November 20, 2016 by thewashingteenian
Marinia Powell, Staff Reporter and Senior Staff Photographer
Jiala Devine, Staff Reporter
HAGERSTOWN, Md.- Next to Pizza & Pretzel Creations, under Sol Yoga, down a staircase and through a set of gym doors sits probably the most casual place for music lessons around. Evolution Rock School was established in 2011 and is the one of the best places in the area for bass, guitar, drum, and singing lessons.
“This is the only school where you get to play with other musicians and be a part of a band instead of solo,” says singer Emily Mutchler. This seems to be a big difference between Evolution Rock School and other programs offered by schools. At ERS, there’s a good mix of experienced and inexperienced musicians matched together; their personalities are kept in mind so nobody is the odd person out.
“Everybody rocks here,” says Abby Briton, who plays bass, guitar, ukelele and sings.
Most of the girls attending Evolution Rock School found out about it from their mothers after expressing an interest in music. “Before this place there was another and Dusty worked here so I tried out here,” explains student Taylor Bassler. Bassler says she was inspired to get into music because “my parents are friends with the owners and my uncle had a guitar.” Taylor plays guitar, bass, and a little piano.
Guitarist Serenity Prather gave us a personal reason for coming. “My biological father would only teach my older brothers and when my parents broke up, I started playing with the guitar.”
When asked what their worst experience was with the school, Abby said. “The first concert where I forgot everything the second before!” “First concerts are the worst!” says Emily, “It’s just, you’re hot, and you got lights on you and you’re just like ‘Uhhh…”
Payton Wattz, the drummer and youngest member of the band at ten years old, she explained that as far was worst experiences go, “I have none.” She also said her school music program didn’t help her, so she came to ERS and it seems she hasn’t looked back since.
When asked what the best experience since coming to the school Emily gave us this: “My favorite was the last [most recent] concert we did. I didn’t get cotton mouth and I got all the words right and I was like, ‘Yes! I’ve rocked it!’ I finally reached that level of comfort on stage. That was my best moment so far.”
“There are no boundaries.” said Emily when asked how comfortable everyone in the band is with each other. “We’re all a big happy family.” says Abby. Abby and Payton intend to pursue music professionally, but for some of the girls music is not forever, it’s temporary before they move on to their respective interests and futures.
When asked if music ever conflicted with their schedules, Emily and Taylor both replied “Yes!” and Emily went on to say, “Last week I didn’t make anything because I was in a different state [with ERS], and you never wanna miss a band practice because things you learn, you have to learn so much in that time frame that if you miss one then you’re so far behind everyone,” Serenity explains.“I dropped a sport. Baseball.”
When asked if there were sacrifices they were happy they made, Emily summed up everybody’s view on the subject saying, “Oh yeah! Cause it usually pays off!”
The entire band agreed they would pursue music if the opportunity came up, but they try to think practically about the future. That said, none of the members plan to leave for other programs in the foreseeable future.