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Columbia Arts Academy students perform at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame



Shane Manning, a Columbia Arts Academy student, plays guitar.

Brady Longerbeam is about to turn 13 and his personal ready-to-rock meter is set for 13 as well.

Decades after hair metal rockers Spinal Tap blew their guitar amplifiers to the standard 10th level peak on the volume knob and go 11, Brady said he was 13 in his anticipation of his sound. concert at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. For those unfamiliar with the rock and roll lexicon, that means Brady is beyond excited.

Brady and seven other Columbia Arts Academy students will perform at the Foster Theater at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on Saturday, an event that will be broadcast live on the academy’s website starting at 11 a.m. Lexington and Irmo locations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Columbia Arts Academy gives weekly guitar, piano, vocals, violin, drums, banjo and ukulele lessons to 1,600 students aged 4 to 84, said academy founder and guitarist Marty Fort.

The Hall of Fame concert is a post-coronavirus shutdown party for most of 2020 and a field trip to rock and roll, he said.

“I like to see students, young and old, being able to achieve their goals,” he said, “to be able to see the transformation of a total beginner into a scene in a place like the ( Hall of Fame). “

Fort was able to book the concert at this prestigious venue due to a trend in these historic locations, he said. Famous venues like Whiskey a Go Go in LA and Carnegie Hall in New York have opened their stages to outside bands if those bands can show they have talent and a good reason to have the stage. With other music schools having taken the stage at the Hall of Fame’s Foster Theater, Fort has ensured its students a chance to shine.

A day after the Hall of Fame show, Brady, a growing eighth grader at Dutch Fork Middle, turns 13. The show will be a rock and roll inaugurating his adolescence. He will sing “Rock And Roll All Nite” by KISS and “We’r Not Going to Take It” by Twisted Sisters, a teenage rebellion anthem for a new teenager.

“I probably want to be a famous singer or actor in Hollywood,” Brady said.

In an age when a viral social media clip can propel a person to stardom, the show could be their breakthrough. But even though his progression is a bit slower than overnight success, with eight years of singing and three years of tuition under his belt, he said the Hall of Fame show would give him experience for achieve these goals. He has sung in local recitals and performed at Columbia’s Town Theater, but this will be his first rock and roll show and a concert out of town, a milestone for young musicians.

“For our students, it gives them a real breakthrough in the experience of what it’s like to perform on an important stage,” said Fort. The show “also gives them education on how to prepare for and see the show through.”

Fort’s own band, Capital City Playboys, also perform in the Hall of Fame, and beloved Columbia band Hot Lava Monster are reuniting.

Shane Manning has been taking guitar lessons at Columbia Arts Academy for the past seven years. Now a student at River Bluff High, he is looking for experiences that will guide him towards his future in music. He hopes the Hall of Fame show will allow him to be exposed to others looking for a guitarist or open up more performance opportunities. His main hope right now is that he doesn’t spoil on stage, he said.

The Hall of Fame show is the next step in what Columbia Arts Academy has been doing for him from the start.

It “pushes me to be a better musician,” he said.

David Travis Bland won the 2017 SC Press Association Judson Chapman Award for Community Journalism. He joined The State in 2018. He writes on crime, law enforcement and the criminal justice system. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2010.
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