School may still be in session, but a group of local high school students are getting a head start on the summer concert season with a performance of their own. Denver-based music education organization Youth on Record will hold its Album Release Block Party and Community Celebration this Saturday at its studio in Lincoln Park.
Featuring music from nearly 30 Denver public high school students, along with the organization’s teachers and volunteers, this free event will serve as the culmination of the year-long music curriculum coordinated by the organization. It also gives students a unique chance to perform in front of friends, family, peers, and teachers. “This is an opportunity for our young people to showcase their talents and what they’ve been working on all year, and for the community to come out to hear some great music,” says Andrea Viarrial-Murphy, Youth on Record’s director of visibility and operations.
Youth on Record works in nine high schools in the Denver Public Schools (DPS) system, along with four residential treatment centers, to provide arts education to at-risk youth for credit. The organization employs local professional musicians to teach music and arts curriculum in schools, along with hosting lab hours for all DPS students to rehearse and record.
“The schools that we partner with are schools that don’t have a music program, so it’s important to have some type of art within the school day,” Viarrial-Murphy says. “We give students who learn a little bit differently the chance to learn some of their core classes through the power of music.”
In addition to the student concerts, the block party will serve as a launch for the program’s second compilation album, YOR Sessions Vol. 2. The record features songs from local and national musicians, including Colorado’s own Ben Wysocki of The Fray and Jonny 5 of Flobots, recorded at the Youth on Record’s studio and mixed and produced with help from YOR students.
The all-day festival will also include food trucks from the Hard Rock Cafe, Don Taco, and RU Cereal along with children’s crafts and activities.
If you go: Youth on Record’s Album Release and Block Party will take place Saturday, May 13 from noon to 6 p.m. at Youth On Record Youth Media Studio, 1301 W. 10th Ave.