Main Stage Bands
thekards with Sydney Claire Collins
At first glance thekards are recognized as a group, however, collectively you will find a set of unique and distinctive personalities bonded by a common love of music and performing. This summer, original thekards members, Lucas Aikin, Habib Sabbagh, Jacob Williams and Jared Grady joined up with vocalist and performer Sydney Claire Collins.
This unique combination of skill and talent has proven to be a perfect mixture. Each group member attending different valley high schools attests to the fact that they are all “in it” for their true passion for music. Sydney is a junior at the acclaimed Arizona School of Arts, Lucas a junior. at Cactus Shadows High School, Jacob & Habib are seniors at Notre Dame Preparatory and Jared a senior at Brophy Preparatory.
Both thekards and Sydney have been performing for years at local charity events and entertainment venues alike. This is the third year both thekards and Sydney have performed for Rock the District. They join several other returning performers, including Sydney’s younger brother Sean Collins. Sean first played RTD in 2011 as part of Jimmy Leg and returns with Divided Minds for 2014.
thekards with Sydney Claire Collins are participating in Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding competition, with finals set for November 21. Wish them luck as the competition is tough!
You can see more information on thekards and Sydney on their websites at :
In 2013, when brothers Grady and Spencer Byrne and long time friend Braden Powers were paired with Harrison Glenn at a local band coaching workshop, there was instant chemistry and they knew they had something special. At 15-years old, Grady is a lead guitarist with a passion for practice. Also at 15, Braden makes up half of the rhythm section on drums. At 14, Harrison plays guitar and is a powerful vocalist with a searing upper register. In the current landscape 12-year old Spencer is a strong and steady bass player, but is true multi-instrumentalist and budding jaw harpist.
Putting this foursome together you have the thunder, lightning and energy true to their moniker…Monsoon.
The guys of Monsoon have a wide range of influences from Sinatra to Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton to Marty Friedman. That variety is evident in their repertoire as they can seamlessly range from the Beatles and ZZ Top to Megadeth. Rock the District is certain to be a jumping off point for Monsoon as they continue to bring their soaring brand of classic rock to Valley stages.
S4R4 Sara Windom
Sara Windom is an indie/alternative singer/songwriter from Cave Creek with a captivating tone and presence. Sara is a 14-year old freshman at Cactus Shadows High School and a multi-talented instrumentalist. Not only does Sara sing and play guitar, but she also dabbles in bass guitar and keyboard as well.
Sara comes by her musical talents naturally as her father played guitar in a punk band in the 90s that was signed to a record label. Some of those indie/punk roots appear in whom Sara sites as influences of her style and sound. Sara considers the Strokes an influence to her songwriting, looks to the Drowners as a model for her guitar approach and Bombay Bicycle Club for musical style.
Increasing her gig schedule, Sara has recently performed at the Desert Broom Library, Dairy Queen, and this fall has been competing in Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding competition as a soloist.
Make sure to check out the links provided to bring you directly to Sara’s music!
Abby Walker, featuring Rachel Dutcher, Sam Chappel, and Colton Kennedy
Abby Walker fell in love with singing when she was 3-years-old. Currently a junior at CSHS, Abby began performing and taking lessons in 6th grade and fell in love with the art. Since then, Abby has picked up the ukulele, guitar, mandolin, piano, standup bass and bass guitar, along with other instruments such as violin, viola and accordion. She continues to nurture her musical gift by singing on her church’s worship team, serving as the music director of her youth group, singing and serving at Chris Becker Dining Hall and performing the National Anthem at several events each year.
Aside from music, Abby is a dedicated swimmer, cross country runner and spends time volunteering at organizations such as Chris Becker and Feed My Starving Children.
Rachel Dutcher is a sophomore at Cactus Shadows High School and this will be her first performance in Rock the District. An honors student and pre-IB scholar, Rachel balances a busy life by keeping up with grades and extracurricular activities. Drawing and singing have played very big roles in her life through middle school and high school because they have allowed her to express her creativity through different forms of art. Ever since
she was little, Rachel has had a strong passion for singing and songwriting, and her love for music grew even more once she picked up a guitar. She is extremely excited to collaborate with Abby Walker in this year’s performance.
Sam Chappel began playing the drums six years ago through the school band program. At first he was self taught, but a year and half later began taking lessons with Jim Zupancic. After years of lessons and continued practice, Sam filled in one Sunday on the worship team for his church, while their regular drummer was out. This experience drove him to continue to practice and improve his skills. After a while, Sam began playing more and more with his church worship team until it her regularly switched off with their normal drummer, and now he is the regular drummer at Light of the Desert. Now, Sam plays at multiple events each year at CSHS and local gigs, but this is first time playing at Rock the District.
