Chattanooga Now City Beat: Camp teaches girls it's OK to be loud

Chattanooga Now City Beat: Camp teaches girls it's OK to be loud

July 13th, 2017 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Music

Young attendees of last year's Chattanooga Girls Rock camp perform at the conclusion of the camp.

Photo by Amy Kenyon

Amelia Rodgers-Jones says that while it may not be spoken as often as it once was, the idea that "girls should be seen and and not heard" still permeates our society. She wants to change that. It's part of the mission for Chattanooga Girls Rock and the summer camp taking place next week.

"We want to teach them that it's OK to be loud," she said. "You still see it today. The idea that little girls should be seen and not heard. We see remnants of that in so many ways. From girls who are afraid to raise their hands in class or grown women who won't ask for a raise. We totally reject that."

The first Girls Rock camp was held last year and drew 30 girls who spent the week learning the fundamentals of an instrument, forming a band and writing a song, which they performed in a concert on the sixth and final day. The show drew a larger-than-expected crowd of about 300 who all showed up at show time. Rodgers-Jones is hoping people will pre-buy their tickets for next Saturday's show at the Revelry Room to prevent the crush at the box office like last year.

Chattanooga Girls Rock's summer camp is taking place next week.

Chattanooga Girls Rock's summer camp is taking place...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Barry Courter

Barry Courter

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

"It was great," she said of the concert. "People loved it. It was about 50 to 100 people who were related to the kids and the rest were people from the community who wanted to support this."

She said the show and the camp is more about trying something new than it is about becoming a musician. Some campers have some musical talent and others have none.

"Last year, we had a group of 9-year-olds and technically they were awful, but they were so energetic and fun, people freaked out. They loved it."

This year's camp has 50 young girls who will sign up for either the bass, guitar, keyboard, vocal or engineering/production segments. About 50 local musicians or people in the industry have signed on to help. The engineering campers will spend three days at The Studio in the Chattanooga Public Library and the rest will meet in the basement of Memorial Auditorium.

Campers are encouraged to try something new, so even if they know how to play guitar, they might be urged to try vocals, or keyboards. Rodgers-Jones said they will be divided into 10 bands with five members each. They'll work on their particular instruments in the morning and spend the afternoon with their new bandmates coming up with a name and writing a song, which will be performed on Saturday, July 22.

The show will take place from noon to 3 p.m. and admission is $10.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

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