Q&A: Freshman plays drums in Girls Rock camp merging music and feminism (video included)
Freshman Allie Bogetich plays drums in concert band and jazz band. Over the summer she participated in Girls Rock Sacramento, a five-day camp for teen girls held at the Met Sacramento High School with a showcase at the end.
Q: What is Girls Rock Sacramento?
A: It’s a feminist movement empowering girls – and ladies, because there’s also a Ladies Rock Camp – through music and just kind of saying, “Be yourself.” There’s also clinic-type things, where you learn about body positivity and self-confidence mixed in with all the music. So it’s like feminism and music put together.
Q: Explain what a typical day was like at the camp.
A: You have a little morning meeting, (and) then you get individual instrument instruction and go to band practice. There’s a clinic and then lunch, and then there’s instrument instruction and then another clinic and then band practice again. Then you get to go home.
Q: Who was your instrument instructor?
A: My drum coach was Karen Ruggiero, (who is) a local musician. There was (also) a guitar, keyboard, voice and bass instructor. There were a lot of people who were just there as counselors or band leaders, but (they) also played an instrument.
Q: What would you do in a clinic?
A: There were (clinics) where we did screen printing, and there was a body image class, a merch class, a gear respect class (and) a stage presence class.
Q: What would you do in the screen printing and merch classes?
A: (During) screen printing we had stencils and paint. We took (the paint) and flattened with a squeegee over a stencil, and then it printed into it.
In our merch design class (we learned about) choosing a logo that makes sense for your band name and making sure your logo doesn’t have too much going on. It was (also) deciding styles of clothing and what kind of merch you want to make – like what kinds of shirts.
Q: How did the grouping system work to form bands?
A: There were five bands. Each band would have three to five people in it. And it’s a mix of experienced and not experienced players, so it’s not like there were people who have been playing for seven years and then a band of people who’ve never played before. (We were) all intertwined.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you got there?
A: My first thoughts were, “Wow! So many people have dyed hair. It’s awesome! Everyone’s such an individual.” When we did the first morning meeting, I just felt included immediately, which never happens because I’m socially awkward.
Q: Any surprises, good or bad?
A: One of the surprises was that we had bands come in every day to play for us at lunch. We heard all types of music. One day we had a jazz ensemble, which was really cool. One day we had a local band called Destroy Boys, which was (also) cool.
Q: Tell me about your band specifically.
A: In my band, we had me, a bassist, a guitarist, a keyboard (player) and a vocalist. Our instructor played guitar with us. We were one of the biggest. Most bands had four (people).
We called our band Summer Snow, just because it was like 110 degrees (the day we formed the band).
Q: What was the concert like?
A: It was at Ace of Spades, which is a club here (in Sacramento) for music, and it’s an all-ages thing. We went in the morning. We all (each band) got to play a song; they also had some of the instructors play music too, so it was like a showcase.
(The audience) was pretty big. It was a lot of parents and friends, but there were also just random people there to support (the camp). A lot of the coaches have their friends come and watch. Some local artists (played) who were teaching at the camp, so some people came to see them.
Q: I see you made T-shirts for the showcase.
A: At the beginning of the week, they gave us all a Girls Rock T-shirt. The day we did screen printing we were allowed to either bring our own shirt or use the camp shirt. I chose to use my camp shirt, and then (I) cut it up and cut the sleeves off to make it awesome.
Q: So in each band did everyone wear the same shirt?
A: As a band, we chose a logo and we all screen printed the logo onto a shirt, but it didn’t matter what shirt it was.
Q: How did you hear about the camp?
A: A few years back I was looking for a rock camp, and I found one in Seattle called Girls Rock Seattle. I didn’t go to it because I didn’t feel like going to Seattle. I was maybe 11, and I was too young to do that at the time. My sister takes vocal lessons, and she happened to be taking lessons from Larisa Bryski, a person who started it in Sacramento last year with Emma Simpson. (My sister) told (me) about (the camp), so then (I) took it.
Q: Would you want to do this again?
A: I’m definitely going to do it again next year.
Q: Is this something you would recommend for other girls?
A: I would definitely recommend it. It builds self-confidence, and you make a lot of new friends. It’s overall just a really cool experience because you get to play in your own rock band for a week, and who doesn’t want to do that?
Q: I heard you were interviewed for Sacramento News & Review and that the camp was featured on Good Day Sacramento. What was that like?
A: It was cool. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in the newspaper. I definitely know I’ve never been on TV. It was kind of like having your parent there filming until you realize they put it on TV and you start freaking out after.
Q: Did you make any new friends?
A: You definitely bond with your bandmates and people who are in your individual instrument instruction. I still have a group chat with all of my band people on it, and we still chat.
Q: Any final comments?
A: It’s just overall really chill. There’s no pressure. Anyone can go. You don’t have to be experienced. You can go and learn something there.
—By Sarina Rye