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Velcro Pygmies pack Russellville High School

When Cindy Coan’s class began the Reach and Teach program almost three months ago, an epic rock concert in the gym seemed a little far-fetched. Fast forward to November, and that is exactly what the students at Russellville High School experienced Wednesday as the Velcro Pygmies took the stage.

One of the members of Coan’s class, Haley Hasha, said when her class first began planning the concert, she did not anticipate what it would turn into.

“It’s a very proud moment,” Hasha said. “It’s unbelievable that we as students, as a class, did this.”

The Velcro Pygmies headlined the show, singing rock favorites for a packed gym to jam out to. Students experienced everything from crazy ’80s fashion to having glitter poured on the crowd as the band performed “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

In addition to the Velcro Pygmies, the show also featured Russellville High School students Maggie Franks and Avery Guinn living out their rockstar dream.

Franks performed “I love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” while Guinn performed “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “You Give Love a Bad Name.”

“Our goal was to choose two students who would appreciate it and would really get into it,” Hasha said. “We wanted them to have fun with the band and enjoy it.”

The show also featured a few of Coan’s students joining the band on stage for a last-minute dance made popular on the TikTok app.

“It’s something that is really for our generation,” Hasha said. “Adults may not get it, but we know it’s something everyone is just going to really enjoy.”

During the show, one student also received a custom Russellville High School guitar. Students texted into a number during the show for the chance to win, and a computer randomly selected a winner.

The show sold 304 tickets, with money made from the tickets going toward funding additional events Coan’s class will organize. The class also sold $200 worth of bracelets for the show, with that money benefiting classmate Jagger Mills.

Hasha said although the process of planning for the concert was difficult, it proved to her class that they can accomplish anything.

Coan’s class was responsible for all aspects of the concert, from planning and event setup to marketing and media contact.

“It’s a learning opportunity, and it’s been a good one,” Hasha said. “It’s better than I ever could have expected. It’s just been the best experience.”

Hasha said when the planning process first began, she was skeptical but quickly changed her outlook when she began working with band members and saw the potential the show had.

“If it was a different band, it probably wouldn’t be as good,” Hasha said. “If I could describe it in like two words, because I don’t believe in anything being perfect, I would say ‘almost perfect.’ If perfect was possible, this would be it.”