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Students learn skills to plan, host rock concert

Numerous educational programs these days are focusing on real-world applications to help students learn. The Reach and Teach curriculum is no different, as students at Russellville High School are learning about event planning by organizing a rock concert.

The Reach and Teach program will allow students to learn about event planning and management through application. Cindy Coan’s class will organize all aspects of the event, including setting ticket prices to balance cost and profit, budgeting, selling and promoting. 

The concert will be Nov. 13 and will feature the Velcro Pygmies singing covers of popular ’80s rock songs.

“It will be songs most of you guys know and might be surprised you know,” said Velcro Pygmies’ lead singer Cam Flener, who met with the students about the concert during their class Sept. 24. 

Reach and Teach co-founder and executive director April Clark said the Reach and Teach program has been used to plan concerts at schools all over the country, but each school has implemented the program a little bit differently – which is the idea.

“That is something we really want – for you guys to be in control,” Clark said. “If you can think of a crazy idea for this, we want to try and find a way to make it happen.”

Clark said the concert usually headlines the Velcro Pygmies but also a few other students or faculty the class chooses.

Clark told students about how the Reach and Teach program began not too far from Russellville at Colbert County High School and how it has grown to be the program it is now.

The majority of the class seemed excited about being in control of planning such a large event. One student even said they plan to pursue event management as a career.

Students in the class are divided into different “companies” to handle different aspects of planning. Coan said each group has been responsible for planning other events throughout the school year, such as homecoming festivities, but last week was the first week the class focused solely on the concert.

Each “company” handles a different part of planning the concert based on interests, including one company designing the posters and logo for the concert.

Flener said he hopes the concert will be something students can be excited about and will enjoy working on.

“We want this to be a great show and be something you will be proud of,” he said. “This event can be really anything that you all want to make it.”