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Setting the Stage

RBL_Portico_WEBPortico Magazine’s issue (click on image above, scroll to page 28) describes the journey in making Mason Music’s Rock Band League. Its creation was sparked by George Carbonie and Lee Hurley, then set into motion by Mason Music. What resulted from those initial brainstorming meetings is now a tried and true training and performing program unlike anything else in Birmingham.

IMG_9564Of course, it takes quite a team of people to run the program each semester; band coaches, the Rock Band League (RBL) director, performance venue staff … even parents pitch in!
One of the coolest parts of RBL is the three public performances each semester hosted at major music venues around town. From Rogue Tavern and Saturn to Iron City and Workplay, Mason Music’s RBL bands get to step on stage and play where some of the biggest names in music have performed in Birmingham.
You can definitely feel the buzz in the air on performance days. Band coaches arrive early to set up the stage with instruments and amps, check the sound (usually with a very entertaining off-the-cuff rendition of a classic rock favorite), and talk to their bands about any last-minute adjustments before the bands take the stage.


P1000248The bands all genuinely seem to enjoy each other’s company, spending time together backstage and in the wings before they hit the stage.

For some, this is their first season playing together. For others who’ve been with the program year after year, this is the perfect way to polish up their performance skills and spend time with friends while they do it.

IMG_9587When it’s time to begin, the bands are introduced and they take the stage one at a time. The line-up usually starts with the younger “Opener” bands, followed by the older-aged “Headliners.”

IMG_9588Bands begin to play songs that they’ve chosen, with the help of their coach. Audiences get to hear a lot of top 40 hits, along with 90s grunge, classic rock, oldies and even some original pieces written by RBL students.

Saturn_3.20.2016_Mason The Sound GuyThe culmination of a season’s hard work comes at the “Battle of the Bands,” where bands play three songs for family, friends and a panel of top-notch judges from the music industry. The Mason Music “rocks” are given out at the end of the battle to the “Best Band,” “Best Song” and “Fan Favorite” by our celebrity emcees.

Sound like something you’d like to experience? You’re in luck! We now have a youth and adult division of Rock Band League with fall and spring season. Click here to get RBL season info!