Despite pandemic restrictions that made it impossible to hold the James M. Bennett High’s traditional large, in-person JMB Rock & Revival shows last winter, the Rock & Roll Revival team felt strongly that “The Show Must Go On” for the student performers in 2021.
With that theme song by the band Queen in mind, students auditioned by video for the 2021 Virtual Rock & Roll Revival as singers, dancers and band members.
A cast of approximately 50 students submitted video recordings of songs or participated in the taping of songs.
Most of the cast came together just once, in early April, for an outdoor drone recording as they danced to the song "Don't Stop." This outdoor performance took place in the parking lot of the Main Street Gym (which was made available free of charge by owner Hal Chernoff) and was recorded by Thompson Droneworx (JMB graduate Ethan Thompson, who donated his services). All these numbers will make up a Virtual JMB Rock & Roll Revival 2021 DVD that the students and adult team members will be able to view together in late May in a safe, socially distanced private gathering at a community location, as planned and orchestrated by parents.
Participants were also able to pre-order a copy of the DVD and the 2021 show shirt as mementoes of how they helped ensure that the show would go on virtually until an in-person Rock & Roll Revival could be staged again.
The 2021 Virtual JMB Rock & Roll Revival was put together to give these students (especially seniors, who have missed out on so many things in their final year of high school) the opportunity to participate in this one-of-a-kind performance experience.
This year’s virtual Rock & Roll Revival is not a PTSA fund-raiser like in other years, and due to licensing restrictions for the songs the virtual show cannot be made available online to the general public.
Two dates have been set for showing the Rock & Roll Revival DVD on the many TV screens at The Pavilion at 1400 South in south Salisbury (home to Hopper's and several eateries).
The public will be able to view the 2021 virtual show Saturday, June 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, June 27, from 3 to 6 p.m., with the 90-minute show played twice on each date. No tickets will be required. Guests will be able to purchase refreshments from the location’s eateries. The Pavilion’s health and safety restrictions will be in place for those who come out to enjoy the show.
The JMB Rock & Roll Revival team and the JMB PTSA are already planning and preparing for next year’s shows, and look forward to bringing down the house at the JMB Auditorium in February 2022.