SABRATON, W.Va. (WBOY) — PopShop WV held its SpringFest 2023 at “The Encore” venue, beginning at 2 p.m. on March 19.

Six bands showcased what they had learned in the last six weeks of the PopShop’s first spring session. The bands were made up of kids and young adults ranging from 8 to 20 years of age.

The bands that performed included:

  • Pop Rocks – Austin Crookshanks, Ezra Katz, Viola Legleiter, Elena Morgan and Charlie Sarkees.
  • Da Flying Monkeys – Chole Brown, Dexter Jordan, Marshall Penix, Jay Ramamurthy and Callan Wright.
  • To the Bone – Max Abildso, Tess Abildso, Henry Deskins and Hazel Iafrate.
  • Legendary Finnish Murderers – Cormac Fedorko, Ryder Merritt and Brener Wrachford.
  • The Mixups – Luke Andrews, Sabrina Basden, Katie Lentz and Skyler Rife.
  • Dumpster Fires – Isaac Boyce, Jacob Dower, Henry Perdue, Theo Tolka and Arden Wright.

For a $5 admission fee, families and friends joined the event in support of the performers.

Brian Spragg, operations manager for PopShop, told a 12 News reporter about how the sessions work. In a six week time frame, performers who registered for the first session were compiled into bands of four or five members. After compiling performers into bands, the PopShop held rehearsals for an hour and a half each week. However many songs each band is able to learn will then be performed at the event, like Sunday’s.

A variety of songs and bands were covered at the SpringFest event, including Silversun Pickups, Foo Fighters, Guided by Voices and Bon Jovi.

While discussing the importance of offering the students an opportunity to perform alongside their band mates, Spragg said, “I think just the ability to express themselves is really important, and learning other songs is a good way to learn how to play your instrument in the first place. That leads to other things where they can start writing their own songs or playing their own shows, and we’re just sort of a stepping stone in that.”

Marshall Penix of “Da Flying Monkeys” said he enjoyed learning how to play the guitar within the six week sessions because he had never known how to play it before. When it came to the favorite part of the performances, Jay Ramamurthy, a vocalist and drummer, said, “I would really think it was the support that everybody else gave us, and it gave me a humungous confidence boost, ’cause I came in here eating a bunch of skittles – being scared. So, I really think it was the people in the crowd that really gave me that strength to be, like, here.”

Dexter Jordan, who plays the drums and guitar, was most excited about getting to hit the high head as well as close out the band’s set list. For those looking to join, Callan Wright, keyboardist and vocalist, said, “definitely start with an easy instrument that you have an idea of how to play.”

Sign-ups are still available for the second session if your child or late teen is interested in “Rock enRolling.” However, the sessions do start on the week of April 3. The “Wüdstock 2023 Concert” will take place on Sunday, May 21 at the Mon County Center in Mylan Park.