Houghton??s very own rock star, PJ Olsson, is back in town this week to put on a fundraiser concert at Michigan Tech??s Rozsa Center with bandmate, Alan Parsons. Olsson said he hopes to raise money for a special event that happens each summer that is close to his heart: Rock Camp.
??First off, I love playing music. Second off, I love sharing it,?? said Olsson. ??And third off, I love sharing it with these kids.??
Over 40 kids, ages 9 to 19, spend two weeks out of their summer fine-tuning their musical talents during Rock Camp, but it comes with a price. Olsson said the kids pay about $500 to be in the camp, and it costs nearly $35,000 to make Rock Camp happen each year.
??It??s very hard to put on Rock Camp, and in a small community like this, it??s especially hard,?? he said. ??We really have to thank the community because they??re the ones that are really making this happen right now.??
Not only is the performance benefitting the camp, the Rock Campers will be Olsson??s band for the concert.
??Rock Camp is just a really good experience that, I think, more people should be able do, and it should keep going,?? said 13-year-old Rock Camper, Daphne Maki.
??I think it??s a really good thing because kids should have the opportunity to learn more about music,?? said 13-year-old Rock Camper, Gabby Panian.
Olsson said the concert will be a mixture of performances by the Rock Campers, his own solo work, and, of course, his work with Alan Parsons. He said the tickets will be sold under a "pay-what-you-want" policy and hopes the community will continue to support the local musicians and youth.
??Whether it happens with them being musicians or not, it??s going to carry over into the rest of their life, and it really creates a confidence that they can rely on no matter what job that they do,?? he added.
The concert will be Saturday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are being sold at the Michigan Tech University Student Development Complex ticket office. For more information about tickets, call the ticket offices at (906) 487-2578.