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ROCKIT ACADEMY Set To Hold Auditions In January

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 @ 1:53 PM


At Brookdale Community College On January 11; New Scholarships Offered For 2020 Programs

- advertisement -
Rockit Academy, New Jersey’s number one rock band program for young aspiring musicians, ages eight to 18 (high school seniors) and Brookdale Community College students, will hold auditions on Saturday, January 11 at the Academy’s new home on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ.

Rockit Academy (also known as Rockit Live Foundation) is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that endeavors to build character as well as talent, instilling confidence and team skills, with an emphasis on community service. The Foundation's defining focus is outreach and music education, and, unlike similar programs, auditions students and offers full and partial scholarships to the program.

“The secret ingredient at the heart of our program is passion and charity, with music being the international language to bridge all cultures, and reaching all aspiring artists at every level of economic status,” says Bruce Gallipani, Founder and Executive Director, Rockit Live Foundation. “We are proud and honored to make this happen and announce our new partnership with Brookdale Community College.”

The Academy will offer several scholarships in the coming year, valued at $5,000 each. Scholarships include free private lessons, band class and live performances. The Rockit Academy curriculum takes on full-length albums and themes to deliver outstanding renditions of classics like THE WHO's Tommy, PINK FLOYD's Dark Side of the Moon, Janis Joplin's Pearl, a tribute to Woodstock and THE BEATLESSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Students have the opportunity to perform at professional venues as well as meet and perform with celebrity mentors.

“As arts education continues to disappear from school curriculums, I realize more and more the importance of programs like Rockit,” says Rockit Artist Advisory Board member Maureen Van Zandt. “My time spent with the Rockit musicians and their amazing staff led by Bruce Gallipani has given me hope that rock music will continue to be respected and cherished, and will live on. They inspire me, astound me, and make me very proud to be involved.”

Since its inception, Rockit has worked with more than 1,700 young musicians to kick-start their careers and assist in leading them to the most prestigious music colleges in the United States. Currently, Rockit hosts twenty percent of its student body funded through scholarships. Participants in Rockit Academy are selected through an audition process. All levels of experience and musical genres are welcome, including beginners, who progress quickly with personal goals and determination. Rockit offers two levels of programs – one for ages eight through 18 (high school seniors) and one for Brookdale Community College students.

Says Rockit Artist Advisory Board member and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steven Van Zandt, “Having devoted my life to educating kids about rock music, I was thrilled when Maureen introduced me to Rockit. They do a fantastic job, with both passion and expertise.”

Rockit Academy alumni having gone on to tour with Steve Vai and performed with Les Paul Trio, Keith Urban, The Marshall Tucker Band, Animals vocalist Eric Burdon, Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny, Zakk Wylde, Carmine Appice, Ricky Byrd, Gary U.S. Bonds, Jon Bon Jovi, Debbi Harry, The Rascals’ Eddie Brigati, and many more.

Other Rockit Academy students and alumni have continued their careers with television appearances, recordings and performances:

-Current Rockit student Camille De La Cruz starred in Broadway’s School of Rock the Musical and will appear on the upcoming Netflix special Sack Lunch Bunch with John Mulaney.

-Alumna Cari Elise Fletcher, also known as FLETCHER, released several singles this year, with “Undrunk” charting at number 16 on Billboard’s U.S. Pop Top 20 chart. -Christine Meisenhelter, a member of the Rockit Academy from 2009 to 2015, joined singer Conan Gray for his 2019 national tour. Meisenhelter graduated from the University of Southern California earlier this year with a major in music performance. She is currently on Rockit’s Artist Advisory Board. Rockit vocalist and alumni Jacquie Lee starred on NBC TV's The Voice and is currently recording with Atlantic Records. Lee also now serves on Rockit’s Artist Advisory Board. Rockit was created in 2004 by Brooklyn-born drummer Bruce Gallipani. The program was inspired by Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show and the concept that rock music can provide positive reinforcement and well-being for today's youth. Gallipani would then go on to follow in his mother and father’s footsteps, devoting time within his community and sharing his musical experience with others. After 11 years at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, Rockit has partnered with Brookdale Community College, opening doors for even more opportunity for the Academy and its students. Rockit’s future goals include a capital campaign to refurbish a building on the Brookdale campus and a partnership with Brookdale for college credit.

“We were able to bring two programs together that very much have synergy in our missions,” says Dr. David Stout, President of Brookdale Community College. “Bruce’s staff of talented educators and board members have made the difference in so many lives in helping young people along the path toward making their aspirations a reality. Their dedication, mentorship and community focus complement what we do at Brookdale every day across disciplines.”

Artist Advisory Board members include: Maureen & Steven Van Zandt, Carmine Appice, Susan & Eddie Brigati, Ricky Byrd, Steve Lacy, Jacquie Lee, Christine Meisenhelter, Rich Russo and Mark Weiss. These generous and civic minded artists have selflessly donated their time, talent and treasure to enriching the experience of the students that participate in this special and unique program.

For more information on Rockit Academy, its programs and applications, please visit www.rockitacademy.org.


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