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Let There Be Rock School opens in Columbia

By Lisa Kawata

3:51 PM EDT, July 27, 2011

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Eat. Drum. Sleep. Repeat daily.

That’s just one of the mantras behind the mission of Let There Be Rock School, the newest music school to arrive on the scene in Howard County. Only this school offers a one-two punch not often found in a traditional music school.

Not only do they give private lessons to rock-lovin’ kids, but they group them by age and ability into bands that have a 12-week practice schedule before performing at a local venue.

“We’re trying to make it a little rock ‘n’ roll community. Our goal is to get the kids playing together, because that’s what they want to do,” says owner Tim France-Kelly, who owns the school along with his wife, Cassie, and partner, Scott Marceron, a musician and former band manager and music scout.

In a warehouse on Red Branch Road in Columbia, the Let There Be Rock School caters to teens with its wildly colored walls, student lounge with homework space, air hockey and foosball tables and vending machines. Six lesson rooms, including one set up jusher for vocals, and two performance rehearsal spaces with stages and professional sound equipment offer plenty of practice space. Faculty is made up of professional musicians with experience playing in bands all over the country, including local guitarist Hector Peraza, who played with the house band at Whiskey-a-Go-Go in Hollywood, Calif. Once the students are grouped into bands, each band is assigned a manager, who works with them on performance skills.

The school offers 12-week sessions with the promise to give an actual concert in a local restaurant such as Nottingham’s in Columbia.

“We wanted them to learn from those who’ve done this,” says France-Kelly, an alumnus of Mt. Hebron High School. Although he’s not a musician, his kids are — and it was driving his 10-year-old son up to Frederick each week so he could play guitar with kids his own age that persuaded France-Kelly to open a school closer to home. There is a Let There Be Rock School in Frederick, and there is anoso is open to adult bands for private lessons and performance sessions.

Let There Be Rock School, 9051 Red Branch Road, Suite A, Columbia. 240-344-2403. letthereberockschools.