Fifteen-year-old Colton Kennedy comes from Cave Creek, Arizona, and is a sophomore at Cactus Shadows High School. Colton’s musical influences range from the guitar licks of Angus Young, Ozzy Osbourne, and the pure classic rock of Jimi Hendix, to the grunge sound of Green Day. He first picked up at guitar at age 8, and has been writing his own songs since age 13. Colton was in and out of the hospital in 2011 and guitar was the one thing that made him feel better. Ever since his very first gig at the Hard Rock Cafe at age 14, Colton has loved performing. He has performed throughout Phoenix
with his previous band, and has done some gigs in Scottsdale. He plans to pursue his music career further and inspire young musicians that anything is possible.
Mia Gilling & Kate Rosenbaum
Mia Gilling and Kate Rosenbaum are freshmen at Cactus Shadows High School and have been playing music together for two years. The girls were part of the Ukulele Trio last year at Rock the District, and return this year with their harmony-rich, acoustic, coffeehouse stylings. Citing coffee house stalwarts like Natalie Holmes, Birdy, and The Head and the Heart as influences, the pair trade harmonies beautifully and their friendship is evident through their performances.
The close friends come to Rock the District with a nice resume of recent shows, having performed at the Cave Creek Balloon Festival, Harold’s Corral, Cactus Shadows Unplugged, and Saddlecreek Coffee Company. Mia has also sung with the Upscale Singers, and belongs to the Cactus Shadows High School choir. Kate began singing in the church youth choir in elementary school and was a part of the Phoenix Children’s Chorus for one year.
Both Mia and Kate come from musical and supportive families and site both as contributing factors to their success. Both girls currently receive vocal instruction from Martha Lindsay Glenn. Mia has been playing guitar for two years and receives guitar instruction from Frank Grossi. Mia and Kate wish to thank their music instructors for their wisdom, guidance and enthusiasm in helping them prepare for Rock the District!
The Premiere is a rock band from Scottsdale, AZ that formed in May 2013. Kyle Himmelein, 14, Max Henderson, 15, and Morgan Nelson, 16, had been creating music and performing together for over three years with similar musical influences including Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Weezer and Green Day. Shortly after becoming an Artist in Development under the tutelage of Shane Baskerville at School of Rock, the boys added Matt Ward, 15, to their lineup and began performing at venues including Salt River Fields, Last Exit Live and Gibby’s Sports Pub in Scottsdale. Their biggest show to date was opening up for Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Lynyrd Skynyrd at The Rockyard in Westworld for AZ Bike Week 2014. Their style of original music has been described as Alternative Rock and/or Surfer Punk, probably due to another key influence, the Southern California beach scene.
The Premiere is currently competing in Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding competition and October gigs included Cardboard City in the Scottsdale Stadium and Scottsdale Balloon Festival’s Spooktacular.
The following are social media sites where fans can follow The Premiere’s concert updates, listen to their music and see music videos of the band.
For additional contact and information please email The Premiere at:
Divided Minds is honored to be performing in the 6th Annual Rock the District Community Event.
The four band members of Divided Minds met in January 2014 at a Rock Workshop with Stages Music. After discovering they had similar tastes in music, creating a band was the next logical step. Since forming, Divided Minds has performed at Jalapeno Inferno, Club Red, Joe’s Grotto, and is currently competing in the 2014 Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding competition.
The members of the band include: Sean Collins – Lead Vocals, and Rhythm Guitar; Joshua Peters – Lead Guitar, and Back-up Vocals; Ethan Cottor – Bass, and Back-up Vocals; and Deven Pile – Drums. The boys range in age from 14 to 16 years, and all attend different high schools in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
In addition to Rock the District, Divided Minds has upcoming gigs including 51West on November 14, 2014, headlining Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s “Ignite Hope Walk” on December 13, 2014.
Divided Minds is also working on releasing their first EP in the Spring of 2015.
Don’t Tell Mom
Don’t Tell Mom is a young classic rock band that formed in 2013 after meeting at a Stages Music workshop in 2012. DTM’s band members consist of: 10-year old Dean Cheney and 12-year old Ethan Frink sharing vocals and guitar duties; 12-year old Jack Homer handling the drums and backing vocals; and 12-year old Jake Powers holding down bass, vocals, and keys.
