Taking its cue from the first girls rock camp started in Portland, Oregon a decade ago, organizers in Orange County were readying to replicate the model for a week of intensive music programming slated for August. The inaugural OC Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls was set to happen at Backline Studios in Garden Grove with day-long workshops, instrument instruction, band practice and a showcase finale when a letter of postponement issued yesterday put the ambitious endeavor on hold until next summer.
"The decision to postpone was collective," says Volunteer Coordinator Candace Hansen. "Our enrollment opened in June and as we have learned, most parents have planned their kids summer by spring. Since none of us are parents ourselves this was definitely a learning experience!" Taking from that lesson, applicants will be solicited and accepted much earlier next year since the interest is definitely there, even if the availability wasn't this time around.
Hansen's own interest was sparked as a college student in a Women's Studies class researching and writing about sexism in the music industry when she came across the original camp in Portland. "My professor urged me to go to the program so I went the following summer and had a life changing experience," she recalls. "I have volunteered at the Portland camp for the last two years and feel like this is a vital program for girls in every community and want to bring it to girls in Orange County."
In that effort, there has been monthly fundraising shows for the OC camp at Ibiza Bar & Nightclub in Huntington Beach. The performers have all been what future women musicians can aspire to with female fronted bands such as ¡Aparato!, Del Carmen, Spare Parts for Broken Hearts taking the stage. Though the camp is postponed, the show goes on with the next benefit set for July 25 at the same venue.
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Even with the original programming open to young girls ages 8-17 postponed, Hansen and crew are looking to do a weekend session for women 18 and older sometime in October on their behalf. "Ladies Rock Camp is a condensed version of the girls camp that raises funds to aid scholarships for the girls summer program," Hansen says. "Women attend, form a band, learn to play an instrument, play a show and participate in workshops similar to the girls program but geared towards women."
"Next year, we are planning on offering lots of financial aid and scholarships," she adds, already looking to the future. "We want to make the program available to every girl who wants to go!"
Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls Orange County benefit show with The Fallen Stars, Without the Blonde, Instagator, Scarlet A, the Purple Mums and We Are She Is, Juy 25 at Ibiza Bar & Nightclub, 18528 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach. 21+