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Triton Central community enjoys rock show

The Triton Central rock club perform with the choir and members of the band during Thursday night’s rock show. Almost 90 students participated in this year’s show.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

The Triton Central community got up on its feet and boogied the night away Thursday night in the high school auditorium.

With the Triton Central guitar club, backed by a horn section, playing “Twist and Shout,” several Triton Central community members couldn’t help themselves but stand up and dance in the aisles.

The song made famous by The Beatles was the second-to-last song performed during the third Rock Show presented at the high school. This was the second year that the show was open to the public and featured the guitar club, which is made up of more than 20 students, the high school and middle school choirs, and members of the band.

In all, almost 90 Triton Central students participated in the 20-song show.

One of them was eighth-grade ukulele player Sophia Robertson, who wrote and performed an original song, “Toxic.”

“I’ve just never been apart of this school this size that has this much talent,” guitar club co-sponsor Rich Ballard said afterward. “I mean, we’ve just got a lot of talented kids. It’s all the kids.”

The idea for a show grew out of Ballard and choir director Nate Foley playing guitar together three years ago. Ballard, who keeps guitars in his classroom, discovered that some students were interested in playing with them.

When he discovered some of them could legitimately play, it sparked the idea for a guitar club at the high school.

The idea was to find students who wanted to learn how to play and at the same time, build a show for those students who were ready to play in front of an audience.

The first year, the concert was performed in front of only students.

Last year was the first time that the public was invited, and the show continued to grow this year.

“I drive them pretty hard,” Ballard said. “I’ve got a coaching background, (and I) tell them you can’t worry about messing up. Each year, it seems to get bigger and bigger. This is just an amazing night.”

The concert featured music from classic rock bands and musicians such as The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder, as well as more modern musicians such as Sam Smith and Coldplay.

The guitar club meets every Wednesday for about two hours.

Working with Foley, who performed on stage with the students, and band director Joey Shepherd, along with rock club co-sponsor Brad Miller, the group put together the school’s third rock show.

Leading up to Thursday night, the production rehearsed six times in the past week, including a four-hour rehearsal on May 4.

They also performed in front of both the middle and high schools in separate shows prior to Thursday night.

“The kids, by the time everyone saw them tonight, they were pretty tight,” Ballard said. “They were ready to go.”

Moving forward, Ballard expects the show to continue to grow. He said the incoming freshman class brings talented students.

“Each year it’s evolved like it was tonight where it was just amazing,” he said. “We’ve got so much talent moving from the middle school, at some point I’m wondering where we’re going to hit the ceiling, but I don’t see it happening soon.”