Press Release



For Release on January 19, 2010


Contact: Jory Fitzgerald Kelly, Director of Marketing and Development

Business: 574.259.5666 x 306

Mobile: 574.876.1068


School of Rock

Boys & Girls Clubs begins pilot guitar program thanks to several generous donors.



January 19, 2010, South Bend – Elvis Presley said, “Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside and out."  And that is just what several groups are working towards for members at the Navarre Intermediate Center branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County.

Federated Media, WAOR, local teen guitarist Jake Hurd, Woodwind & Brasswind, and the Arts Everywhere initiative of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, joined forces to donate guitars and funds to pilot a guitar program - School of Rock - at the Boys & Girls Club branch located on South Bend’s west side.   Miller’s Guitar Academy will provide guitar instruction for the 14- week program.

The Arts, one of five core program areas of the Boys & Girls Club, encourages youth to develop their creativity, intellect, self-expression and self-reflection.  The new School of Rock guitar program will compliment existing arts programming at the Club including visual arts, performing arts and creative writing.

 Former Club member and 5-time Grammy winning artist Usher explains, “Growing up in the Boys & Girls Club, I had the chance to experience a lot of positive things; it helped reinforce the values I learned at home including good character, leadership and giving back to my community, my country and my world. It’s where I developed my love of singing and performing, received help with my homework, and it’s where I found a safe place to go after school.”

Mariela Rodriguez, branch director at the Navarre Intermediate site, continues, “With so many of our Members’ families unable to purchase or rent musical instruments for their children, much less pay for regular music lessons, the majority of the children we serve have no opportunity to learn to play an instrument.  This remarkable partnership will provide hands-on instruction that encourages a greater appreciation for and understanding of music for the youth we serve.”

A press conference, including a short performance from teen guitarist Jake Hurd, whose previous community performances helped raise hundreds of dollars for the Club's School of Rock, will be held at Navarre Intermediate Center, 4702 West Ford Street, South Bend, on January 19, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.