Kalamazoo Academy of Rock

Mike Broyles, RUFramed Photography

On Sunday, July 28, beginning at 1 pm, nine Kalamazoo Academy of Rock bands will take turns entertaining a crowd in the Old Dog Tavern's outdoor beer garden for their 10th anniversary concert. Cara Lieurance talks to KAR general manager Bob Wallis and two young musicians enrolled in KAR - Kirsten Nelson (guitar, vocals, bass, drums) and Gordie Jennings (keyboards, vocals) - about how the academy gets kids started on the rock & roll path while teaching them valuable lessons about working with others, time management, self-discipline, and more. 

Along with the nine current KAR bands, the celebration will also include an 8-member alumni band, and a surprise mystery guest who will appear on Sunday. The celebration is expect to last until around 8 pm.

Academy Of Rock Teaches Teens Band Dynamics

Aug 7, 2014
The Kalamazoo Academy of Rock thursday night band at the old Gibson Guitar Factory
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story called the academy's thursday night band The Copacetics. Not all of the members of the student band are in The Copacetics.  

The Gibson Guitar factory shut its doors in the 1980s after running for almost 70 years. But on weeknights in Kalamazoo, you can still hear the music that made it famous emanating from the now dusty, discolored windows of the old building.