2013 Performers – Rock the District 5

Main Stage Bands


thekards At first glance “thekards” are recognized as a group. However, collectively you will find a set of unique and distinctive personalities bonded by the commonality of the love of music and entertaining others. It is the “fun” and enthusiasm of the band that audiences crave and the flawless execution of music that keeps audiences coming back. The combined talent of Lucas Aikin (15) on drums, Jared Grady (16) on lead guitar, Habib Sabbagh (16), bass/vocals and Jacob Williams(16) on rhythm guitar/vocals always surprises the vast generations who come to rock. Comments such as “this song is older than these boys”, or “that band was around before they were born” are common to these rockers as they jam out, Led Zepplin, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult and Pink Floyd. There is no doubt that these driven boys want to take their audience into the limelight with them and share their on stage fun. “thekards have been fortunate to open for Local Favorites Mogollon, Easton Ashe & Arizona Blues project and play at several valley Hotspots such at Cocomo Joe’s, Harold’s, Big Earls Greasy Eats , Coyotes Playoff & much more! You can see thekards full gig schedule at www.thekards.com.



The Films are an eccentric group of three sophomores. They play a captivating blend of cinematic rock and classical music. It sounds like the love child of Animal Collective, Bad Religion, and Beethoven; who was then was put up for adoption and placed into foster care, where his foster parents were the Beatles and Neutral Milk Hotel. Then after years of living in this musical foster home, the Beethoven/Animal Collective love child was finally adopted by loving parents Miniature Tigers and Phoenix; with indie rock legends Whale’s Teeth as a grandfather. Weird right? But it totally makes sense! The Films are composed of Tim ‘Monti’ Sammons who’s love of the relentless pounding of his drums can only be matched by his love of the hit cooking show “Chopped”, Patrick England who plays bass like a musically talented gorilla during mating season, and finally John Tracy. Astronauts claim that they can hear John Tracy’s voice from space, “It’s the only thing that keeps me going to work in the morning” says one anonymous astronaut. He also plays the guitar, which I’ll admit, he’s sort of average at. Playing all original songs written by John Tracy himself, The Films are not to be missed at Rock The District twenty thirteen.


CloseCaseCloseCase is a new band based out of Cave Creek, Arizona. The band includes Antonio Marchica (guitar/sing), Josh Valbuena (drums), Kyle Kelleher (guitar) and Josh Colvin (guitar/keyboard/sing). All four members of the band are sophmores– Kyle and Antonio both attend Cactus Shadows High School. You’ll find Josh Colvin at Pinnacle and Josh V. at Notre Dame Prep. Their outside interests include playing soccer, football, longboarding and of course, playing music. They’ve brought their talent and rockin’ support to a number of local events in 2013 including the Grand Opening of the new Foothills Foodbank, the Relay for Life for American Cancer Society, the Cave Creek/Carefree Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, and the “Back to School BBQ” at Harold’s for Cactus Shadows. Get ready to get out of your seats for CloseCase!



Loaded is a band that plays popular rock music from the 80s to current.  When these talented young musicians got together, they found they had a common penchant for 80s rock, especially all the fun party-style songs that everybody loves even today.

Leading the band with vocals is Jessica Carlson, 17, senior at Cactus Shadows High School, who has already performed in clubs and major events as a featured singer for professional bands.  The guitar riffs are cut by the awesome Nick Flagg, 20, lead guitarist and backup vocals who attends Scottsdale Community College; and filled with the rhythm guitar sounds of Aaron Graupman, 18, a die-hard Guns-n-Roses fan.  Finishing the metal sound is bassist Harrison Taylor, 19, a college med student who still loves to play rock-n-roll after hitting the books.  The rockin’ beat is lead by Tyler Pearson, 17, a senior at Cactus Shadows High School, whose drumming style is strong and full of passion.

They have created a performance that’s upbeat, fun and gets your feet moving!  Although they’ve only been together a few months, the dedication and drive to produce great live music shines through in their performances, and leaves the audience wanting more.

 Main Stage Performers

 The Ukulele Trio


Mia Gilling, Kate Rosenbaum and Walter Wilson discovered a shared love for the ukulele while attending school together at Foothills Academy College Preparatory. All 8th graders, they have been playing together as The Ukulele Trio since the beginning of this school year. Since forming the group, they have performed together at their school-wide assembly, made several short videos on YouTube, and plan to perform at open mic sessions at local establishments in the future. While the members have had some additional musical experience such as guitar lessons, voice lessons and piano lessons, all are self-taught on the ukulele. Playing a mix of pop music and classic rock, they are excited for the opportunity to perform at Rock The District and have been preparing at the direction of music instructor Martha Lindsay Glenn.