Don’t Tell Mom has been consistently gigging in 2014 with performances at the 2014 Salt River Fields Food Truck Festival, the 2014 Tempe Town Lake 4th of July Spectacular, Grayhawk Elementary School’s Fall Festival, Alice Cooperstown, Joe’s Grotto and Handlebar J’s. The boys are booked out with several shows leading into RTD and more to follow.
When the boys are not busy practicing or performing with Don’t Tell Mom, Dean competes in 10K’s and youth triathlons; Ethan is active in Boy Scouts and recently earned his first 2 merit badges; Jack is an avid golfer who competes in junior tournaments throughout the nation; and Jake enjoys volunteering with SARRC and is a member of Boy’s Team Charity, class of 2020.
Grounded, the band formerly known as The Little Big Kids, has been playing
together for more than two years since meeting at Kirk’s Studio of the
Performing Arts in 2012. In 2014 they performed at the Cave Creek Balloon
Festival, the CCUSD District “Inspire Excellence Awards” ceremony and have played at Alice Cooperstown, Mesa Arts Center and private parties.
Grounded’s band members at just 11 and 12 years old are all talented
musicians on their own but together they ROCK! Kailin Kentigian on Vocals,
Luke Taylor on Keyboards, Harrison Taylor on Drums and Cameron Bertolet on
Lioness Mistress is a collection of Cactus Shadows students who share an affinity for music and talent to back it up. Lead guitarist, Patrick England lays down the foundation for the group’s unique sound while rhythm guitarist, Niko Rose adds dynamics. Top it off with Tim Sammons on drums and Sarah Nelson on bass/vocals and they leave little to be desired. They thank CCUEF for all of their work and invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the concert.
Sarah Nelson is a sophomore and has been “rockin’ the district” for the past four years. In addition to her musical prowess, she enjoys art, writing, playing in Lioness Mistress and making lattes as an employee at Janey’s Coffeehouse. She studies a variety of musical genres such as jazz, classical, and folk with Martha Lindsey-Glenn at her studio in Carefree. The influences for her eccentric musical style come from a broad spectrum of artists ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Joni Mitchell to Kanye West. She is a strong believer in the importance of the arts and would like to thank you for supporting CCUEF and Rock the District concert.
Sophie, Christina, Halle & Chance
All performing as individuals in RTD, Halle Ata-Abadi, Sophie Louis, Christina Silbert and Chance McLaughlin also combine to form a smooth and harmony-rich ensemble. Formed on the fly by Halle as part of a Teacher Appreciation event, the four friends and musicians have a natural chemistry that is clearly evident in their performances. The group performs songs from a wide genre range listing from Country, Pop, Alternative and R&B and are only beginning explore the possibilities of their combination.
Emma Smith, a 17-year old senior from Cactus Shadows High School, brings her unique and soulful acoustic sounds to Rock the District for the first time. Emma is a veteran of drama and musical theatre productions since the 3rd grade. Her credits include such shows as Antigone, Legally Blonde, Macbeth, The Foreigner.
Emma enjoys writing and performing her own music at various coffee shops and events. She has recently performed at RnR, Roots and Cold Beer and Cheeseburgers. Leading up to and following Rock the District Emma is planning gigs at Soul Café and venues in Tempe and Phoenix.
Emma considers the people around her, particularly her friends and family as influences, especially for writing music. Emma would like to thank God, the community, and her family for guidance and support over her years as a performer.
Bobbi Kerr began guitar lessons at the age of 8 and incorporated singing into her music at the age of 11. She is now 16 and has played at several venues including Buffalo Chip, Hard Rock Café, Harold’s, Arizona Women’s Expo, Arizona State Fair and several charity events. Bobbi has been an active member of Chicks With Picks for 5 years and performs frequently with the organization.. Musical artists that influence her include Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Hunter Hayes, Brad Paisley and country music as a whole. Bobbi is excited about her future and loves to share her passion for music.
Chance McLaughlin is a 14 year old freshman at Cactus Shadows High School. Interested in music from the earliest of ages, Chance has stuck to music, playing in public and hopes to turn it into a future career. He has sung in many events ranging from local choral performances and solo events
Chance is a country singer and follows along with both style and song choice. He enjoys listening to Hunter Hayes, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton and isn’t afraid to mix in a little modern pop into the sequence. While Chance has been singing since he was 10 years old, he recently picked up guitar and is progressing greatly. The style and energy Chance brings to the stage is infectious and Rock the District is excited to have him back!
As a proud 8th grader at Sonoran Trails Middle School, Halle is back with her powerful and unique sound for a return engagement at Rock the District.
