South Walton’s school of rock: Ohana kids don't miss a beat

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 04:54 PM.

Students meet with their bands twice a week in an impressive studio set-up. Mitchell listens and watches on the other side of the glass. Occasionally, he'll slide a black curtain across to leave the kids to their devices.

Inside the studio on a Wednesday afternoon is the not-yet-named band comprised of Jake Gritzmacher, lead guitar, Carlton Ragsdale, bassist and drummers, Hannah Burgtorf and Maddie Swainhart. The group ranges from ninth to eleventh grade. They're currently working on one cover song and one original song to perform at an end-of-the-year concert. The last song they practice for the afternoon is Nirvana's "In Bloom."

Most of the group found an untapped talent within the band.

"I learned I could actually play bass," Ragsdale said.

"I learned I do have some rhythm," Swainhart added modestly.

Even though the class is a requirement, it's clearly not viewed as tedious work.

"It gives us more chances to express ourselves," Gritzmacher said.

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