roche instructs students in their homes and rents rehearsal rooms for group practices. Due to the popularity of The Fine Tune Academy he is seeking a business site where he can hold music lessons and group practice sessions.
Roche said his instruction fills a void left by cutbacks in school music programs. He teaches students to play instruments, compose music, learn about rock legends, and care for their instruments.
“I develop them in whatever direction they want to go,” Roche said. “I don’t treat my musicians as kids.”