Eugene Weekly : Music : 8.2.07

Be a Rock Star
Camp teaches mad music skillz

We’ve all played around with the idea of being a rock star. Whether our rock star personas were full blown MTV fixtures or coffeeshop artists, there is something about the term “rock star” that changes in style and definition but remains timeless in its appeal to young artists. However, a good rock star is more than just, well, a star. Becoming a musician may be the hardest part of the gig; it takes dedication, creativity and hard work. Luckily, there are people out there who are willing to help young artists, and some of them are right here in Eugene.

Eleven Eyes bandleader Tim McLaughlin hosts the first-ever Music’s Edge summer rock camp for kids Aug. 6-10 at the WOW Hall. The camp is designed for ages 11-18 and encourages kids of all skill levels to come in and learn from McLaughlin and other experienced local musicians, including Zak Johnson and Larry Wayte. Camp ends with the kids on the WOW Hall stage for a closing concert Friday, Aug. 10. “Our goal is to give the kids a boost in their own musical journey and put on a killer show,” McLaughlin says.

Music’s Edge campers will be divided into three bands based on age and ability. Each day the camp starts with warm-ups and tuning. The morning is dedicated to music education, which includes band rehearsals and classes. After lunch, the kids are treated to a guest musician performance, and they finish each day by jamming out with more band practices. The students will practice a set of rock, funk, jazz, blues, hip hop and pop tunes for the last-day concert — but in addition to the WOW Hall show, one of the bands from the camp will be chosen to perform at the Lane County Fair on the Youth Stage on Sunday, Aug. 19. “It’s amazing what you can do with a group of young, talented musicians when you have a week of non-stop rehearsing, learning and playing music,” McLaughlin says.

McLaughlin, who currently performs in several bands, including Eleven Eyes, Everyone Orchestra, Son Mela’o and Cubist Quartet, says of his goals in starting the camp, “As a professional performer and musician, I know that the best inspiration and motivation comes from two things: your teachers and your experiences.” He praises Music’s Edge’s instructors and guest artists, noting that they “have a great knack for sharing their knowledge and relating to kids.”

Music’s Edge 2007 summer camp for kids age 11-18 takes place Aug. 6-10 at the WOW Hall. Tuition is $229. For more information, see