‘I’m with the band’ | Rock of Orcas

Are you ready to rock?

Well, put on your acid wash jeans, your too tight Guns N’ Roses t-shirt with the cut-off sleeves and lace up your combat boots because Orcas Center is fixin’ to get wild.

The Rock on the Rock choir, directed by Grace McCune and Jake Perrine, is preparing an awesome 1980s show that is guaranteed to rock your face off for two weekends, May 11-13 and 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students. On Saturday, May 13, at the New Leaf Cafe, you can have both dinner and a show for $60. As in previous years, the shows are a benefit for Orcas Center.

The Rock of Orcas’ band is led by local drummer Jeffrey Horton. Musicians providing the live background music for the show include Melody Funk, Gene Nery, Lex Thixton, John Coffelt, Kim Thomas and Megan Stocklin.

“We have an all-star band,” said McCune. “I feel honored that the quality of our shows means these musicians want to be a part of it. It brings everybody else up to their best. It also gives the opportunity for people who have never performed with a live band to sing with one.”

Horton says he is looking forward to sharing the stage with “talented musicians and singers and bringing some rock to Orcas.”

“It’s fun to play with the choir and see all the talent we have on our island come out of the woodwork,” he said. “Grace and Jake are always great to work with. They are truly talented and creative human beings.”

This fourth annual all-star show featuring three choirs, three dance classes and a live band. The production is loosely based on the “Rock of Ages” movie.

McCune formed the Rock on the Rock choir in 2008, and up until 2012, it was comprised of a six-week series that culminated in a community concert.

In 2013, Rock on the Rock performed songs from “Les Miserables,” and gave a one-time free concert after four months of rehearsals.

McCune upped the ante in 2014. After the success of the previous year’s concert, she chose to have the choir sing the songs of “Moulin Rouge.” More than 90 singers teamed up to take on this endeavor and McCune brought in Perrine that year for his technical wizardry and to help coordinate the staging of the production. The show was the first of the Rock on the Rock choir shows to sell tickets, and it sold out. All proceeds went to Orcas Center.

“Across the Universe” in 2015 was evidence of that island support. McCune and Perrine brought to the stage a variety of Beatles hits, many of which were performed in the movie of the same title. A live band accompanied the singers for many of the songs, including this year’s band leader Horton and his bandmate Thixton.

Concert-goers in 2016 witnessed a complete overhaul of the previous two years’ shows with the mesmerizing “On This Island.” McCune, ever the ambitious soul, thought to celebrate the Orcas Center’s 30th anniversary by uniting island performers into one amazing concert with a theme of a year in seasons. The show was a hit, with performers like the Sea Stars, Susan Osborn, Noah Racey, Martin Lund, Jim Bredouw, Tiffany Loney and the Rock on the Rock choirs bringing down the house.

With the successes of the previous years’ shows in her repertoire, McCune is ready to turn the volume up to 11 and rock Orcas senseless.

“Anyone on the fence about this show should know that we’re taking a ‘go big or go home’ approach in every way – it will be an extravaganza of epic proportions,” said Horton. “There’s a medley with Night Ranger, Van Halen and Poison that’s going to rock hard! Plus I’m especially looking forward to it because my daughter will be accompanying me on tambourine while singing.”