Sydney Claire Collins

SydneyCollinsSydney Claire Collins is thrilled to be able to perform for Rock the District for a 2nd year now. As a 4th generation AZ Native, it is a privilege and an honor for Syd to be a part of this amazing organization that Melissa Nelson started. To be able to be a part of a group of talented student musicians who come together to support local music, and be able to raise funds for Rock The District is a huge part of what Sydney wants to do with her talent.

Sydney Claire Collins is 16 years old, and is a sophomore at Pinnacle High School. Syd has been performing in front of audiences for a couple of years now, and has had the opportunity to perform at local venues such as Desert Ridge Marketplace, The Hard Rock Cafe, Alice Cooperstown, Jalapeno Inferno, Rhythm & Wine, The Grill at the TPC, and Club Red/Red Owl. Syd is a member of Chicks With Picks, and is currently a semi-finalist in the 2013 Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding Contest.

Syd is also passionate about helping animals, and has volunteered at the Foothills Animal Rescue (FAR) for 1-1/2 years now. There is nothing more rewarding then seeing a dog or cat that you helped take care of get adopted to a good home.

Syd’s hope is that you will buy a ticket to Rock the District 2013 – enjoy the venue with some friends, listen to some great local music from the wonderful talent we have in AZ, buy some raffle tickets, and tell your friends about this amazing organization.

Syd’s love of music, and her desire to volunteer, are what fuels Syd’s enthusiasm and her desire to perform.

 A & K

RTD_Performers2Meet A&K……….Amanda Gilbert and Kay Lambert are a singer/songwriter acoustic duo from CSHS. Amanda is a 17 year old who will graduate who will graduate as junior, and attend NAU next fall. She was born and raised in AZ, has been performing since she was 9 years old and is a RTD veteran. Kay is a 16 year old Junior originally from Bakersfield CA, has been playing guitar for 7 years, and who has trained in many genres like classical, jazz, and rock guitar.

Together they are a beautiful blend of harmonies, are skilled in creating acoustic renditions of music from many genres like rock, pop, alternative, and country. They have also co-written many great songs of their own and both have a great passion for music that you can see when you watch them perform.

Bobbi Kerr

BobbiKerrBobbi Kerr began guitar lessons at the age of 8 and incorporated singing into hermusic at the age of 11. She is now 15 and has played at several venues including Buffalo Chip, Hard Rock Café, Harold’s, Arizona Women’s Expo, Bookman’s and several charity events. Bobbi has been an active member of Chicks With Picks for 4 years and performs frequently with the organization. She enjoys writing her own music and is eager to record her first cd. 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.

Abby Walker and Dylan Dorough

AbbyWalkerA recent transfer from Arizona School for the Arts, Abby Walker is a sophomore at Cactus Shadows. Abby fell in love with singing when she was 3-years-old – her grandma would sing to her, thinking she was asleep, and then the next day, Abby would sing the song back to her. 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 electric guitar, along with other instruments such as violin, viola and accordion, which she has limited access to. 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, a surfer and spends time volunteering at organizations such as Chris Becker and Feed My Starving Children.

DylanDoroughDylan Dorough is a freshman at Cactus Shadows and is a first time Rock the District performer. After five years of piano lessons Dylan picked up his first guitar at age 10 and has never stopped playing. Since then he added the electric and bass guitar to his repertoire of instruments. Dylan began performing with the North Ridge Church Junior High Worship Band in 7h grade and currently plays with High School Worship Band. Musical artist that influence him are U2, Black Keys, Switchfoot and David Crowder. Dylan is looking forward to collaborating with Abby at this year’s event.

Halle Ata-Abadi

HalleHalle Ata-Abadi is a 12 year old 7th grader at STMS and is very excited to be part of Rock the District for the first time. Halle has always been passionate about singing and playing the piano. She has been taking piano lessons since age 5. Halle also has taken voice lessons at Voices. She is an Honor student and was a member of NEHS (National Elementary Honor Society). Halle is an orange belt in TaeKwonDo and loves the martial arts. Some of her musical influences Demi Lovato, Little Mix, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande.

Maya Glicksman and Antonio Marchica


Maya Glicksman and Antonio Marchica are both sophomores at Cactus Shadows High School who share a love for music and performing. Antonio is a self-taught guitar player of about two years and Maya is a classically trained pianist of 12 years and a vocalist of about four years. Each has participated in previous Rock the District events and cannot wait to collaborate for this year’s show!







InkeepKatie Pusateri & Emma Pusateri, who are cousins, form the group Inkeep. The name comes from “innkeeper” which is the historical definition of the family name. The girls have performed together for many years in the Upscale Singers program. They are planning on doing gigs together at local coffee houses in the future.

