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School of Rock

Ellie Baden, Features Editor

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Almost every week, teachers Chip Tompson, Alice Nuteson, Don Carmichael and Scott Williams meet to rehearse for their band, After School Special. The band, named after a television show that aired in the last few decades of the twentieth century, is made up of either current or retired Stevenson teachers.

When it was first started in the 1990s, After School Special served as a faculty rock band, often performing in Showcase to fill the vacancy of rock groups caused by the more popular Battle of the Bands. However, as more student groups began to participate in Showcase, After School Special was no longer needed for the event.

Despite no longer performing during the talent show, the band did not stop playing.

“About five years ago…we thought we’re actually not bad and we could probably make some money doing this and and at least have some fun playing for people who are strangers, not just friends or students,” Tompson said.

Now, the band plays for parties, charity events and even hosts their own gigs, many of which are exclusively for ages 21 and over.

According to Nuteson, in order to appeal to their audience and because of their personal music tastes, the band covers a lot of classic rock songs originally performed by groups including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. However, according to Carmichael, the band manager, the group must often have “productive” arguments concerning their setlists. The result is a style he describes as eclectic.

In addition to some disagreements about the music, the band also has some struggles with finding time to rehearse. According to Williams, the band meets once a week, usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. However, as the majority of the members have families and work to grade, a weekly rehearsal is not always practical.

Still, despite the challenges, the band looks forward to continuing performing together.

“[We] enjoy what we’re doing now; getting together now and then with friends.” Tompson said. “We’ve found a nice kind of existence that has sustained us for over 20 years.”

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The student news site of Adlai E. Stevenson High School.
School of Rock