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Arts Tech High School rock band offers opportunities for musicians of all skill levels

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Friends and family attended Atrockes first performance of the year at the Youth Music Project in West Linn on Friday, Oct. 25.Art and Technology High School's student rock band AtRocke performed its first show of the year last Friday, Oct. 25.

The seven-member band performed the fall show at the Youth Music Project in West Linn.

The band is run as a class, meeting each school day for practice. The band had almost twice as many members last year.

"This year we have seven, including Mr. Whitehead, so it's a different sound. We have a lot fewer guitars, a different singer, different drum player, but I feel like it sounds really good. It's coming together," said Grant Palmer, a senior who is starting his second year with the band.

Palmer had heard about the rock band before he came to Art Tech for his junior year. When school started, he talked to music teacher Matt Whitehead and quickly joined the band.

Whitehead "has made me such a better player. He's an amazing teacher; he's what has kept me in the band the most," Palmer said.

The band also has new members this year, including Mollie Sprauer.

Sprauer joined the band this year as the drum player. Whitehead "just said, 'Hey, we need a drummer,' and I was like, 'All right, I guess I'll do that.'"PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Atrocke, Art Techs student rock band, has multiple guitar players even with this years smaller band size.

Sprauer had never played the drums before this year, but had played the clarinet.

"I'm only doing basics, but I really like it; everybody is nice and accepting." Sprauer said.

Sprauer said she had been thinking about learning to play the drums for a while, so the opportunity to join the band offered a chance to get started.

Lauren Plotnik, one of two vocalists, also is a new member of the band.

At the concert, the band performed songs ranging from Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," and Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah" to Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You."

"Everybody has input on the songs, so what we do is not just everything that I like to do, but what they want to play, too," Whitehead said, "which makes it really fun because sometimes we get to play some really cool stuff that I've never played."

The concert drew a crowd of friends and family, who eagerly cheered, recorded videos

of the performance and donated to fund future performances.PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - Atrocke performed classic rock songs like Pink Floyds Wish You Were Here, along with newer songs.

"You guys are making this night for the students and our school, so thanks for being here," Art Tech Principal Saskia Dresler said on Friday.

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