Some Surrey students have their own “School of Rock”-like teacher.
Moses Myung looks nothing like the character played by Jack Black, the actor in the 2003 comedy movie, but he’s as passionate about classic rock, and loves to teach his Surrey Christian School students about all that guitar-based music.
He leads the school’s Contemporary Music 12 and 11 classes, better known as “Rockademy,” and helps stage Rock Fest concerts that showcase the student-musicians.
The latest, a war-themed concert dubbed “How Does the Grass Grow?,” features the music of Pink Floyd, Bad Company, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, The Doors and several other bands.
A 90-minute video of the concert was posted to the school’s YouTube channel on Thursday (Jan. 27), in a move online due to COVID concerns about an in-person audience.
This time around, 18 students of Myung’s class hit the stage during Rock Fest.
“The kind of music I teach them about is classic rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s mostly, simply because I believe the musicianship from that time period was very strong,” said Myung, who has taught at Surrey Christian for 24 years.
“With the war theme, there were a lot of war songs, with the Vietnam War and also the Cold War. There were just a lot of great songs written during that time.”
With 14 songs rehearsed since mid-November, Myung and students recorded the concert a week ahead of its YouTube debut Jan. 27.
”We did a war-themed concert a few years ago, too, so this is the second one we’ve done,” the teacher explained. “We studied what the songs are all about, and the students went out and interviewed some people, war refugees and war veterans, and those are in the video as well — their experiences. Those are some compelling stories.”
In ‘School of Rock’ style, Surrey students sing anti-war songs in another ‘Rockademy’ concert.
Some photos from the latest showcase at @SurreyChristian, with video at link.
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— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) January 28, 2022
It’s all a history lesson for the teen students, about a different time and music culture.
“With 18 students, it’s the biggest size of this class so far, in the 11th year now,” Myung noted. “It’s been quite popular, but you know what, not a lot of kids play guitar, bass or drums. I don’t know how old you are, but that’s not the way it was years ago, because it was the thing to do. Kids do other things now, usually something that requires two thumbs, more than anything else. But when they find out about this program, sometimes what I call those closet guitar players, the closet drummers, they come out and give it a shot in this class.”
When asked about “School of Rock,” Myung doesn’t sound comfortable with the comparison.
“I think the idea for both is to inspire these students to play music and learn about it,” he said. “When you watch the movie, he has a passion, although he wasn’t very honest about himself and whatnot, but he got the young kids to play music.
“For me,” he added, “it’s really cool when kids sit down and actually start talking about bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. I mean, regular teenagers have no idea what that is. Some don’t even know who Christina Aguilera is, it’s funny – she’s totally out, ancient history to these kids. So how would they know Deep Purple, right?”
The Rockademy student-musicians featured in the latest concert are J.J. Antolin, Dorothy Cui, Sarah de la Rambelje, Briar Engbers, Kimberly Hofoss, Anna Jang, Alex Kim, Roy Kim, Elise Kruse, Sein Lee, Moses Myung, Nadya Nuyen, Hansel Park, Isaac Sachdeva, Genoel Taborada, Siena van Tol, Tulivu Wamai, Ezekiel Westby and Kevin Yang. Stage manager Shannon Peng did sound with Myung and also camera work with Justin Zhu, and lighting is by Victor Kind. Myung edited the video and mixed audio.
Also posted to YouTube is “The Man Who Sold the World,” a Rocktoberfest concert recorded in 2020.
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