School of the Arts student Abby Thornley plays a song as Wando senior Ryan Clay listens at a Rock House Revival performance. (MC Warner)
School of the Arts student Abby Thornley plays a song as Wando senior Ryan Clay listens at a Rock House Revival performance.

MC Warner

Rock House strums new tune

May 3, 2023

Long after most students have usually left the building on a Friday night, a mesh of different instruments- mainly guitars, some basses, a set of bongos and even a tambourine- can be heard from outside of room A-117. The door is wide open, inviting newcomers as well as seasoned musicians like senior Carly Sabados to join in.  

“Music has always been really easy for me, it’s come really naturally. Growing up, my dad used to teach me piano songs. I learned how to read sheet music when I was pretty young. And then, I joined band at Cario. I played the flute. I was in the top part of my section,” Sabados said.

Sabados’s dad bought her a guitar during her freshman year. The same year that she had decided not to continue with band in high school. When the first volume of Rock House  was advertised, to Sabados it seemed like an opportunity to find a music centered student community. 

“It’s so fun. I was kind of expecting it to be like, people show up and perform. I was really nervous going in there. I was like, ‘am I gonna have to perform’ but it was so chill, people were so cool and nice. It was really fun,” Sabados said. 

Group leader, senior Delaine Brown, has also been searching for a place to share her passion for music with others. 

“So all this started with my senior project, last semester in Mrs. Sox’s class.  I wanted to do it on something I was passionate about. Something I could talk about for hours, and there was a portion of the senior project that had to be done through community service,” Brown said. 

Choosing rock as the subject for her project was the easy part. Brown fell in love with the genre in middle school when she started listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and she has been searching for a music driven community ever since. 

“It’s been so awesome finding an artistry community where it’s not competitive. We are just literally sharing teaching, talking, laughing, eating, drinking. We’re just all coexisting with the love of music,” Brown said. 

But knowing if people would participate in her project was harder for Brown. 

“I told [my friend] Nyla about my idea because I wasn’t going to do it as I wasn’t sure if people would go and she was like, ‘no Delanie, you can absolutely do this. I’m passionate about it and I’m sure a bunch of other people are too.’ So then she helped me start it and then now we’re here,” Brown said.

Her friend and co-founder, Nyla Bickham, has been a driving force behind the club’s activities: helping to make art that advertises the club and mentoring beginner guitar players. Bickham has been playing guitar since September, and has progressed quickly since enrolling in Wando’s guitar class.  

“Last time went really great when it was everything. It met our expectations and beyond, We had a lot more musicians and we had just a more established space than our first volume,” Bickham said. 

Bickham and Brown spent extra time curating the atmosphere of this month’s meeting. Tapestries, blankets, cushions, end tables and nick nacks each brought in by a community member make the black box theater room feel warm and familiar.

“We just wanted to have a comfortable space for people who are so musically inclined to just be able to come out and share what they love,” said Bickham. 

Rock House Revival has provided a space for more experienced musicians to explore teaching. Bickham advises new musicians to keep practicing even when it’s hard or even if they don’t sound the best. 

“It’s definitely broadened my horizons on different musical instruments, different musical events, and different genres and music as a whole. And it’s become space for me to learn from, but also for me to give,” Bickham said.  

As they graduate, Rock House Revival founders are searching for someone to continue running the club. 

“We’re looking for someone that’s willing to continue the legacy of Rock House. Someone who may not be passionate about playing guitar, but if you’re passionate about music or people like I am, you know, then like we’d, we’d love to continue it and just leave it to people that are positive about continuing the legacy of Rock House,” Brown said. 


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