Final project for seniors: Organize a rock concert

To the long list of perks of being a senior, add this one: Organizing a rock concert can count as your final project.

Ten 12th-graders from Yorktown High School in Arlington and Oxon Hill High School in Prince George’s County spent their last three weeks of high school getting a crash course in arts management at Artisphere in Rosslyn. The culmination of their work is a battle of teen bands tonight at the arts center.

The teens worked with curators and directors and learned “from soup to nuts” how to create an arts event, said Annalisa Meyer, a spokesman for Artisphere.

They put out a call for artists, evaluated the entries, and contracted with the bands. They learned backstage and technical skills, such as how to coordinate the load-in and how to power the show. And they learned how to write a news release, pitch it to the media and promote the show through social media.

The teens went out and solicited sponsors, and they designed fliers and posters to sell for “merch.”

Similar senior work experiences take place around the region each year as teens sign up for internships to test out possible career interests.

Anna DeGarma, a Yorktown High senior, said the hands-on experience at Artisphere this year gave her a better understanding of how many “areas of expertise” need to come together to organize a show.

“This has already given me several new ideas of areas to study in college,” she said in a release.

The teen bands that will be competing Saturday include an “uptempo punk rock trio” from Arlington’s Washington-Lee High called Red Light Distraction and Safety Third, described in the release as “the Arlington ‘heart throbs’ featuring students from Washington Lee and Yorktown High School.”

The top band, chosen by the audience, will win a recording session.

Michael Alison Chandler writes about schools and families in the Washington region.

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