Old Lyme, Conn. â€“ August 22, 2011 â€“ This summer, the Rock nâ€™ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles nearly doubled its enrollment in its second year, with 62 registered campers. The Camp, which is part of the international Girls Rock Camp Alliance and supported in part by audio specialist Sennheiser, encourages creative expression and confidence building among campers, who are between the ages of eight and 17. The Los Angeles branch of the camp was founded by Mona Tavakoli and Becky Gebhardt of Raining Jane, a Los Angeles-based band that has worked with Jason Mraz and is currently on tour with Sara Bareilles.
For one week during each summer, campers are invited to participate in personalized lessons, workshops and band rehearsals with the goal of writing and performing an original song before the entire group on the last day of
camp. They can choose to perform on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards or vocals. Through a donation from Sennheiser, each camper is able to sing through a Sennheiser e 935 microphone, ensuring the best possible audio quality during both their rehearsals and their final performance.
â€œWe have gotten to know Sennheiser very well over the last several years; once they heard about our Rock nâ€™ Roll Camp for Girls, it was a natural fit for them to become involved,â€? Gebhart commented. â€œI have a strong personal belief that it is important to give students good gear, because otherwise they get discouraged and will not have a good experience. These kids only have one week at our camp and many are singing for the first time. We want them to feel great about it and it has made a huge difference that Sennheiser stepped in.â€?
Sennheiser provided the camp with 16 e 935 vocal microphones -â€“ two for each rehearsal room. During the final performance, which was held at The Echoplex in Los Angeles, the microphones were also used to capture the vocals for each band.
Back in 2005, Gebhardt and Tavakoli visited the Rock nâ€™ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, and were immediately inspired to become involved and start volunteering their time -â€“ despite a relentless touring schedule of playing hundreds of shows eight months out of the year. â€œIt was such a great meeting of our passions -â€“ music, social good and building communities,â€? Gebhardt recalls. Since both of them became involved in 2005 by volunteering as teachers at the Portland camp, each member of Raining Jane has become involved. â€œIt has been a learning process and it is a dream realized that it is all actually happening. Now we need to continue sustaining it and growing it at the same time â€“- we appreciate all that Sennheiser has done to help.â€?
â€œWe are excited to be playing a role in helping these young girls realize their musical dreams,â€? commented Tim Moore, artist relations manager for Sennheiser. â€œThe Rock nâ€™ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles sets a very high standard for community involvement and also serves as an important role model -â€“ not only for each of the children, but for other potential volunteers as well.â€?
Moving forward, Gebhardt and Tavakoli plan to expand the summer camp program and offer an after-school program throughout the year. The Rock nâ€™ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles also offers a three-day camp called â€œLadies Rock Camp,â€? which serves as a fundraiser for the girls camp. â€œThis is like a fantasy weekend for adult women 21 and up,â€? Gebhardt says. â€œMany of these women have never picked up a guitar or sang in their lives and it is deeply rewarding.â€?
To learn more about the Rock nâ€™ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles, please visit http://www.rockcampforgirlsla.org.