Katie has been singing since she first learned to talk! Katie was a member of the Phoenix Girl’s Chorus for several years and has performed in plays with the Desert Foothills Theatre. She has performed the National Anthem for the Governor of Arizona as well as professional sporting events. When she is not singing, Katie loves riding horses and is getting ready to compete in team penning.

Emma has been playing guitar for five years and has been performing for four of those at recitals, school talent shows and competitions. She previously placed fourth at Skye’s Jr. Idol In The Skye competition and performed at a Kids at Hope Deans Luncheon. When she is not playing music she loves to hunt.

 Raina Donati


Raina Donati is a 14 year old honor student at Cactus Shadows High School and lives in Scottsdale with her parents and little sister. Raina has a love for the arts. She loves to sing, play the piano and act; she also loves making short films and creating animation. To add to her “creative side” Raina is the co-host of Fashion Forward, a radio talk show on The Voice America Kids Network produced by Kidstar, and is also a Jr. Producer on that network. It may not be a just a coincidence that her name in Spanish means queen.because she plans to take the crown as the future queen of Broadway.




Last Minute

LastMinuteLast Minute is made up of Brett Cernich on keyboard and drum tracks, and Sara Windom on guitar and vocals. They have been friends since preschool. Sara and Brett have been taking music lessons for 2 years and started a band this year in 8th grade. They both attend Sonoran Trails Middle School. Their tastes in music are very different; bringing a wide range of genres into the mix: Sara likes bands like The Strokes, The Kooks, and Rooney. Brett likes Fallout Boy, Kiss, and Fun. This is their first year in Rock the District, and they are very excited to be a part of the show.

Madison Holmes

HolmesMadison Holmes is a 12 year old up and coming singer/songwriter from Scottsdale, AZ who loves to perform music from the country, rock and pop genres. She has been performing locally since age seven on the piano and age 10 on the guitar. Some of her performances throughout the valley include venues such as Alice Cooperstown, THE MIM, Harold’s Corral, Cocomo Joe’s, Azool Grill, The Horney Toad, The Hideaway Grill, Scottsdale Air Fair, Desert Ridge Marketplace, Grayhawk Golf Club, and Isabella’s Kitchen. Madison has been using music to bring joy to the residents at the Barton House Senior Living Facilities for Alzheimer care for the past three years. Ryan Sims, The Beatles, Alicia Keys, The Eagles, Katy Perry, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift , Fleetwood Mac, are just a few of her musical inspirations. Madison hopes her music will one day inspire and change the lives of others as it has done for her!

Sarah Nelson

Sarah_NelsonThis will be Sarah Nelson’s fourth time performing in Rock the District and she is ecstatic to be returning. She is a freshman at Cactus Shadows and can be seen in the Jokers Improv Troupe. She is also an active member in literary magazine, drama club, and YoungLife. In her spare time, she writes music, draws, and dances at Bender Performing Arts. Some musical influences include Trevor Powers, George Harrison, Justin Vernon, Connor Oberst, Laura Marling, Keaton Henson, and Morrissey. She profusely thanks everyone for coming and hopes you all enjoy the show.

 Caity Bonine

Caity_BonineCaity Bonine is a Freshman 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, The Band Perry, and The Civil Wars as well as inspirations from other genres such as, Lana Del Rey, Birdie, Christina Aguilera and Ingrid Micheaelson. She began taking voice from Martha Lindsay-Glenn in 2011 along with practicing piano, guitar and her ukulele to strengthen her musical tool box. 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 Spiritline and is dedicated to training and showing her horse in reining competitions. 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.


Cactus Shadows Varsity Pom


The Cactus Shadows Varsity Pom Team consists of 19 members, 11 of which have been a member of the team for two or more years. The girls are led by Coach Cindy Knuteson, an Eighth Grade Science teacher at STMS. “Coach K,” as her girls call her, has been coaching the Varsity Pom Team since 2009. The girls practice five days a week, two hours a day to perfect their two-minute routine. They show this routine at seven competitions a year, including two National Competitions in California. Many girls set the stage on the team hoping to regain their state title from 2010. Also, the girls strive to make finals at USA Nationals in California. Not only are the girls noticed for their dance technique, but their presence within the school community. The Varsity Pom Team has one of the highest team GPAs in the school, with many girls holding a 4.0 or higher.

stingersThe STMS Chorus (Stinger Singers!), directed by Kevin Glenn, is proud to be participating in the 5th annual Rock the District concert, and would like to congratulate all of the pre-show and main stage performers this year. The chorus consists of approximately 50 7th and 8th grade students who love the art of singing. The chorus is currently preparing for their 2013 Winter/Holiday concert which will be held on Monday evening, December 16th, at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center. Doors open at 6:00pm and concert begins at 6:30pm. The evening is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Pre-Show Outdoor Stage

