Melissa Nelson has always cherished music. She still remembers the good ole’ days, age four, riding in her car seat and belting out Disney songs with a cassette tape. Melissa has participated in countless plays and musicals, gaining performance skills and vocal techniques. She commenced her performing career with musical theater when she reached third grade. The proceeding summer she began taking private voice lessons with Martha Lindsey Glenn and has been ever since. It came to a point however, when Melissa wanted to pursue voice in more than just theater and this was when she picked up guitar, after receiving one as a gift. She consistently worked on guitar for about a year but this proved difficult considering the small size of young fingers. This was when she decided to try the ukulele. After watching Julia Nunes videos online, she was inspired and starting playing this small and lighthearted instrument. Today, Melissa still plays ukulele along with guitar and now also piano. Some of her musical influences include: Zooey Deshanel, Aimée Ann Duffy, Georgie Fruit, Bret Mckenzie, Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell, Nat King Cole. Music is a large part of her life and she is excited to Co-Emcee host and perform again in Rock the District.
My name is Anissa Soaf, I’m fifteen, and am a sophomore at Cactus Shadows High school. I’ve loved singing all my life and only recently took up playing guitar as another musical outlet. I’m in the Honors Choir at my school and love competing with them, it’s a great place to hone your singing skills and still have a blast! Outside of school I am currently involved in an Air force Auxiliary called Civil Air Patrol. Basically it is a cadet training group for those interested in a career in the military. Which is perfect because I am aiming to enlist in the Air force after college. But until then, singing is definitely something I want to pursue just for the love of it.
A vocalist and guitarist, Allie Hill continues to develop her own unique blend of soft jazz, blues and contemporary folk. Her musical influences include: Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, Tilly and the Wall, Norah Jones, Beirut, Andrew Bird, The Retuses (an emerging folk band in Russia), and Billie Holiday. Born May 14, 1993 in Phoenix, Allie is a native Arizonian. Allie has always found joy in music, however, she did not begin exploring her musical abilities until her Freshman year at Cactus Shadows High School when she landed her first role as Sally Brown in the musical production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Since then, music has gripped her heart and consumes her daily affairs. Allie enjoys writing her own music and has performed in various musical venues and plans to continue developing her musical talents as while going to college.
Since her first on stage solo at age 8, Moniquea Martinez has been hooked on singing and playing piano. For the past 7 years she has taken vocal lessons from Satyam Patel at Voices Studio in Scottsdale. She has played piano since age 5. Moniquea also sings with the Phoenix Girls Chorus and has attended music camps in Prescott, Beverly Hills, and Eugene, Oregon. She has participated in school chorus every year, attending All State Choir as well. Moniquea sings regularly in showcases, fund raisers, and competitions around the valley. Artists who have influenced her include Beyonce Knowles, Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, and Leona Lewis. Moniquea is a freshman at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale. This is her second performance for Rock the District, which she considers to be an important way to support music and art in our schools.
“Method and Manner” Band is a group of sophomores at Cactus Shadows High School. Melissa Nelson’s sweet serenading voice tops off the sundae while Austin Hancock’s kickin’ guitar licks provide a satisfying sustenance. Sam Lekander keeps it rollin’ on the river (creek) and Eli Tubbs’s sweet bass lines lay down the law. This musical escapade was only formed in late August but they’re still ready to ROCK THE DISTRICT!
The Sydni Budelier Band was formed in the spring of 2010 when guitarist Josh Papst approached vocalist Sydni Budelier (both graduates of Cactus Shadows High School) about starting an acoustic project. They began covering an extensive scope of material, creating and performing innovative arrangements of songs by artists such as Incubus, Saosin, Regina Spektor, and Kings of Leon, and readily added a second guitarist and bassist, Christian Fechtmeyer (currently a senior at Cactus Shadows High School) after agreeing that his musicianship would be a significant asset to the band. They have had the opportunity to perform at various benefit concerts, The Taste of Cave Creek festival, and at restaurants and music venues throughout the valley in Cave Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. They share a great passion for music and continue to expand their repertoire while gradually writing original material.
