The vanguard of the next wave of Springfield’s greatest female rock musicians were shredding licks and melting faces at the Springfield Art Museum Saturday afternoon.
Six bands were on the bill for Queen City Rock Camp’s blowout concert. The camp was for girls with all talent levels, from those just picking up an instrument for the first time to girls who have been playing for years.
“I love teaching kids about music and how they can use music to empower the other parts of their lives,” said Kim Painter, bass instructor and member of the critically acclaimed local band SALT. “Girls still need the confidence and friendship building that the camp brings, not just the music. It’s a whole empowering experience, not just about getting out there to rock and roll, but how to use rock and roll to empower your whole life.”
“It’s very stressful, but you get to do a lot of things and you make a lot of friends,” Llewellyn Hudson, 11, guitarist and backing vocalist for the band Flower Soup, told OI. “[My teachers] were really great and they helped us do lots of stuff.”
Instructors came from bands all over the community, some of them taking a week’s vacation from their jobs to help these young women develop a passion for music.
“I could give music lessons but it’s not the same as rock camp,” Hannah Sheehan, founder and leader of Queen City Rock Camp, told OI. “It’s a different environment in that they’re there to be part of a band, not just to do a recital, and it’s a much different feel and set of emotions at rock camp.”
Sheehan told OI that as a kid she felt something was missing in Springfield, but didn’t realize what it was until she moved from the area.
“I couldn’t look around and find female mentors in the music scene,” Sheehan said. “I couldn’t find someone to teach me guitar who was a woman. Then I moved to Tennessee for three years and that’s where Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp was, which was the second rock camp in the country. That’s when I realized that’s exactly what was missing and exactly what Springfield needed.”
The bands performed original songs for several hundred people in the auditorium of the Art Museum, with many of the bands selling T-shirts with logos they created for their bands.
Learn more about Queen City Rock Camp at their website.
Below are shots of the bands both posing for an “album cover”, and performing Saturday on the Art Museum Stage.
Flower Soup, who performed their hit “More Cowbell”, consisted Emma Heseman, Lew Hudson, Kristina Kersey, Robyn Warren, and Ulali Bentley. Their band managers were Sarah Prewitt and Natalie Stacey.
Movement, who performed “Glass”, made up of Greta Allen, Madison Ashlock, Joss Coring, Autum Schmidt, and Samantha Tong. Their managers were Brooke Austen and Mary Fox.
The Gorgeous Orcas asked “Can You Hear Me Now?” Asking that question (with their amplifiers turned to 11) : Calliope Fitzgibbons, Amethyst Graham, Sailor Lopez, and Elia Reed. Their managers were Jahni Delmonico, Cammie Schmidt, and Delaney Smith.
Sugar & Spice made rockin’ out look “Easy”, with Aubry Ashlock, Kayla Callis, Cami Starlin, Saskia Stevens, and Exie Strader. Their band managers were John Greenler and Mary Self.
The Spongebob inspired band “Pinhead & the Pirates” posted with their magical Kleenex for their band photo before rocking out with their single “Excuses”. The band did not tell the press which one was Pinhead, either Alaya Evergreen, Potato (Mali Hesemann), Kiera Kaba, Monica Hoyt, or Roby Smith. Jeannie Fehr and Ryan McCoy kept this wild bunch in line as their band managers.
The concert’s finale was the Junior Volunteer Band. What made them different from the other bands was not only multiple original songs, but each member played at least three instruments. The band, from left to right, Kiera Kaba, Kayla Callis, and Joss Coring.