|These girls know how to rock and roll.
Maddy Madeira, 16, Lizzie Conner, 17 and Rachael Durnin, 17, prepare to rock out during band practice at Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp.
And, just in case you didn’t know, the attendees of the 7th annual Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp quickly let you know.
They showcase it through their funky hairstyles and the bright colors and hats they wear.
And, they tell you.
“I like being loud,” said drummer Sara Gregory, 12, of Eagleville.
It is Gregory’s second year to attend the rock camp held on the MTSU campus.
“It is really fun,” she said of playing the drums, of which she has played for three years. “There are really cool beats. I love it.
“Pounding is fun,” Gregory added.
Camp volunteers encourage the 90 girls, ages 10-17, in attendance July 27-Aug. 1 to not be afraid of being loud, of being themselves and of being creative.
That is what most campers love most about rock camp each year. That and meeting new friends, learning more about their instrument of choice (guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums and vocals) and playing in a band.
Oh, and not to forget the Saturday night showcase, where each band performs for family and friends.
“They teach you that it is OK to be you, and you don’t have to act like other people,” Gregory said. “They tell us to do what makes us happy.”
The cheers each morning help that process, she said.
In turn, the girls gain self-confidence.
“It is encouraging girls who haven’t had much time on stage to get up there,” six-time camper Ruby Jazz, 15, of Woodbury said.
Gregory said “it builds a lot of confidence to get up on stage” referring to the Saturday night showcase.
Jazz said she keeps coming back to rock camp because “it has a really good feel to it.”
Esther Soper, 12, of Murfreesboro said the camp allows her to express herself by playing the drums.
But it is more than that.
“I love how you can just wear what you want,” Soper said. “You can be as weird as you want and you are still accepted.”
No matter what you fit in, she said.
Fellow campers and volunteers make you feel comfortable, which allows you to be more creative, Soper said.
Rachel Davis, 16, of Nashville said getting to play with a band has improved her musicianship. That is what she was looking to get out of camp, but she ended up getting more.
“It has been a really good experience because they encourage you to play as loud as you want and be as creative as you can,” she said.
Perhaps Chelsey Grundy, 14, of Nashville summed up rock camp best.
“It is teaching you that girls can rock out too.”
Erin Edgemon can be reached at 869-0812 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp Showcase
Saturday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m.
Tucker Theater on the MTSU campus
Tickets are $10