At the age of 5, Halle selected the piano as her instrument of choice and she has been playing since. A piano teacher with a keen ear noticed the young Halle would hum along while practicing and was right on pitch. That astute observation was a gift to us all, as Halle’s voice is resplendent. With a head-turning tone and stage presence that belies her age, Halle is a significant talent on the rise.
Halle is committed to her craft. Practicing daily, she has also been working with Martha and Kevin Glenn on improving her piano and voice skills.
Equally, passionate about her academics and a past member of National Junior Honor Society, Halle is a Principal’s List award recipient and is active in a host of academic clubs and associations, including Future Problem Solvers, Junior Youth group, and NJHS. Practicing martial arts for about 7 years, Halle is a red belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys the martial arts and its philosophy of life.
Madison is a 13 year old up and coming singer/songwriter who loves to perform music from the country, rock and pop genres. A multi-instrumentalist, Madison has been performing on the piano since age 7 and guitar since age 10.
Citing both The Beatles and Taylor Swift as influences, Madison gigs regularly and has played in many Valley live music locations including Alice Cooperstown, The MIM, Harold’s Corral, Cocomo Joe’s, Azool Grill, The Horney Toad, The Hideaway Grill, Scottsdale Air Fair, AZ Watermelon Festival, Desert Ridge Marketplace, Flicka’s, Tavern Americana, Janey’s Coffee House, Cave Creek Balloon Festival, McDowell Mountain Golf Club, The Songbird’s Nest, Blue Martini-Phoenix, Grayhawk Golf Club, Isabella’s Kitchen, Rock The District 2013, Doubletree Resort Scottsdale, PF Chang’s, Camelback Sanctuary Resort, and Grayhawk Association Community Events.
When not practicing or performing, Madison enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies and cooking. She also believes in giving back to the community and has performed at various charities around the Valley.
Raina is a Cactus Shadow’s High School Honor Student who loves creating animation and making short films.
She is an accomplished performer winning and placing in many state and national talent competitions. She has also won the hot pipes singer of the year.
Raina is also a radio talk show host of the new show that can be heard on the Voice America Kids called Break a Leg. A show that is all about entertainment! She also is a Senior Radio producer for Kidstar, the network that produces her show.
Raina also has a servant’s heart and has over 300 hours of community service. She has also donated over 22” of hair to lock of love.
Raina is also a Three Time “Miss Arizona” for the National American Miss Pageant system, this pageant focuses on community service, communication skills and building confidence.
You may be surprised to know that Raina also enjoys raising and keeping Chickens.
It may not be a coincidence that her name in Spanish means Queen because she dreams of becoming the future Queen of Broadway!
Caity Bonine is a Sophomore at Cactus Shadows High School and she is passionately pursuing her love of music through singing and songwriting. Her musical influences include country musicians like Carrie Underwood and The Civil Wars as well as inspirations from other genres such as Birdie, Christina Aguilera and Ingrid Micheaelson. She began taking voice from Martha Lindsay-Glenn in 2011 along with practicing piano, guitar and her
ukulele. She has been performing for the last few years and enjoys connecting with the audience during performances. In addition to her musical endeavors, Caity is a member of Cactus Shadows Student Council, Young Life and is dedicated to training and showing her horse in reining competitions as well as pursuing her photography talents including student portraits. Caity looks forward to gaining more experiences and opportunities to fine tune her musical talents thank you Rock the District for all you do to support music and the arts in the Cave Creek School District and throughout our community.
An 8th grader at Sonoran Trails Middle School, Sophie Louis is a Cave Creek native who has been playing guitar and singing for the past couple of years. With musical tastes that lean towards Of Mice & Men, Pierce The Veil and Bring Me The Horizon, Sophie has taken her singer/songwriter style to venues including Handlebar J’s, Alice Cooperstown and Hard Rock Café as both a soloist and with groups.
When Sophie isn’t playing guitar or singing, she enjoys writing.
Lauren Bizzell’s passion for music began before she could speak in full sentences. By the age of two, she could be heard in the back of her parent’s vehicle, snug in her car seat, singing along with greats like Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Trisha Yearwood. Lauren loves songs that have personal meaning and touch her soul. And, although she loves many different genres of music, Lauren’s favorites still sway toward the country roots she learned as a toddler.
A freshman at CSHS, Lauren performs in talent shows, school and church events. Most recently, Lauren gave standout performances at STMS Class of 2018 8th Grade Promotion, annual talent shows and choir concerts. She’s also a member of the CSHS choir.
