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Cedar Ridge rocks anti-drug assembly

Rock band Going Second visits middle school


On the morning of Thursday, April 24, Cedar Ridge Middle School used a hard rock concert assembly to instruct its students on living drug-free.

Music Makes Music is a foundation out of Utah that tries to educate students about saying no to drugs and getting involved with music. The foundation’s band, Going Second, visited the school Thursday to do just that.by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Cedar Ridge Middle School band and choir each performed a song with the band Going Second.

The assembly was a true rock concert experience complete with strobe lights, lasers, fog machines, pounding speakers and lots of flying hair, but that wasn’t all.

Between performances, members of the band spoke to students about the advantage they have in attending a school that still has a music program, why graduating is important and to stick with music rather than turn to drugs.

Kids were asked to come on stage for a question and answer session, and one student received a free T-shirt for vowing to remain drug-free. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Jordan Hochstrasser was invited on stage during the concert and received a free T-shirt for vowing to stay drug-free.

Some students also had the chance to experience what it would be like to be rock stars. The Cedar Ridge Middle School band and choir each performed a song with Going Second.

“They’re so excited,” said Michelle Emery of Cedar Ridge before the concert. “They’ve been practicing for weeks.”

Emery was instrumental in bringing the program to the school, said Principal Tom Newell. “Staff members like Michelle Emery worked very hard to get them here,” he said.

Following the concert, band members and crew sold merchandise during lunch and then visited students in their classrooms.

“We wanted to give them an important message,” Newell said. “What better way than a rock concert to get their attention?” Newell said he enjoyed the fact that the program highlighted Cedar Ridge’s arts department. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Going Second band members, student volunteers and staff quickly took down equipment from the concert to get ready for lunch.

“They’ve been great,” said Music Makes Music Director Mike Crowder, referring to the Cedar Ridge students. “We’ve worked with schools in inner city Los Angeles and rural Idaho, and they all respond the same way. They respond to energy.”

Crowder said the organization was started after its band was asked to play an assembly five years ago.

“It blew our minds when the kids listened to everything we had to say,” Crowder said. He and his band decided to continue performing for students, but knew they had to put a message to it.

“We know that kids are influenced by their peers,” said Sue Doan, health teacher at Cedar Ridge. “But they’re also influenced by outside forces not to use (drugs) just as much. It’s really important that we reach them while they’re still easily influenced.”

Many of the Cedar Ridge students were influenced.

Eighth-grader Kavrin Kregr said he learned a lot can be taught through music. As far as school assemblies go, Kavrin said he would rate this one a straight 10.

“I learned that doing drugs is bad and can ruin your life,” said Kendall Martin, a seventh-grader at Cedar Ridge. “Also that a lot of schools don’t have music programs and we’re lucky to have one.”

Going Second has performed at only 17 schools in Oregon, and Newell said Cedar Ridge staff felt lucky to be one of them. “Cedar Ridge rocks,” he said, “Literally.”