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GRAMMY SoundChecks™ with Jonas Brothers and Jordin Sparks
On Friday, July 10, a group of 15 GRAMMY U members and 15 students from Neuqua Valley High School were treated to a GRAMMY SoundChecks with Hollywood Records actthe Jonas Brothers and Jive Records artist Jordin Sparks at AllState Arena in Rosemont, IL. Upon their arrival, the excited group of students were introduced to tour manager Rob Brenner and Jonas Group employee Janet Taylor. Janet and Rob fielded questions from the students about their careers on the road and provided a rare, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a concert of such great proportions.
The students then embarked on a brief tour of the venue, leading them to a room in which they were given a chance to intimately chat with each artist. Students first caught up with Jordin Sparks, who candidly reflected on the life-changing experiences she faced while making the transition from a high school freshman to an “American Idol” champion. During the valued exchange with the group, she also described the songwriting techniques she used on her upcoming album as well as how to deal with music industry pressures. Jordin ended the session by emphasizing to the students that accomplishing your dreams at a young age is possible, as long as you are ready to work for it.
After a group photo with Jordin, the students patiently waited for the arrival of the Jonas Brothers. As the brothers walked into the room, they were welcomed with smiles and wide-eyed admiration from the entire group. The boys answered questions on topics ranging from how they deal with media criticism to their level of involvement in the planning and production of their tour (Kevin Jonas even recalled what he had jokingly told Director of Touring, Rob Brenner, of the band’s intricate stage ideas: “It’s our dream, your problem!”). Students reveled in the conversation, and seemed at ease for its duration, thanks in large part to the fact that the brothers were a similar age to themselves.
After enjoying a photo opportunity with the band, the students made their way to the main stage of the arena, where they were given a one-of-a-kind opportunity to watch the Jonas Brothers soundcheck. The band immediately captured the attention of the small audience, playing some of their most well-known hits as they interacted with the crowd and answered questions.
The diversity of speakers who were involved in this event gave participating students the chance to learn about many facets of the music industry. All staff and artists that the students were able to interact with during the course of the afternoon were very helpful and eager to answer their questions; many even provided the students with some inspirational advice for accomplishing their future career goals. The students left the venue feeling excited about the event and confident about themselves.