S. ABINGTON TWP. — Lance Miley, founder of Rock School of Music in Clarks Summit, has been providing free music lessons for 10 years. He founded a non-profit organization called Making Music Matter for Kids, which supplies instruments not just for disadvantaged students, but to all students.
Celebrating a decade of this, two bands rocked the night away Saturday, Aug. 18 in the Ramada Inn’s grand ballroom. People enjoyed food and got to purchase guitar picks and crew T-shirts as well as tickets for raffle baskets. One special raffle prize was a Sir Paul McCartney World Tour guitar. They were sold by Lance’s girlfriend Robin McArdle.
People got to watch and hear the rock stylings of local bands. The first to perform was Grayson Drive, who supports Making Music Matter for Kids. This band’s members are lead vocalist Alecia Powell, Jeff Bower on guitar, Greg Ewasko on drums, and Mike Fedeskey on bass.
“We love it,” said Powell. “I think it’s a wonderful cause passing music onto the next generation. As opposed to just listening, they’re (students) actually creating.”
Bower’s stepdaughter Pyper Dillow-Bower sang a couple of songs with Grayson Drive.
The event was fun for the kids. Six-year-old Rock School of Music student, Justin Duggan, of Clarks Summit, danced and strummed a toy guitar at the fundraiser. He has been learning guitar at Rock School since the beginning of the year.
“It’s great,” he said. “I love it forever.”
Kids and adults played Minute to Win It games. They built castles made of cups. They also knocked cups out of the tables using the helium of balloons. Alecia’s seven-year-old daughter Dawson Powell played the latter with Audrey Munley, who is the lead singer of Why Not, the second band to perform that night.
“It’s a really great thing to do,” Munley said about the fundraiser. “It’s a great cause.”
The band Why Not also consists of Rock School of Music’s students Wyatt Carper on guitar, Jake Munley on bass, Jake Graham on drums, and Ryaha Rose Olecki on guitar and backup vocals. They rehearsed four times in three weeks to get ready for the night. They play any types of music, especially classic rock.
The band Why Not waited until 8:18 p.m. to resonate with the day’s date (8/18) to rock the inn.
“I think it’s going to be great,” said Carper before his band performed.
Lance Miley, who played guitar with Why Not, took everybody’s photo at 8:18 p.m. right before they played. They played rock hits such as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. Audrey also played the ukulele to the Hawaiian version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Graham also did a rousing drum solo.
Rock School of Music started in 2008 when Miley, who was originally from Vernon, New Jersey, drove to homes around New Jersey and Pennsylvania to give private lessons. He called it Lightning Learning. In 2010, he moved to Lake Wallenpaupack, where he was giving free lessons. It was then called Rock School of Music. The first event in which his students performed was the GDS Fair in Newfoundland. In 2012, his students performed at Wally Fest, which had a lot of support from Scranton residents. In 2016, his business became a 503(c)3 non-profit organization. In 2017, Miley moved his school into State Street in downtown Clarks Summit.
The proceeds from the fundraiser will support an upcoming Halloween party, which will be at the Ramada Inn on October 27. Miley’s main goal is to create a performing arts center to bring national acts on a weekly basis.
Miley is also the lead singer of his band called Metal Mob. He is glad to see the people dance and enjoy rock music.
“It’s a rock-and-roll party!,” he said. “It’s a birthday party! If it wasn’t for Rock School, there will be no Making Music Matter for Kids.”
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