It’s amazing how music can effect you, especially when you experience it delivered by dedicated and talented young people. Over the past several months Box of Stars has been working with the School of Rock. We have attended several of their student concerts and spoken between performances to the audience of parents and friends about the importance of talking openly about mental health in order to reduce stigma. At each event we have been approached by many of the kids and their families, thirsty to learn more and inquiring about how they might help. They are truly receptive and excited that someone is there to speak with them about mental health. Rik Alison, the musical director for the School of Rock Mainline, has stated that of all of the charitable organizations that they commit to helping, Box of Stars brings the most attention from the kids and their families.
We are now in the planning stages with several of the Philadelphia area School of Rock locations by producing a compilation album in partnership with each of the schools. The SOR house bands will perform and record songs in area studios and experience professional recording facilities, producers, engineers. They will learn the business of music through pre-sales, organization, and production. The songs they record will be songs both written about mental health and by artists who have dealt with mental health challenges in their own lives. This will no doubt open up new conversations about mental health between the kids, their music instructors, the school as a whole, and their families as the project progresses. The students and directors of the schools are excited to be starting this new program, and so are we. We are planning an album release show for early Summer at which the SOR bands on the finished recording will perform, and we will post specific details as soon as they are available.