Kailin Kentigian

Kailin_KentigianKailin is 11 years old and is a 6th grader at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School. She began playing the guitar when she was 6 with Mr. Koch, the music teacher at her school. For the last 2 years she has been taking vocal and guitar lessons at Kirk’s Studio For The Performing Arts. Kailin has performed solo’s and played with her band, The Little Big Kids, at Desert Ridge Market Place, Tempe Market Place, Mesa Arts Center and The Orpheum Theater, for over 800 people. Most recently, she and her fellow 11 year-old band mates performed at Cooperstown, in downtown Phoenix. She has also worked for Orange Leaf Yogurt Shop playing the guitar and singing for the customers. Kailin can be followed on You Tube with one of her best clips being from Open Mic Night at Tempe Center for the Arts. She loves to be part of her community and is looking forward to the opportunity to help fundraise for the Cave Creek Unified School District.

Eden Cislo

CisloEden Cislo is an 11 year old, 6th grader at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School. She loves playing her guitar, singing, and writing her own music. She has been playing guitar for only a year, but her love for the instrument really shines through. Eden won 1st place in the talent competition of the National American Miss Scholarship Pageant this summer singing and playing her deep blue acoustic.

She is not only musically talented but artistically as well. In January, Eden won 1st Place in her age group in the state art competition.

Eden is an avid reader and enjoys leading worship for her Wednesday night youth group. She lives in Cave Creek with her mom, dad and two sisters, yes she is the Jan in this Brady Bunch, but Jan never had this much talent. Eden is something special!

Her musical influences include Taylor Swift, and Christian artists Jamie Grace and Brit Nicole.

Carissa Canto

RTD_PerformerMy name is Carissa Canto, and I am a 7th grader at Sonoran Trails Middle School. I am on the cheer team at school, and I have cheered for 7 years. My passion is singing and I would love to attend a performing arts school when I get older and be able to fulfill my dream and become a famous singer.

Alex and Victoria Grovich

GrovichI’m Victoria, and I’m sixteen years old. I’ve been playing guitar since I was nine, and I’ve performed (a bit sporadically) since I was twelve. I love music–dancing to it, singing to it, or making up my own. I also love writing, going to vegan restaurants, and spending time with my friends and family. This past year has been pretty crazy, and so I am super grateful to be here tonight 😀 Thank you!!!!

Hey I’m Alex, I’m 13-years-old. I love to sing dance and be creative with music. I like to skateboard and swim. I go to On Track Academy and I’m in 8th grade. Music is my passion and my way of life it also helps me express myself! The past year for me has been pretty hectic with my family and I’m happy to be preforming for y’all!! THANKZ!!! ;DDD

Kati Patterson

Kati_PattersonKati Patterson, a 12 year old girl from Cave Creek, Arizona, has loved to perform since her first performance where she sang to the 5th graders to say goodbye. Recently, she was in a musical called “Ella: A Modern Cinderella,” where she sang two or three songs. After that, she realized her passion was to sing, and she never stopped. When she heard about Rock the District from her chorus class at Sonoran Trails, she was so excited and wanted to audition. She started practicing a week later and was completely ready to sign up.

Cristina Silbert

CJCristina Silbert is a Seventh grader at Sonoran Trails and has been passionate about singing since she was four years old. Her favorite artist that has influenced her most has been Taylor Swift, however she also has admiration for Katy Perry and Avril Lavigne. Cristina has hopes and dreams to improve and advance in her singing career and also add instruments such as the piano and the guitar. In addition to her love of singing she also enjoys acting and reading.

Chance McLaughlin

ChanceChance McLaughlin is more than just your typical teenager. He’s got a powerful voice with a wide vocal range. As an eighth grader at Sonoran Trails Elementary School, Chance shines as a rising lead vocal performer.

Chance turned his extracurricular activity of singing in his elementary school choir into a passion for music and song. His solo performances in the 6th grade choral and talent shows as well as the Jr. High talent show proved successful and fed his desire to strengthen his natural talent. An Upscale Scholar, Chance’s 2nd place victory, led him to study under professional direction of Kevin Glenn.

Currently Chance is pursuing an opportunity to perform in the Rock the District show in Cave Creek, AZ. Additionally, he will be striving for the 1st place position in the Jr. High division for the Upscale Singer Scholarship award as well as competing in the Phoenix Country Idol competition in Anthem, AZ.

Looking ahead, Chance hopes to bring his strong vocal skills to a band of talented musicians and grow further as an artist. In the meantime, he will continue to audition and perform in venues he finds appealing.