The rebirth of rock, Southern Girls style

The Southern Girls Rock ?n’ Roll Camp is back, beginning Monday, July 31, and ending Saturday, Aug. 5, with a showcase of the all-girl bands created during the week.

Now in its third year, the SGRRC is growing. Each year the staff is dedicated to teaching girls ages 10-18 how to find their voices, express themselves through music and find their place in the industry.

This year SGRRC camp raised the cap on campers to 85, and because of the excessive outpouring of support, have had to put a cap on volunteers.

“We just got our state non-profit incorporation process finished,” says SGRRC Volunteer Coordinator Kelley Anderson, who founded the school in 2003. She’s also taken the camp from a yearly event sponsored by MTSU groups to a non-profit program they hope to offer girls all year long.

Also new this year is the workshop “Music Her Story,” a session that will instruct the campers about the history of women in the music industry, beginning with women in the forefront of country, jazz and blues, then covering the Riot Grrrl movement and women’s role in modern music.

To enforce what campers are learning, every day they’ll meet panelists and special guests who know what it means to be a woman in the music industry.

“I hope that I can express to the girls the huge importance in finding your own true voice,” says Raven Hilton, one half of Hi-Tone Hokum, a gritty and playful duo from Nashville who honor minstrel roots and appeal to modern sensibilities with their home-grown sound, and SGRRC’s special guests for July 31. “I hope to instill confidence in the girls that the comfort of knowing one’s true voice can be reached with persistence.”

Returning campers may recognize a familiar face when they see jazz vocalist Rachel Pearl, who taught a class on vocal jazz techniques at he 2005 SGRRC. This year she’ll be teaching a vocal class and a songwriting class.

“Southern Girls Rock ?n’ Roll Camp is so neat,” Pearl Muses. “Why didn’t they have that when we were kids?”

Other panelists include Nashville-based The Clutters and Murfreesboro natives The Velcro Stars.

Girls who have never picked up an instrument before are invited to learn and to shine. They’ll be split into groups and spend a week preparing a song for their final showcase with their band mates and mentors by their side.

“This is a step in the right direction,” says SGRCC’s Director Anna Fitzgerald. “We’re saying that these girls can do anything they want to do.”

“When they do this they feel like they can conquer the world,” adds Anderson. “And I think they can.”

General registration for the SGRRC ends June 31. Spaces are limited to 85. Apply online at sgrrc.org or call (615) 294-3216 for more information.


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