My name is Bailey Brown and absolutely love to sing. I have been singing for as long as I can remember. I am a straight A student and have been on the Principal’s list every semester while attending Sonoran Trails Middle School. I received my second degree Black Belt when I was eleven years old, taking a mixture of Tykondo and Karate. I run Cross Country in the fall and track in the spring. I have three dogs and a foster dog named Cricket, all whom I adore. My favorite author is S. E. Hinton. I like to dress like no one else and really like being uniquely me. I am fun and lively and use my imagination to think about the positive “What ifs” in life. My favorite foods are sweets, foods from other cultures, and anything made by my Grandma. The best thing about singing… I can do it while doing all the other fun stuff in my life!
Jeremy Kozura a 6th grader at Desert Canyon Middle School in Scottsdale. He has been performing in musical theater productions in Scottsdale since age 6 and currently is studying voice, acting and dance and rehearsing for the Legend of Sleep Hollow at the Homestead Playhouse and the Holiday Showcase at Voices Studio. His favorite roles include Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island and the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Jeremy likes to play video games, watch movies, and hang out with his friends in his free time.
This band is comprised of Ryan Blaser on keyboard and vocals, Jake Colvin on guitar and vocals, Grant Morley on drums, and Josh Walker on bass. They’ve been together now 1 year. In fact, it was at last year’s “Rock the District” that their drummer first heard the original members and wanted to join! They perform frequently at school and private parties. They are Sophmores and Juniors at Pinnacle HS and Cactus Shadows HS. They all love music and hope to continue with it the rest of their lives!
“RADIO” is an up and coming music duo made up of Singer/Songwriters Lysa Hetrick and Junior Becerra. Their music is a unique fusion of Classic Rock, Pop, and Hip Hop. The group strives to create a new sound that is completely universal. RADIO recently finished recording their demo, Channel 515, at Saltmine Studios. Featured songs include “Rock and Roll,” “Raw!” and “All Night.” Lysa was born in Michigan and moved to Arizona in the summer of 2004. In the spring of 2008, she met San Diego native, Junior, who had also moved to Arizona in 2004. Shortly after, they began to perform anywhere and everywhere they could, with Junior playing acoustic guitar and Lysa on vocals. But soon, they realized, that was not the style of music they wanted to create. Both Lysa and Junior began to pursue opportunities on their own, while still performing together on occasion. However, in the fall of 2010, they decided to form a group together, RADIO. Often being compared to a modern Joan Jett and James Brown, RADIO aims to bring back the sounds of Classic Rock and Soul with a new Pop and Hip Hop take.
I’m Emily McAtee and I will be singing “Happy” accompanied by Josh Colvin on the ukulele. I’ve been performing since the summer of 1st grade. I’ve been in about 7 Missoula plays and had 3 or 4 lead roles. I started singing and acting when I was just 7 and I’ve loved it ever since. I blast my radio until I end up getting yelled at. My first show was Snow White and i was only 7. Singing and Acting are the biggest things in my life. I’ve sacrificed a lot of time and energy to come to where I am now. If acting and singing weren’t part of my life I would not be such a good kid. J Thank you all so much for coming to see us all perform at Rock the District.
Josh Colvin is 12 years old and in 7th grade at Explorer Middle School. He has a passion for music and performing. He is currently the drummer in the school Concert Band and Jazz Band. He plays with a group of friends in a band and is the drummer. He also plays the ukulele, piano, and sings and writes songs. He has been in several Missoula Children’s Theatre productions. Besides music, Josh plays competitive soccer for Desert Elite. He is an Honor Student and the 2nd of 4 boys in his family.
