Sharing the Stage Show to Play at Red Bike
Eleanor Yarkin, Reporter | Oct. 19, 2018
Sharing the Stage is an island tradition in which student artists have the opportunity to perform in a large venue and receive critique from local professional bands.
Student bands selected to play at Sharing the Stage will open for Seattle-based group Snuff Redux at the Red Bike on Nov. 16, and will also receive two sessions of mentorship from professional musicians in the community.
The show will start at 8 p.m. and be opened by the student band 20 Eyes, solo performer Senior Dimitrius Brown, and group performers juniors Emmett Sherman and Omar Peck, and freshmen Theo Newcomb, Simon Grant, and Aiden Clarke.
“I am looking forward to getting myself out as an independent artist,” Brown said.
Harris Levinson, a former Spanish teacher at the high school and a founder of Sharing the Stage, spoke to the past triumphs of the opportunity.
“This [partnership] has allowed for unexpected collaborations and artistic growth that amounted to successful live shows for performers of all levels,” he said.
Student openers will be mentored by both Snuff Redux and a professional musician in the community.
“[The mentors] view my music differently so they can give suggestions or ideas that I didn’t have before,” Brown said.
The last Sharing the Stage featured the band General Mojo’s, along with 15 student musicians, most of which performed original compositions.
These experiences and performances are just what Levinson and fellow founders Fred Strong and Rob Bordner intended when they created Sharing the Stage in 2009.
“We decided to start Sharing the Stage in order to give young people an opportunity to share their musical talents,” Levinson said.
The production has held 18 shows on Vashon so far, and is now organized by Pete Welch, Alison Shirk, and Tara and Rick Vanselow.
“We are all very into music and love supporting youth,” Tara Vanselow said.
Many student artists who perform at Sharing the Stage have previously played at high school open mics. Sharing the Stage allows these groups and individuals to perform in a public setting.
“It’s a good next step where you get to play in front of an audience in a different venue,” said Vanselow.
Auditions for students are open to soloists and bands. In the past, anywhere from three to ten student groups have auditioned.
“We prioritize … students who are writing their own lyrics, writing their own music and, writing their own songs,” Vanselow said.
Snuff Redux, the headliner band for the upcoming show, is a rock’n’roll band created by Skyler Ford and Daniel Chesney in Seattle in 2013.
Since then, two new members, guitarist Dylan Arlick and drummer Ziggy Comer, have joined, and the band has completed a country-wide tour. Snuff Redux released their latest album, Denim American, last June.
Both headliner and student bands receive lots of support from the audience, and the turn-out for these events is usually quite successful.
“The student community is so supportive of one another, so everyone comes out to hear their friends and stay for the show,” Vanselow said.
Sharing the Stage shows are also popular among adult community members.
“Seeing the way high school students and an intergenerational audience support our opening acts and headliners has proven to be [very gratifying],” Levinson said.
For more information on the upcoming Sharing the Stage event, visit sharingthestage.com.