Loudoun teens Madeline Miller, Kacy Hyatt and Tyler Beddow have made their first steps toward rock stardom after the School of Rock selected them to participate in the AllStars Nationwide Rock Tour.
The announcement came after an exhaustive selection process that picked just 1 percent of the school’s students worldwide. In the United States alone, the School of Rock (SOR) has more than 26,000 students, including Madeline, Kacy and Tyler, who attend the Ashburn SOR.
“They are first nominated by their school management and must posses not only great musical chops, but be stellar leaders among their fellow musicians at School of Rock,” said Laura Bollettino, director and executive of the DC School of Rock. “The audition process has an intense live audition component in front of a panel of judges, and Kacy, Madeline and Tyler were simply outstanding.”
The tour has all the markings of a genuine rock tour: the travel, hotels and gigs will place the teens on some of the most iconic stages in the country. Students in the past have performed alongside Slash, Perry Farrell and Eddie Vedder, and have performed at Lollapalooza, Red Rocks, BB Kings and Gathering of the Vibes.
The School of Rock attempts to cultivate the inner musicians in its students, providing lessons on guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums and vocals. The students then work together to form bands.
“We work very hard to create a community for young musicians to thrive, find other musically minded kids, have fun with their music and be inspired to take it further,”Bollettino said. “We want to create a passion for playing music that our students will carry with them throughout their lives and to teach them the skill set to do whatever they want with their talents.”
Heather Miller, Madeline’s mom, hopes the journey her daughter and her classmates take will inspire other hopeful musicians.
“I hope these stories will help other young musicians rise above their challenges to be accepted and appreciated in the world as we know it,” she said. “You don’t have to be an athlete or scholar or concert pianist. Here you will be welcomed, accepted and loved at this school.”
Aside from the prestige of participating in a rock tour, the AllStars are raising money for Teen Cancer America, a cause championed by classic rock band The Who.
“Teenagers helping teenagers with cancer by performing live shows is incredible and means a lot to me personally,” said Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who, in a press release.
The tour began July 14, and will take the students to more than a dozen states, with a final performance set for July 31 in Chicago.