Rachel Brown is a Freshman Honors student at Pinnacle High School with a passion for music. Since she was old enough to talk she has been singing and performing for whoever cared to listen. Rachel studied classical piano with Anna Chepikova for several years and piano theory and songwriting with Bethany Wright for two years. Rachel is beginning to turn her dreams into reality having written several songs and performing her music throughout the valley, most recently at the 2010 Taste of Cave Creek festival, representing AZ Chicks with Picks. Her current music mentors are the amazing Martha and Kevin Glenn of Carefree, AZ. Rachel also has a passion for acting. She just finished performing in Pinnacle High School’s fall production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Last year she appeared in Valley Youth Theater’s production of “13 the Musical” at Herberger theater. Her other favorite roles include: Young Cossette in Les Miserables at Phoenix Theater (2009), Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden at PV Comm. College (2008), and Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker at Theater Works (2007 – AriZoni award for Best Actress). In her younger days she appeared in numerous other musicals, most notably as Amaryllis in The Music Man for Scottsdale Community Players and as Gretl in The Sound of Music for Desert Stages Mainstage Theatre. She has sung the National Anthem at numerous events, including four times for the (now World Champion) San Francisco Giants spring training games. Up next – singing with the Carefree Christmas Chorus for several performances this December. After that – keep playing her music with a goal of becoming a successful recording artist. Rachel believes music and the arts are a vital part of her education, and should be an integral part of any child’s education in the public school system.
Rebekah Asks – Are you obsessed with music? Well, you might not be, but I am. I am a lot! That’s why I play the guitar, I sing, I am learning the piano, I used to play the violin. I also like to write my own music but I am still working on it. Hopefully, by next year I will be able to let the world hear my personal writing but right now I’m fine with covers. I’ve been performing all this year, so I’m a beginner at all this. My other interests are reading, writing, hanging with my friends and family. In school, the subjects I do my best in are math and writing, two very unlike things. I grew up right here in Arizona but I haven’t always lived in the U.S. I was born in the Hunan Province in China. This is where my parents flew across the ocean to find me, their three-month-old daughter. Of course I’m not three months old anymore but it was I nonetheless. But other then those three months I’ve lived here. A very interesting fact about me is that my middle name is Chinese. My middle name is Sung Li, which means a gift to the family. I bet you’re thinking that this girl wrote a lot about herself in this short bio but you asked for it. So I’m going to end my little bio with a goodbye and I hope you enjoyed this…Goodbye. I hope you enjoy our concert!
Victoria Says – I am thirteen years old and I love music. I love to listen to it, dance to it, play it, sing it, and live it. I’ve been playing guitar for a few years now and I started voice lessons this year too. I love to play and sing my favorite songs. I also love to read, write, spend time with my four little sisters, and hang out with my friends. I really like school (except for the homework) and am motivated to do my best academically. I am in the Spanish Immersion program. Outside of school, I am currently in the process of writing a book. I also like to write poems and songs. I’m very optimistic and love to laugh.
Mason Reeves is a singer, song writer and theatrical performer. He has been singing and performing since the age of two and has appeared in several theatrical productions throughout the area including Desert Foothills Theater’s productions of Gypsy, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr. (Caterpillar), The Rocky Monster Show (Elivis) and many others. He has appeared in several television commercials seen both locally and nationally. Last year he served as the National Anthem singer for the Desert Arroyo Middle School 7th grade girls basketball team. Last year he was happy to appear as a performer at the Cave Creek Education Fund fundraiser. In addition to performing, Mason is an avid athlete. For the past three seasons he played on the Cactus Foothills North Little League All-Star team and is currently captain of his state league-level soccer team. He also participates in the Olympic Development Program through the Arizona Youth Soccer League. He is a seventh grade honors student at Explorer Middle School.
