In July when Down East Magazine named the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra “Best Band,” two Maine Coast Waldorf School students were part of the group – recent graduate Fiona Ahearne and freshman Adriel Barham. Congratulations to such a talented orchestra!
According to Down East Magazine:
The coolest thing about the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra is that they in no way seem like a “youth orchestra.” Yeah, they’re kids, but they slay. The twenty-five 12- to 18-year-olds are part of a program offered by the Maine Academy of Modern Music, a Portland-based nonprofit rock school. Directed by Kevin Oates, the band aims to expose students to life as pro musicians and the wide variety of genres they can play as string instrumentalists. (Rock? Check. Rap? Check. Metal? Check.) They only had their first rehearsal in February 2014, and they’ve since performed with dozens of artists (at last year’s State of the State concert, we saw them jam with seven in one day). This year, they became the first youth orchestra ever to tour with a national band, Boston-based The Ballroom Thieves — their collaboration even landed a video spot on NPR’s All Songs Considered. Director Oates, who’s 30, has big plans: to bring the program to every state in the country. He’s planning a first-ever American Youth Rock Orchestra event in Chicago next year.