Nearly all of Santa Clarita’s sixth- and seventh-graders celebrated the power of music and arts education on May 18 at Rock the Rhythm-Beat the Odds, a joint venture between College of the Canyons and Remo, Inc., which took place in Cougar Stadium. Unfortunately, despite having more than 7,000 students in attendance on the field and close to another 3,000 attendees in the stands, the Guinness Book of World Records ruled that the event came up short in its attempt to break the standing record for largest percussion ensemble.
“The attempt at the record was just a part of what this event was truly about — shining a spotlight on the need to keep arts education alive in schools and what can happen when a community comes together in support of developing the whole child,” said Adam Philipson, managing director of the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons. “And, in that mission, I think everyone can agree, we succeeded with flying colors.”
The day’s event was a culmination of a year-long program of music and rhythm training in the valley’s sixth- and seventh-grade classrooms, delivered by staff from Remo, Inc. and the PAC’s K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program. The afternoon was filled with music performances and visits from a “who’s-who” list of the drumming world’s greatest performers, including Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, John Densmore of The Doors, and Rikki Rockett of Poison. The throngs of colorfully clad kids — each armed with ‘sound shape’ percussion instrument produced by Remo, Inc. — were also treated with a surprise visit from former Academy of the Canyons student-turned-actor Tyler Posey, who stars on MTV’s “Teen Wolf.”
Local VIPs who turned out for the event included board members from the college and local school districts, city council members and representatives from local congressional and assembly offices. College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook and Remo Belli served as honorary masters of ceremony for the day’s event.
“We are disappointed about the decision to not accept our record breaking attempt, but won’t allow that to overshadow the success of the program and the magnitude and impact of our celebratory culmination,” said Belli. “Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds demonstrated the Santa Clarita Valley’s genuine community spirit, and showed that the Beat the Odds program really does work.
“This event will live forever in the minds of those who were a part of it,” added Belli, “and this community will feel the reverberations for years to come.”
For more information about Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds, or the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program please contact Adam Philipson at (661) 362-5305 or visit www.canyonsPAC.com.