RTTF House Band Live at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

This June, the RTTF House Band had the opportunity to play a live set at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The House Band took the stage as part of Hungry for Music’s Instrument Drive & Concert, which collects gently used instrument donations and distributes them to aspiring musicians around the globe. That includes Rock to the Future- Hungry for Music has donated countless guitars, keyboards, drum sets and basses for Rock to the Future students to rock on (a recent donation even included a keytar!).

After an arduous, 9-hour-long drive through the rain with a van packed full of equipment, the House Band spent the weekend exploring Cleveland and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Students from the Hendrix Music Academy, Campus International, the Salvation Army Youth, and Franklin Preparatory Steel Band also jammed on stage.

The House Band has been fine-tuning their set list of rock and pop all year during MusiCore, and it shows! They jammed on everything from Whitney Houston to Rage Against the Machine. Check them out:

We are so grateful to be included in Hungry for Music’s Instrument Drive. Not only is it super cool to play at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but the concert was a great send-off for the House Band’s four graduating seniors- Alexus, Jared, Lydia, and Richard. Congrats grads!

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The Music for All Ball ROCKED

The 5th annual Music for All Ball was a blast! 

Hosted by guest emcee Jammin’ Jessie of Radio 104.5, Philly musicians teamed up with Rock to the Future students to play one-of-a-kind collaborations in the historic Painted Bride’s Old City theater. The 90-minute variety show will featured classic covers and original songs by hip hop artist Chill Moody, Rogers Stevens of iconic alt-rock band Blind Melon, Domenic “Nicky” Palermo of the rock band NOTHING, and orchestral psych-folk outfit Grandchildren, plus a special VIP performance by jazz and blues musician Christopher Davis-Shannon. RTTF supporters jammed with our students and local artists from Philly’s music scene, hit up the selfie station, and scored some awesome prizes – all while supporting music education!

Rock to the Future’s awesome supporters blew our fundraising goal away – the Music for All Ball raised over $47,000 to support music education at RTTF. The generosity of our supporters means that hundreds of underserved Philadelphia kids and teens will have access to free and affordable music education in 2018 – and that rocks!

Thank you to our supporters, sponsors, and attendees! We’re already looking forward to next year’s ball.

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Making the Song: House Band and Weathervane Music Team Up To Record

In April, the Rock to the Future House Band went into Miner Street Studios to record their original song, Without You, with the help of Weathervane Music Organization and Blind Melon’s Rogers Stevens.

While the whole band helped write the song, guitarist Marc wrote the melody and vocalist Alexus wrote the lyrics. Alexus says that she was inspired by her experiences, and wanted to write a song about the ways that her friendships have evolved and changed through high school.

Weathervane Music Organization helped the House Band record and mix Without You professionally at Miner Street Recordings, right around the corner from RTTF headquarters. Band members had a first-hand lesson in the technology and techniques involved in recording a single. You can check out their hard work, and download Without You from Bandcamp.

Rogers Stevens, the guitarist of legendary alt-rock band Blind Melon, stopped by the studio to help the House Band come up with their awesome guitar solos. It’s not every day that the House Band gets to collaborate with a musician whose songs they cover!

Rogers and the House Band performed Without You as part of their set together during the Music for All Ball after their behind-the-scenes video.

The House Band aren’t the only RTTF students heading to the studios to record – all of the MusiCore After School students will record their original songs at Miner Street later this month.

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Music for All Ball 2018

This year, we’re giving the Music for All Ball a brand new sound. Hosted by guest emcee Jammin’ Jessie of Radio 104.5, Philly musicians will team up with Rock to the Future students to play exclusive tunes in the historic Painted Bride’s Old City theater. You won’t want to miss these one-of-a-kind collaborations from guest performers like hip hop artist Chill Moody, Rogers Stevens of iconic alt-rock band Blind Melon, Domenic “Nicky” Palermo of the rock band NOTHING, and orchestral psych-folk outfit Grandchildren. The 90-minute variety show will feature classic covers, original songs, and a Hall of Fame induction to celebrate Rock to the Future’s talented student musicians.

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The Higher Education Scholarship Fund Supports Rising (Rock) Stars

Rock to the Future is entering the second year of our Higher Education Scholarship Fund! The fund, established in honor of Jaime and Andrew Katz, will provide $1,000 awards to two of our five graduating seniors to attend college or trade school. The awards, Highest Achievement and Most Improved, honor the work that students have made in their academic and personal lives while taking part in the MusiCore after school program.

