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Sounds of teen spirit sweep the cafeteria

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A group of students sit dispersed around a table in the back corner of a lunchroom, surrounded by other high schoolers who munch on their sandwiches, talk about the football game on Friday, study for the test next period, and mind their own business. It is at this moment that they take their instruments out and start to play. The friends found their common interest by encounter at school in the cafeteria, where they continue to share tunes and play together. Senior Lux Jordan-Thunderrock plays the acoustic guitar and sings. He mainly sticks to folk, alternative, and rock on the guitar but has a wide range of taste when it comes to singing.

“At one point, I picked [the guitar] up, and then I put it back down,” Thunderrock said. “I started playing more seriously again this summer, and I shadowed somebody for a while who performs at MadLife.”

New junior Alex Ducros plays the guitar, bass, and drums. He also sings quite a bit. Ducros acquired all of these talents by teaching himself though he now takes guitar lessons at School of Rock to further improve his skills.

“I’ll listen to anything, but I mostly play metal and classic rock,” Ducros said. “I’ll do acoustic to anything.”

Junior Jake Turner contributes with her voice, but she also knows how to play the piano, bass, guitar, ukele, and ocarina. For Turner, there are two main reasons for bringing her instrument into the lunchroom.

“One, being that other kids usually play, like, trap music, so what’s the difference between us and them?” Turner said. “And then stage fright. It helps me so that I can play in front of people and get used to it because I want to play when I get older, but I’m really anxious. We don’t play loud enough for a lot of people to hear it, so the people around us, they’ll look back at us a few times, but we also have people stare, and they’ll listen to us. We’ve had a few compliments.”

The three students mostly play solo, but they sometimes exchange songs and make music in the cafeteria.

“We kind of just met,” Thunderrock said. “It’s kind of like ‘Yo, I like your shirt. Yeah, I know that band.’ I know we were talking about [forming a band]. I really enjoy music and sharing music with others.”

All three students are in favor of the concept of a music club at school that most closely resembles a band.

“I definitely think that would be awesome to have like a glee club music club,” Thunderrock said. “The problem is Markham, the chorus director, has too much on his plate. We have to find some other teacher to sponsor it.”

“I don’t think we should have a program,” Turner said, “but I think we should have a club for students that want to bring their instruments to school because it could teach them how to get along with fellow band members or show them how to get into that profession. We had [a club for musicians] at our oldschool. You brought whatever instrument you liked to play and you met other people in the group that liked to play that. We could either A) form a band or B) tell each other techniques.”

Despite some of the negative stares the group has received for playing, the members have plans to bring their instruments into the cafeteria again in the future. The motives for each individual differ, but they all agree on one thing: having fun. For Thunderrock, making music in the lunchroom is a part of embracing his senior year.

“The guy was like ‘Turn it down!’,” Thunderrock said. “One teacher made us turn it all the way down. No one else cared. I mean, if I get a mic and an amp in, I’d sing in the back corner! I don’t care. At this point, I got nothing to lose. It’s senior year, and we don’t have a club or room to do this in, so might as well.”

Ducros hopes their music will bring positive vibes to the lunchroom.

“Music is music,” Ducros said. “It makes people happy, and it changes moods. It makes you think more. When life sucks, [music]’s a place where you can escape.”

Turner, Thunderrock, and Ducros sing along and play outside in the courtyard. Their first appearance with their instruments in the lunchroom was in mid-August.

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