TSAS Students Show Off Their New Musical Skills

The students in Mitch Gilliam’s rock and roll class always seem to be having a good time. The program is wrapping up its the second trimester of teaching life skills through music. Middle and high schoolers join the program to learn what it is like to play in, manage, and promote a band. While the program teaches the fundamentals of playing music, the focus is as much on learning how to work as a group, developing communication skills, and networking as it is on performing songs.

Gilliam, who is a member of Tulsa bands Lizard Police and Blind Oath, used his connections in the local music community to gather donated equipment. Mic stands, old cymbals, practice amps, and guitar straps made their way from local musicians closets to the classroom. From nearly nothing to performing their second concert in less than a year is no small feat.

The first performance, which happened back in May, encouraged one of the best environments I have experienced at a local concert. A mix of students and parents danced to their classmates and were in awe of their teacher’s band Lizard Police performing blistering punk rock songs. Giving the students a way to express themselves creatively seemed to have quite an impact.

This Wednesday, November 14, these young shredders will take the stage at Chimera to perform cover songs and an original or two. The event is free and open to everyone. Local supergroup The Getchoos, which features members of Girls Club and Space Horse, will play a Weezer cover set to close out the evening.

Mitch and the student band Set Fire to the Sofa called in to talk about the concert and their favorite Weezer song. Check it out below.