Music for All Ball 2018

This year, we’re giving the Music for All Ball a brand new sound!

You won’t want to miss these one-of-a-kind collaborations. Guest performers like hip hop artist Chill Moody, Rogers Stevens of iconic alt-rock band Blind Melon, Domenic Palermo of the rock band NOTHING, and orchestral psych-folk outfit Grandchildren will team up with RTTF’s House Band. The 90-minute variety show will feature classic covers, original songs, and a Hall of Fame induction. Come celebrate Rock to the Future’s talented student musicians!

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The Music for All Ball is only possible because of generous support from awesome people at:


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. All the seniors have already submitted their FAFSA and applied to colleges. In 2017, Rock to the Future awarded four scholarships totaling $5,000.


“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 M.

The recipient of the Most Improved scholarship in 2017, Sophie is now studying education at Penn State, where she has just joined the 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 and emotional 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!


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!


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. They donated all proceeds from ticket sales to Rock to the Future, and Starr Hill donated all sales of Grateful Pale Ale drafts.

The Wonder Years | photo by Rachel Del Sordo for WXPN |

Tickets sold out in under a minute, which ROCKS, and those 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.


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. Also, we couldn’t have done it without the 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!


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.


    Shine On, Alexus!

    When you see Alexus singing center stage with the RTTF House Band, you would never guess that the 12-grader used to be painfully shy. But when she first joined MusiCore five years ago, Alexus found it hard to open up and make friends. However, she’s always had a passion for music. Hearing a variety of music as a child sparked a love of “all kinds of music” that Alexus still has today.

    Unfortunately, she had a hard time developing that love – Alexus didn’t have a music class in school. When her mom found Rock to the Future, she knew it would be a great fit and signed Alexus up for MusiCore. Now, Alexus looks forward to learning new songs after school. Her fall challenge piece for piano is Antidote by Faith Marie: “It’s a really nice song. It’s all piano, with complicated rhythms and time signature changes.”

    Sure, it’s an impressive challenge piece, but Alexus hasn’t just grown as a musician. The once-shy Alexus is now outgoing, confident, and irrepressible.

    I’m most proud of how I’ve grown socially, and as a person… When I came to the program, I was very shy. I was very shy, and I was very quiet. I had a lot of trouble making friends, but being here helped me get over it. It helped me become more confident – I never would have performed on a stage! And I’ve made lots of friends.” – Alexus

    Now, Alexus wants to give other students the same opportunities she had. She’s in the middle of college application season, and is applying to colleges known for their music education programs. “I know I love learning about music. I want to give music education to kids. I think it would help a lot of kids in the situation I was in – being shy and quiet, and not being able to open up. I think I would be a really good music teacher!”

    Alexus’s story is inspiring – she really is a rockstar! Your donation to Rock to the future helps students like Alexus to find their voice, on stage and in life.


    Let’s Do This!

    On Giving Tuesday, people donate to the charities and nonprofits that are close to their hearts. This Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, our supporters went above and beyond for Rock to the Future! We’re already halfway to our year-end fundraising goal. We didn’t think we could get there so soon!

    With your help, we can reach our goal this year and give the gift of music to underserved students in Philadelphia.

    This year, every donation will be matched up to $25,000 by a generous donor – that means your donation is doubled. Thank you for your support. You rock!


    Ethan is a RockStar

    When Relapse Records approached RTTF about donating all proceeds from the 2017 Relapse Sampler, we were thrilled. And when they asked if the MusiCore students could learn a song from their roster of metal, punk, and industrial bands, Ethan immediately leapt to mind. Now, Ethan and the RTTF House Band are learning the song Bent Nail from shoegaze band Nothing.

    Ethan started at RTTF in 2011, when his only musical experience was playing The Beatles: Rock Band. But his mom suspected that “he had drums in his soul.” When she saw an ad for MusiCore, she knew it would be a great way to encourage Ethan’s creativity. Now, Ethan is an accomplished drummer and guitarist, and he has made lasting friendships with other students in the program. “Because of Rock to the Future, I know my son has a future filled with friends and music,” his mom said. “Rock to the Future has given Ethan tools to build a future.”

    Ethan has been in the RTTF House Band for the past five years. The House Band relies on teamwork, which Ethan says usually goes smoothly: “We work pretty well. There’s some days, but everything’s been going good so far.” Many of the students are multi-instrumentalists – Ethan places equal emphasis on  the drums and guitar. He says both instruments are actually similar, since “they’re both about speed and tempo.” Choosing what instrument each student will play on a song could be a source of conflict, but the students decide together by having a conversation, listening to each other, and working through any issues together. Since Ethan has been in the House Band the longest, he feels responsible for the group. He likes working with his bandmates on stage and off, since they all respect each other: “I know they like what I do.”

    Ethan isn’t just working with the House Band; he’s also working on his challenge piece for the Winter Showcase. He’s practicing Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade; “Me being me, I just looked them up. They’re catchy.” Along with his musical tastes, Ethan’s also pretty famous for his unique, hand-made jackets and vests. First, he looks for inspiration online, then he shops around for supplies. His motto? “Right vest, right patches, right bands.”

    Nothing and the RTTF House Band are still fine-tuning Bent Nail. They practiced together for the first time during the Teen Lounge Open House last Friday. Check them out!

    If you like their performance, why not download the Relapse Records 2017 Sampler? The sampler is a great overview of the bands on Relapse Records, and 100% of the proceeds from this year’s sampler will be donated to RTTF! Downloading the sampler is another great way to support young musicians like Ethan as they learn the value of dedication, trust, and hard work – on stage and in life!

    If you’d like to help us reach out year end fundraising goal, please donate through the link below. All donations made prior to 12/31 will be matched by a generous supporter!