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For Those About to Rock goes to Woodstock

Written by Scott Mervis on .

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Is there a better field trip for students of the For Those About to Rock Academy than the hallowed grounds of Woodstock?

That’s where the young rockers of the Ambridge-based academy headed Sunday with teachers/organizers David and Joey Granati and Cathy Stewart.

As part of a Bethel Woods Center for the Arts outreach program, 25 students (most with parents) took a chartered bus to tour the Woodstock Museum and perform on the site of the actual stage with about 20 kids from Bethel Woods Center.

“We are the first rock school to do a field trip to Woodstock,” Joey Granati said Monday. “They treated us like foreign diplomats. They asked us how to make their program better and they accepted an invitation from us to do a similar style road trip to Pittsburgh in the spring. They will perform at a show with our kids, probably at Jergels.”

The kids, who left Pittsburgh at 4 a.m. Sunday and returned home at 1 a.m. Monday, were excited to visit the site of the historic 1969 concert, but had no idea what to expect, Mr. Granati said.

“I lowered their expectations. Some of the kids are as young as 9, in their mind Woodstock is still happening, so they were wondering who’s playing.”

No one was playing — but them — but they did get to meet Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, returning there for the first time since the festival, to do a Q&A.

Mr. Granati said the drummer told him that rock academies like theirs are “the new record companies,” acting like an A&R division.

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