By Mike Rosso
Since 2011, many Chaffee County teens have learned the fine art of rockin’ out, thanks to Rok Skool, a musical education program offered through Articipate, a Salida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping arts education alive and thriving in the 21st century. The founders, Jill and Trevor “Bones” Davis, saw an alarming trend in the defunding of the arts in public schools and have created a variety of programs and scholarships to provide these needed artistic experiences to young people who may otherwise not have the opportunity.
Rok Skool currently has three levels; Junior Varsity (Middle School), Varsity (High School) and Collegiate (upper classmen). Each band meets once a week for an hour and a half; members are also required to be studying their instrument outside of Rok Skool and must practice Rok Skool material a minimum of 15 minutes per day.
Bones directs the bands, and the program also has a horn teacher, Mathias Roberts, and a string teacher, Alan Mueller, a sophomore who plays guitar, bass and drums for the Varsity and Collegiate bands.
“We let the members arrange [the music] as much as possible with a “guided discovery” teaching approach,” says Bones. Band members choose the songs they’d like to learn and perform, and those run the gamut from ‘70s classic rock to contemporary rock and pop.