At first, the notion of rock bands raising money to support a classical music training program might sound like an odd sort of crossover.
But to the musicians in the high-energy funk rock band Frobeck, one of two groups performing at Saturday’s “Rock the Future” benefit in Petaluma, it makes perfect sense.
“We wouldn’t be here, doing what we do, if not for youth programs that taught us how to play music,” said Alex Sammon, 39, of Oakland, Frobeck’s saxophonist.
The money raised at this weekend’s show at the Phoenix, also starring the local indie rock quartet Trebuchet, will help send the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra on its 10-day European tour in June.
The Youth Orchestra’s itinerary includes two performances in Austria, at venues in Salzburg and Vienna, and a third concert in Budapest, Hungary.
As the rockers in Forbeck and Trebuchet explained, there’s not much of a gap between performers and educators, since so many professional musicians also give lessons or teach classes on the side.
“All of us in the band also teach music,” said Frobeck singer and organist Spencer Burrows, 39. of Sebastopol, “so any chance we get to help young musicians, we’ll do that.”
The Trebuchet quartet also has a connection to the local music education community, because the band grew out of campus friendships at Sonoma State University.
“We all went to Sonoma State and got our music degrees there,” said singer and keyboardist Lauren Haile, 32. of Petaluma, whose husband, Paul Haile, plays drums with the band. “My husband and I both teach music. We see that if you want to continue to have live music, you want to support musical education.”
Trebuchet has an ongoing relationship with the Santa Rosa Symphony. In 2015, the quartet and Ben Taylor, the symphony’s director of education, recorded an original composition titled “Rivers Out of Streams” with the Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra, featuring string arrangements by Taylor.
“There is something special about Sonoma County’s rock and indie music scene,” Haile said, “and that’s because of music education here. We value music of really good quality.”
But just because “Rock the Future” is raising money for a serious purpose, don’t get the idea that it won’t be a great party.
Burrows of Frobeck said he’s particularly excited about performing at Saturday’s fundraiser.
“We’re going to play some new songs written by the entire group,” Burrows said. “Our music is great for dancers, and the Phoenix has a huge dance floor,”
You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his Arts blog at arts.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.