Uptown Music Collective to present Rolling Stones tribute

On “Paint it Black” Friday, Nov. 29, past and present students of the Uptown Music Collective will join forces to present “It’s Only Rock and Roll: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones.”

The concert, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., is a celebration of the school’s 20th major performance and will feature performances of some of the Rolling Stones’ greatest hits.

The Rolling Stones have just finished a world tour celebrating 50 years in rock and roll. Over their 50 years in the spotlight they have released 29 studio albums, the most popular of which included “Let it Bleed,” “Sticky Fingers,” “Beggars Banquet” and “Exile on Main Street.” The band has released more than 100 singles including radio staples like “Paint it Black,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Honky Tonk Women.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and was ranked fourth on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

The Uptown Music Collective’s Major Performance Program was created in the spring of 2004.

Dave Brumbaugh, executive director of the Uptown Music Collective, gathered his senior students together and assigned them the task of creating a theatrical presentation of Pink Floyd’s timeless classic “Dark Side of the Moon.” The event was so successful that it became the prototype for what is now the school’s most visible and highly respected program.

Among the students who were gathered together in that first meeting were local musicians Mallory Scoppa of Mal Scoppa and the Tall Tales, Jared Mondell of 44MAG, Alex Callenberger of Clawfoot Slumber, and Colin Beatty of Rubber Soul. Other students present included Quinn Epley (Dilick); Emily Hulslander, who would go to graduate from the Berklee College of Music; Mike Borowski, who recently earned a master’s in music from Duquense University; and Clint Dye, who earned his bachelor’s degree in music composition from Bowling Green University.

“That first theatrical rendition of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was an educational epiphany for me, and the genesis of our organization’s flagship performance program,” Brumbaugh said. “The large scale performances we have presented over the last 10 years have served as both the carrot and the stick, providing the inspiration many of our students needed to excel at their musical practice and their theoretical studies.”

“It’s Only Rock N’ Roll” will feature performers ages 9-18 who have been diligently preparing for this event.

Along with the live music, there will be a professional grade light and sound show organized by the students. As with all Uptown Music Collective performances, the students are not only the performers, but also direct the show. There also is a group of younger students, called “Tech Monkeys,” who will serve as stage technicians, spotlight operators and video operators. Shawn Chism, of Pa Cyber School, is the student director for this performance.

The student leadership committee for this show, under Brumbaugh’s direction, is made up of Shelby Lynch, of Montgomery High School; Enso Tran, of Williamsport Area High School; Kira Crissinger, of Milton Area High School; John Burfeindt, of St. John Neumann Regional Academy; Morgan Patterson, of Montgomery High School; and Tess Clutter, of Williamsport Area High School.

This event also will feature 30 UMC alumni who will be taking the stage alongside 30 of the school’s current student performers. “It’s going to be an emotional experience for me to have the opportunity to work again with so many of my former students and to watch them interact and perform onstage with my current performers,” Brumbaugh said. “Of the over one hundred plus students that have gone through the program in the last 10 years, we invited the 50 who were the most heavily involved. I was honored that so many agreed to take part in what will surely be a powerful event.”

Alumni who will be taking part include: Colin Beatty, Mike Borowski, Dan Bresticker, Caylee Cantor, Kelsey Cantor, Shannon Cantor, David Clark, Collin Dennen, Mark Doughtery, Jacob Ertle, Garrett Gaetano, Torey Harding, Alex Hines, Josh Hines, Nuria Hunter, Deron Johnson, Nick Johnson, Peter Johnson, Chris Kohler, Jharid Krauter, Jeff Mach, Tess Marshall, Jared Mondell, Brendan Mondell, Mallory Scoppa, Matt Serra, Katie Shaw, Kelsey Silvagni, Bryan Stillman, Gabe Stillman and Jonah Walters.

“The Collective is my family; it was the first place where I ever felt like myself. Because of the security it gave me I was able to blossom. The Collective encouraged me to embrace my talents and be creative which has helped me in my pursuit of higher education. I am extremely excited to return to perform in this show and see all of my Collective family,” said Katie Shaw, UMC alumnus.

Among the returning alumni will be long-time collective student and performer, Torey Harding. Harding, a senior this year at Berklee College of Music, is a member of the band Clyde Frog and also recently developed a line of tube guitar amplifiers.

“If you want to do music for a living you have to diversify. When I heard that Torey was learning to build amplifiers from local tube amp guru Mick Johns I was excited to hear what they sounded like,” said Brumbaugh. “I had the opportunity at Clyde Frog’s album release this past summer and was very excited about their tone. When Torey volunteered to let us use his amplifiers for this show, I thought how perfect, amplifiers created by one of our alumni.”

Harding Amplification is donating all of the amplifiers for the performance.

Tickets for the performance are available at The Uptown Music Collective, 848 W. Fourth St.; The Community Arts Center box office, 220 W. Fourth St.; Alabaster Coffee, 410 Pine St.; and K & S Music, 1116 W. Southern Ave., South Williamsport.