Rock Underground, located at 729 Jersey Ave. in Greenwood Lake, held its first summer camp in August at the Warwick Valley Community Center, located at 11 Hamilton Ave. in Warwick. At the end of the week, the students presented a concert for their parents. Six funky, decorated guitars lined the wall in the main hall.
Following the concert, music director matt Barile said they will have a program at the center during the school year but details have yet to be worked out. The school is looking to open a site at the Warwick Valley Community Center in the near future.
Jeff Benoit, from Warwick, will be donating 14 electric guitars to the Rock Underground. It was a year ago that Benoit took his son, Jayden, to the Village of Warwick’s Sesquicentennial concert. Bands connected to The Rock were playing and Jayden was hooked.
“I want to be on that stage,” Jayden told his dad and he soon began lessons in Greenwood Lake.
Later, Benoit saw that Alto, the giant music store in Middleton, was “blowing guitars out dirt cheap.” He bought 60. Yes, 60. Benoit then got in touch with Barile.
“The reality is that not having a guitar shouldn’t prevent a kid from playing,” Benoit reasoned. He then offered Barile four guitars.
“I wanted to reduce the financial burden,” Benoit said. “Also, if you want to take lessons but you’re unsure if you’ll stick with it, I have all these guitars. Take them.”
Benoit, who equipped the guitars with funky colors and designs, also looked for sponsors. Donate $100 and the logo of a business will be put on the guitar. So far, Angela Murphy of the Green Team Home Selling System and Nicole’s House of Beauty have responded. And there have been out-of-state donations. To donate, visit www.warwickcommunitycenter.org.