Students of The Place rock out during an open house. From left, are Alexander Geuther on guitar, Colton Maholnik on drums, Lily Tyler on vocals and Jake Munley on bass. – Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Scranton Mayor Wayne Evans attends The Place’s ribbon cutting ceremony. From left, first row, are Robin McArdle, co-founder of The Place; Evans, Lance Miley, founder of The Place; Tina Bechaver, membership/events assistant of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; and Shawna Tyler, treasurer of The Place. Second row, Deja Duckworth, Jake Munley, Audrey Munley, Lily Tyler and Alexander Geuther. Third row, Colton Maholnik and Andres Weisenburn. – – Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
SCRANTON — The former Timmy’s Town Center located on the second floor of the Steamtown Marketplace (opposite side of Boscov’s) became The Place That’s Making Music Matter For Kids. Named for the non-profit organization (Making Music Matter for Kids), The Place provides music lessons and programs based on passion, not income.” Founder Lance Miley, who taught music at the old Rock School of Music in Clarks Summit, and co-founder Robin McArdle believe everyone should be given a chance to learn how to play and perform music, regardless of financial status.
Miley has been teaching guitar, keyboard, drums and vocal lessons to low-income and disadvantaged youth for free or low cost. Through donations and sponsors, he has been able to move from the small space in Clarks Summit to a large 4,000-square foot space at the Steamtown Marketplace. This new location has a big stage with a state-of-the-art sound system by Universal Sound and Lighting in Scranton.
“One good thing is that this is our performing arts center,” McArdle said. “Students get to perform here. It gives them more ambition to learn their instruments.”
With a wide room for seating, the stage at The Place offers students the opportunity to perform in front of an audience. Prior, the students have been getting experience rocking out in public, especially during the Halloween Bash at the Ramada Inn. Now, they have their own location to perform during special occasions. They got to perform rock and hard rock for the first time at the new location during an Aug. 31 open house and during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 21.
Twelve-year-old Andres Weisenburn, of South Abington Twp., has been taking drum lessons for six years and performs with a band comprised of the rest of the students.
“It’s nice and spacious,” Weisenburn said about the new bigger location. “It has its own waiting room.”
Nine-year-old Lily Tyler has been learning vocals and guitar for a year and a half. During the open house and the ribbon-cutting ceremony, she sang AC/DC’s songs including “Dirty Deeds” and “TNT” with her fellow students.
“It’s really nice,” she said about The Place.
Student Audrey Munley leads vocals with the band and does solo performances, as well.
“It’s nice and roomy,” she said about the new space.
The storefront has a cartoon-like drawing of five kids in a band, each with their own musical instrument. It has Jake-E playing guitar, Cam on drums, TT on saxophone, Gus on keyboards and on vocals. These characters were created by Fast Signs in Wilkes Barre after Miley and McArdle ordered a logo. The walls are decorated with music-related signs made by “Signs by Sam,” all for sale. Trusses will soon be hung on the ceiling for lightings.
The Place invites local musicians to perform on Friday nights and tickets for performances will be available on Ticketmaster. Proceeds will go to Making Music Matter for Kids. For information about upcoming shows, go to www.makingmusicmatterforkids.org.
The Place will also be the new host of the annual Halloween Bash, set for Saturday, Oct. 26.
Miley and McArdle will use the new location to continue their mission of making sure music education is available to every student.
“I’m very happy with what we’ve accomplished within six months and extremely excited to start bringing in major entertainment into The Place, that’s Making Music Matter for Kids to inspire ‘children and adults alike’ and watch the amazing effects of what only the arts can do for a community,” Miley said.
The Place That Music Matters is located on the second floor of Steamtown Marketplace.
Music-related signs made from ‘Signs by Sam’ hang on the walls of The Place.
Students of The Place rock out during an open house. From left, are Alexander Geuther on guitar, Colton Maholnik on drums, Lily Tyler on vocals and Jake Munley on bass.
Audrey Munley, student of The Place, sings and plays guitar during an open house.
Scranton Mayor Wayne Evans attends The Place’s ribbon cutting ceremony. From left, first row, are Robin McArdle, co-founder of The Place; Evans, Lance Miley, founder of The Place; Tina Bechaver, membership/events assistant of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; and Shawna Tyler, treasurer of The Place. Second row, Deja Duckworth, Jake Munley, Audrey Munley, Lily Tyler and Alexander Geuther. Third row, Colton Maholnik and Andres Weisenburn.
Jessica Polacheck, of Exeter, plays clarinet as Hannah Beaudry, of Scranton, plays piano during a performance after the ribbon cutting ceremony.
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