Sarah Nelson is a 6th grade student Spanish Immersion at Desert Willow and has loved music for all her life. She started in the role of “Sandy the Dog” in the musical “Annie” at age four and has kept going ever since. She studies voice with Martha Lindsey-Glenn and is begining to play ukulele. She has been dancing for years and currently takes dance lessons at Bender Academy. Some of her greatest musical influences are: Beyonce, Lea Michelle, Ingrid Michealson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Shakira, Zoey Deschanel, and Colbie Callat. After being ‘behind-the-scenes’ in last year’s Rock The District, she couldn’t wait to audition for this year’s concert. She is thrilled to take part in such an incredible fundraiser and hopes you enjoy it as much as she does.
Amanda Gilbert is a 14-year-old aspiring singer from Scottsdale Arizona. She is a straight A student in 8th grade at Sonoran Trails Middle School. She has been performing for over 5 years in local theater, weddings, senior care centers, Hospice and Homeless shelters, community events, charity events, and holiday gatherings. She has performed at a major MLK festival, sang for Critical care children, and provided entertainment for the Saint Vincent DePaul’s large thanksgiving turkey giveaways. Last February she helped organize, sang the National Anthem, and provided half time entertainment for the “Hoops for Haiti” charity Basketball event held at Sonoran Trails Middle School which was very successful and raised over $2500 to help the earthquake victims. In addition to singing, Amanda enjoys Gymnastics, Dancing, Piano, Acting, and is learning Spanish. She loves animals, to hike and explore, and if there is a tree, she will try to climb it!
From the moment you see and hear this dynamic young group you know you are a witness to something special. Something unusually refreshing. Six young multitalented male and female performers from Stages Music in N. Scottsdale, that have come together with a common purpose. These young and dedicated rockers will keep your heads bobbing and your feet stomping. Hard Rock, Pop, Classic covers and Originals. AUDIO INVASION delivers a positive message through their song renditions and persona unlike any other “youth” act. Music is the connection that bonds these players. Humble yet dynamic, confident yet not arrogant. Everybody, both young and old can learn from their inspiring example. Experience the positive, friendly, encouraging, and infectious Rock of AUDIO INVASION! Carly Lenniger on Vocals/Guitar, Shea Lenniger on Guitar, Zach Cox on Lead Guitar, Patch Mahoney on Drums, Gus Campbell on Vocals/Guitar/Bass and Tyler Lanes on Keys/Guitar.
Sarah Mahinay was born June 27,1998. In California, She has been a music lover since she can remember, when she was 6 months old every time she cries the only thing that can make her smile is the Shania Twain music called, “Man I feel Like a woman.” When She was 3 years Old She went to the Philippines to study the Philippine Culture and Language. When she was in first grade, she joined the Philippine Dance Festival, called, Filipiniana. In 2005 She moved back here in Arizona and attended in Sequoia Elementary School where she joined her first singing act called, “Tiki Tiki Tembo” to celebrate the Chinese New Year. When She moved to Gray hawk Elementary School, she joined her very first talent show where she sang a song called, “Just like you” by Hanna Montana She surprised everyone in the school because every one though she was a shy girl with no talent. When she was in 6th grade at Sonoran Trails Middle School where she joined her second talent Show and sing, a song called “What Dreams are made of” by Hillary Duff. Sarah is such an actress, she loves to sing and dance. She’s a self – thought singer!!!
My name is Maxx Gunner Ehlers, I play guitar most of my free time. I have been playing for three years. I mostly play neoclassical/metal/rock or whatever I’m in the mood for. I’m 13 years old and I’m aspiring to be a famous musician. I hope you enjoy the music – and Rock Out with me!
Taylor Brock is 14 years old and attends Chaparral High School as a freshmen. Taylor writes, sings, and plays all of her own music. Taylor has been writing music since she was 12 years old and has been singing since she was 11. She has played piano since the age of 5, and guitar since the age of 12. Taylor also enjoys acting on camera, as she has done so with the Phoenix Film Institute. She says her ‘only therapy is one that which she tends to every day in her journal, songwriting!!’ Her song she is playing today, ‘Firefly’ is dedicated to; “A boy, and you know who you are…”