2018’s five graduating seniors Alexus, Jared, Lydia, Najah, and Richard are all eligible for scholarships.

According to Rock to the Future Founding Executive Director Jessica Craft, “The greatest obstacle for many students is finding the money to attend college or trade school. Our students work hard but unfortunately we’ve seen students passing up opportunities because they need an extra thousand dollars. The new scholarship fund will help these students achieve their dreams.”

For the past five years,100% of graduating MusiCore students attended post-secondary education (college or trade school). This year, the five graduating seniors plan to study music education, video game design, criminology, and journalism, and have all submitted their FAFSA and applied to numerous colleges. In 2017, the first year of the Higher Education Scholarship Fund, Rock to the Future awarded four scholarships totaling $5,000.

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“It helped me out a ton. I was able to take a lot of stress off my parents, and it felt really good that I had done in a way that I felt like I earned it and accomplished something great and could make them proud,” says Sophie. The recipient of the Most Improved scholarship in 2017, Sophie is now studying education at Penn State, and has recently been accepted into their honors program. “I have made so many amazing friends and memories that would not have been possible if Jess, Josh, and everyone at Rock to the future hadn’t driven me (sometimes literally) to this point and kept me motivated and wanting to learn and expand my interests since I started the program in the seventh grade.”

Rock to the Future uses music education as the foundation for academic, emotional, cultural, and intellectual growth; the MusiCore after school program provides a scholarship writing club, college and trade school application support, and college visit trips for high school juniors and seniors. At Rock to the Future, students learn that being a rockstar requires dedication, practice, and hard work. As a result, Rock to the Future students are prepared to take on any stage!

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Summer Camp Registration Is Open!

ROCK OUT this summer! Spend your summer in the spotlight at Rock to the Future

Applications are now open for 2018 summer camps.
GuitarStars (July 9-13) is open to students age 7-12 who want to play guitar, bass guitar, or piano.
Rock*a*Delphia (July 23-27) is open to teens age 13-17 who want to play guitar, bass guitar, piano, or drums.

Both camps are co-ed and with no experience necessary (beginner to advanced students are welcome!), and all instruments are provided. Camps take place from 9am-4pm at Rock to the Future’s Kensington location: 2139 E Cumberland St. Philadelphia, PA 19125. Late pickup and early drop off are available.



Rock to the Future summer camps use music to inspire kids and teens to find what they love and who they want to be. Students will form bands and spend a week playing and writing music, taking part in creative workshops, making new friends, singing in the choir, and meeting future mentors. Each day, students will enjoy performances from a variety of musicians. At the end of camp, students will perform live on stage for friends and family!

Rock to the Future believes that music education should be available for every student no matter their age, ability, or address. Full scholarships are provided for low-income Philadelphia youth, and the fee is only $250 for students who do not qualify for a scholarship – see details on our summer camp page.

Register for a Summer Camp!

Music education is a critical part of growing up, and our camps help students build skills to succeed on stage and off stage. Space is limited to 35 students on a first-come, first-served basis, so please apply today!

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The Wonder Years headline Peace & Noise 2018

Pop-punk legends and hometown heroes The Wonder Years headlined Boot & Saddle’s Peace & Noise 2018 concert on January 31st. All proceeds from ticket sales were donated to Rock to the Future, as were all sales of Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale drafts.

The Wonder Years | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN | racheldelsordophotography.com

Tickets sold out in under a minute, which ROCKS, and sales helped us reach a matching gift of $25,000 for our year end fundraiser. We love when musicians support music education! Read about more about the show on WXPN.

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2017 Year End Fundraiser

We’re starting 2018 out strong thanks to our amazing supporters. Not only did we meet our $25,000 goal, we surpassed our goal by over $4,000. After adding that total to a generous donor’s $25,000 matching gift, you helped us raise over $54,000 for 2018.

A special thank you to the RTTF Board and committee members, and to all of our Peer to Peer fundraisers, who worked non-stop to help reach our goal. Talk about rock stars!

Thank you for giving the gift of music to even more Philly youth in 2018. Your support keeps our programming free, our guitars plugged in, and our stage lights on. You rock!

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2017 Winter Showcase

On Dec. 9th, RTTF’s talented student musicians braved Philly’s first snowstorm of the season to perform for their friends, families, and community at the 2017 Winter Showcase.

    Photographs by Abigail Townsend

    During the Winter Showcase, MusiCore students showed off their hard work learning original music, classic covers, and holiday favorites. Eight student bands performed this year – check out some highlights!

    Thanks for a wonderful year! See you in 2018.

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