Luther Burbank Middle School PTSA held Luther Rocks The 80s on Friday, April 24, and raised approximately $2000 towards promoting the arts in education, according to event organizers.
“I was encouraged to see so many parents and community members either donate or come out to support this event,” commented Luther Rocks The 80s co-chairperson Nicole Kvarda.
Ten student bands hit the stage with hits from the 1980s, including Unanimous, The Fierce Fooshizzles, Furious 5, Krooked, I Rock U Roll, Electric Groove, The Explosions, The Cooli-os, Antonium Tanix and Broken Bones.
Cheyenne Arroyo from Luther’s Spotlight Choir sang and played guitar and the Yellow Jacket Faculty Band also performed. The school’s Associated Student Body (ASB) also performed and held an 80s costume contest.
The Yellow Jacket Faculty Band, comprised of teacher Luke Gattuso (guitar), teacher Deborah Reynolds (guitar); Assistant Principal Laura Vinyard (vocals), Choir Director Tony Redman (keyboard) and Assistant Principal Robyn Anders (bass) performed “Walking on Sunshine.”
“Many local businesses, including Krimson Salon, Rocket Fizz, Universal Studios, Personal Pilates and Ra Organic Spa, donated raffle items,” explained Kvarda.
“Others sold food or provided services at the event and donated a portion of their proceeds. Santoro’s Submarine Sandwiches donated 100% of their sales from the event to the PTSA! It shows that the community sees the value in keeping the arts alive in public education.”
Kvarda also felt special appreciation to Ed and Laura Wynne and the staff of Burbank Music Academy who coordinated the bands and donated their services to prepare the bands for the show.
“Hats off to the students who were brave enough to step out of their comfort zones, try something new, learn to work as a group in their bands, practice for a month and step onto a stage to make music for an audience to enjoy,” added Kvarda.
“For many of them, this was their first time playing an instrument or singing in front of an audience. Most adults wouldn’t be willing to take that chance.”