By Samantha Brooks, Lord Botetourt, and Marta Kodin, Hidden Valley
A small but enthusiastic group of teens turned up at Roanoke County’s Brambleton Center on Dec. 29, 2012, to rock out to up-and-coming teen bands Levi’s Gene Pool and the Stilettos.
Levi’s Gene Pool is one of the area’s youngest bands, consisting of band members and siblings Levi Moneyhun on lead vocals and guitar, Holly Moneyhun on drums, and Phillip Moneyhun on bass. The band has been performing for about four years, and they played some classic rock, along with some songs that Levi Moneyhun and the band had composed.
Moneyhun, a sophomore at Blacksburg High School, believes that trying to connect with the audience can be a difficult task when performing live. But that didn’t appear to be a problem as the audience members, including one of their mothers, were on their feet and rocking out.
“The only reason I came out was to see Levi’s Gene Pool perform. I have heard them play like a million times,” said Adam Anker, a sophomore at Christiansburg High.
The Stilettos, an all-female band, consists of lead singer Erin Cao, guitarist Nicci Stiles, bassist Sarah Melendez and drummer Taylor Paige Spencer. The girls played their own interpretation of familiar songs that had the audience singing along.
“The most rewarding thing for me when I play for live teens is just to see them jamming to the music and enjoying themselves,” said Melendez, a senior at Patrick Henry High School.
“I came to support all of my friends who are in the Stilettos,” said fellow Patrick Henry senior Ashlyn Stackhouse.
The man who kept the music going was DJ Harvest Blaque, aka Bryan Hancock. Not only did he introduce the bands before they came on stage, but he was also was in charge of giving out raffle prizes.
By the end of the night, there were extra prizes left so everyone there, including the bands, was able to participate in games such as Simon Says and Red Light Green Light to determine the winners.
All of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Arts and Entertainment Conference, a festival sponsored by Roanoke County’s Parks, Recreation, and Tourism department, including film screenings and acting workshops scheduled for April 12-13.