Lauren’s hobbies include reading, playing piano, Pinterest, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. She has a crazy obsession with her lynx point kitty, MoJo, whom she affectionately calls “Mow-Mow-Chico-de-Gallo-Party-King-Baby-Swag.” True story. Lauren cares deeply about the needs of others and was the founder of a new volunteering club at STMS. She continues her commitment to community service through a local club and high school church ministry.
Outgoing, bubbly and extremely talented, Lauren Bizzell is an up-and-coming force to be noticed!
Returning to RTD, Sonoran Trails Middle School 8th grader, Kati is a singer who was initially inspired by her chorus class in elementary school. Today she listens to many artists but finds herself particularly drawn to style and songwriting of Sara Bareilles.
Since she was 6, Kati has loved to sing. She would sing anywhere, around the house, at school, in the car and this continues today. In addition to regular practice on her own, Kati regularly works with a vocal coach. When she is singing, Kati plays tennis with her parents and is a cheerleader for STMS.
Another returning RTD performer, Carissa Canto, is a 13-year old 8th-grader attending Sonoran Trails Middle School. Carissa has been singing since age seven and continues to make videos and perform today. Adding guitar to her vocal efforts, in addition to RTD, Carissa sang at the rebuilding of the Cactus Shadows track and performed the National Anthem at a season opening hockey game for the local Arizona Red Hawks.
A cheerleader since age four, Carissa is currently one of the four captains of the STMS cheer squad. Cheerleading has allowed Carissa to gain a great deal of performance experience, which has played a vital role in her singing career.
Carissa is an ambitious, caring, kind, and passionate child and is always striving for more in life. She has high goals and is motivated to work hard and end up where she wants to be in the future.
13-year old Cristina Silbert, an 8th Grader at Sonoran Trails, has been singing seemingly since she could walk. After getting a guitar several years ago, Cristina has focused on daily practice in recent months to naturally accompany her songwriting.
Cristina finds tremendous inspiration in artists including Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and Carrie Underwood. Themes of empowerment, self confidence and tolerance, combined with the musical and lyrical content of those women’s songs resonate with Cristina and it can clearly be seen and heard through her own performances.
When Cristina is not singing or playing an instrument she is usually either acting or hanging out with friends.
With music such a huge part of her life, Cristina looks to continue bringing her music to the public through events like RTD and is hoping to record my demo track this year.
A freshman at Cactus Shadows High School, Allie Holt has been a lifelong student in the Cave Creek Unified School District, attending Horseshoe Trails Elementary School and Sonoran Trails Middle School.
Allie has been singing since she was very young and has done many solos and ensemble singing in church over the years. Allie sang with Upscale Singers for 3 years and enjoys performing all kinds of music. Allie has been playing the guitar for a year and a half and has found her passion singing and playing. Allie played her guitar and sang in the Sonoran Trails Middle School Talent Show last year and played at Homecomings Unplugged concert this year. Cut from the singer/songwriter mold in her solo performances, Allie cites Natalie Holmes, Ed Sheeran, and Colbie Caillat as influences.
A member of the drama club, Allie participated in Missoula Theatre Productions for 5 years and had many roles, including the lead in The Secret Garden.
Kiera Jost plays acoustic guitar and sings. She began teaching herself guitar two years ago. She has never taken singing lessons but she’s participated in school choirs, plays and has sung since she was young. She performed twice in a coffee shop called Pulp Fiction in Canada over the summer but this will be her first time performing for a large crowd. She looks forward to performing acoustic, coffee house-style music at Rock The District.
Making her first appearance at RTD, Nadinn Avilez is a senior and Cactus Shadows High School and has been singing since 6th grade. The oldest of three children, Nadinn cites her grandpa as a huge part of her love for singing.
Nadinn also connects strongly with Pink as performer and particularly loves how she expresses her feelings in her music and is not afraid to lose herself in a performance. Additionally, the way she presents herself not as a regular pop star but as a strong, unique, and independent artist.
When Nadinn is not singing she enjoys writing stories and hopes to write a best seller one day.
Inkeep is formed by cousins Emma Pusateri and Katie Pusateri and they return to bring their blend of guitar and harmonies to RTD. Emma is a freshman and Katie is a sophomore at Cactus Shadows High School. Katie is very involved in music, winning many competitions, and she recently sang the National Anthem at the last homecoming football game.
Emma has been playing guitar since she was 8 years old and her style and delivery is a perfect accompaniment to her cousin’s voice. Together they form the unique sound of Inkeep.