Mar 10, 201604:55 PMArt Beat
Keystone Musical Arts Center
When the Keystone Musical Arts Center opens its doors, students will come from far and wide to either hone their musical chops, begin learning a new instrument from scratch or even train with their friends to refine their interplay as a rock band.
Adults and children alike will sign up for camps, classes and even music therapy to learn from a team of musicians who are either locally based or even internationally renowned. The strategy includes engaging with the home-schooled to offer music classes, ensuring access to training for a broad variety of prospective students.
If Terry Selders has his way, Mechanicsburg may soon have its very own School of Rock by the end of this year. And when you begin to understand Selders’ personal history, this audacious project seems an all-but-inevitable reality with the proper support and funding.
Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in music business from Mansfield University, Selders moved to New York City in the late 1980s. Five years later, with a résumé that now boasts a stint managing the studios that brought us music from Public Enemy and C&C Music Factory, Selders moved back to Pennsylvania to manage The Badlees.
His years on the road as the manager of an up-and-coming rock band helped him grow his professional contacts, and he further rounded out his experience working as the director of a local music teacher’s collective.
He brought this experience and his contacts to bear in helping to bring famed guitarist Steve Vye to the Whitaker Center a few years ago to offer a master class in guitar that drew students from far and wide to the midstate to train.
Under the auspices of the Keystone Musical Arts Center, Selders envisions regularly drawing big names to the region under corporate sponsorships to support students of his own and other local music schools.
The blueprint for KMAC’s brick-and-mortar outfit is already in the works for construction on a building in the Hampden Center Plaza. The center’s design will support KMAC’s collaborative training initiative with a centralized performance studio flanked on all sides by state-of-the-art, sound-proofed booths where students will learn a variety of instruments.
Selders’ vision is fast reaching fruition. He already has the commitment of at least six midstate music instructors and a board-certified music therapist who can address challenges with motor skills and speech using music as a therapeutic tool. The center will serve as a hub for private lessons in voice, piano, guitar, drums, bass, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, violin, trumpet, flute and saxophone, and students will have the opportunity to broaden their learning through group classes and with contemporary ensembles.
Earlier this year, the nonprofit organization hosted a soup cook off to raise funds for the project, but before building can begin, Selders will need to clear a few funding hurdles. Stay tuned for more fundraisers in support of beginning construction in the spring with an eventual September launch currently in the works.