Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Girls Rock! Charlotte promotes empowerment in young girls

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/26/18/38/urqTs.Em.138.jpeg|316
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Lead singer of the Rag Dolls Cameryn Lytton, 13, center, rocks with band members, Jesse Wetly, 9, left, on lead guitar and Paris Coughlin 14, on basson Thursday at Girls Rock! Charlotte. The program will host its first show at the Blumenthal on Friday. Girls Rock! Charlotte combines music education with leadership workshops to build self-esteem and help young girls feel more empowered.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/26/18/38/7vZAt.Em.138.jpeg|186
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Billie Wetly, 12, left, and Eileen Scott, 13, right, Monica Mancillas 11, laugh during a talk about social media on Thursday at Girls Rock! Charlotte. The program will host its first show at the Blumenthal on Friday. Girls Rock! Charlotte combines music education with leadership workshops to build self-esteem and help young girls feel more empowered.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/26/18/38/1t7IyC.Em.138.jpeg|159
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Girls Rock! Charlotte summer camp founder Kelly Finley, center, gathers the girls on stage for instructions. The program will host its first show at the Blumenthal on Friday. Girls Rock! Charlotte combines music education with leadership workshops to build self-esteem and help young girls feel more empowered.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/26/18/38/61VHw.Em.138.jpeg|153
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Rag Dolls’ band members rock on stage during rehearsal on Thursday. From left to right: Cameryn Lytton, 13, on lead guitar, Jesse Wetly, 9, lead singer, Grace Ulla, 12, on drums and Paris Coughlin, 14, on bass. The program will host its first show at the Blumenthal on Friday. Girls Rock! Charlotte combines music education with leadership workshops to build self-esteem and help young girls feel more empowered.

More Information


For the past week, 19 young female musicians have called the Blumenthal’s Stage Door Theater their home.

Every morning, the novice musicians, ages 10 to 16, at Girls Rock! Charlotte arrive between 8 and 9 a.m. ready to rock with their volunteer music teachers and camp counselors. They yell their call-and-response mantra: “What’s your instrument? It’s my voice!”

In its first year, Girls Rock! Charlotte is a part of a national movement to empower young girls through music lessons, band practices and workshops on various topics. The girls will show off the culmination of their week’s work at their rock concert Friday night in the Stage Door Theater.

The week’s project was a big one. In five days, they would learn the basics of a musical instrument of their choice – either the keyboard, drums, bass, guitar or vocals – write a new song with their bandmates and get it performance-ready.

“A fair number of them came in and they didn’t know each other,” said Kelly Finley, co-director of the Charlotte camp. “Now by the end of the week, they’re best friends and talking and giggling and having a good old time.”

By Thursday afternoon’s rehearsal, bands such as The Ragdolls and The Hometown Heroes performed like seasoned rock stars. The girls sang songs about self-empowerment, and everyone in the room cheered them on – even when some forgot their lines or missed a beat.

For 13-year-old Hannah Bauerle, learning how to play the drums has been fun, but she’s enjoyed meeting girls who are just like her a whole lot more.

“Every young girl should have something like Girls Rock! because it’s helpful,” she said. “Everyone here is looking for a confidence boost and also wanting to play instruments.”

For the first year, Finely and Shannon Bauerle, co-director and Hannah Bauerle’s mom, tried to keep the camp small so they weren’t overwhelmed. Next year, they’re planning on having up to 30 girls at the Blumenthal.

“All these girls have a common struggle – lack of self-esteem, confidence – and they’re able to be in a safe place where they can open up,” Shannon Bauerle said. “Before they know it, they’re not alone anymore. They feel like they can really talk about what’s going on with them and they feel like they can build an action plan, and they leave here rock stars.”

Sabin: 704-358-6194; Twitter: @samsabin923
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com