Two bands with members from Amherst schools will compete on stage Feb. 11 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for round three of the 21st annual High School Rock Off.
Last Minute — an all-girl group made up of Steele High School students Jordan Timko, Meredith Funderberg, Olivia Gendics, and Lani Biere — will be one of 41 acts from Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island taking part in this year’s event.
“I’ve been playing guitar for about two years,” said Timko, 17. “We just wanted to get a group of girls together and have a good time. We all enjoy the passion of music and we really like to show that to our audience. This is actually all of our first times performing in a competition like this.”
Christian Gendics, Olivia’s 11-year-old brother and a Nord Middle School student, is part of the group Two Fisted Juice Box, which will also be performing.
Both siblings play the drums, Olivia since age five and Christian for the past year and a half.
Their father, Brad Gendics, is an instructor at Ron Zehel Guitar Center in Avon Lake and has taught music for more than 25 years.
“It’s a great opportunity to play in front of people and they treat the kids like royalty at the Rock Hall,” he said. “The stage is set up very nice. The lighting is great. The crowd is always a good size and enthusiastic. Everything is perfect for those kids. It gets some nervousness out of the way so they can see what it’s like to play in front of a crowd of that scale.”
The winning band with take home $1,000 in cash, $1,000 in gift cards to Guitar Center, and $250 for their high school’s music program.
They will also receive tickets to attend Bon Jovi’s concert on March 19 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, compliments of the band. Competing bands can submit videos to Bon Jovi to be its opening act.
Second place will get $250 in cash and $100 for their school’s music program. Third place receives $100 in cash.
Tickets to the Rock Off cost $10 and also include admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.