Jamming at the turf, competing in Battle of the Bands, and performing in concert halls, Rye’s own boy bands have been wooing fans with original songs and unique collaborations.
By Georgetta L. Morque
Jamming at the turf, competing in Battle of the Bands, and performing in concert halls, Rye’s own boy bands have been wooing fans with original songs and unique collaborations. Come fall, some are off to college, but not without guitars in hand, ready to sing on new stages.
Room 237, an alternative rock band comprised of Rye Country Day’s Robert Kim on guitar and trombone, Marco Bohorquez on bass, George Matelich on drums, and Rye High’s Henry Pearson on guitar, produced a 12-track album in June and has been on a roll this summer with performances. “We are in touch with various promoters to get gigs in Brooklyn, New Jersey, or anywhere else within reasonable distance,” said Pearson, who just started his freshman year at Middlebury College.
The name of the band, conceived by Kim, comes from the movie, “The Shining.” Kim, who just entered Harvard, writes most of the songs. All of the band members got hooked on their craft at early ages, fine-tuning their skills with lessons, practice, and school music programs. Matelich, one of the founding members, who has been playing drums for five years, got started simply by jamming with friends. Kim was president of the choir and jazz band at Rye Country Day and also sang a cappella.
Mary Marcell, head of the Rye Country Day music department, speaks highly of all Room 237 members at the school, and fondly remembers Kim and Bohorquez, a senior, playing their guitars in the streets during the music trip to Croatia and Italy last year. “I think the world of them.”
Pearson, who looks to his two musically talented brothers for inspiration, has been playing the guitar for as long as he can remember. He’s also dabbled with drums and bass, played baritone/euphonium in the RHS band, and guitar in the pep band. Pearson has also been part of another band, The Single Ladies, which includes recent Rye High School graduates Jack Tobin, a guitarist and pianist who started at Northeastern this fall; Charles Rimmer, a bassist now at Skidmore; percussionist Miles Clyatt, a Boston College freshman; and saxophonist Phil Pignato, who took his talents to SUNY New Paltz. The group, which plays jam band music of various genres, performed at graduation.
“These students represent some of the best talent in our band and jazz band programs,” said Dan Brown, RHS music chair.
It doesn’t stop there. Pearson and Clyatt also collaborate with Harry Cohan, another Rye High grad, who is a sophomore at DePaul University, and senior John Benoit, who is also the lead guitarist with I Spacewalk Sometimes, which has recorded its own original music.
With three bands, Pearson, like a number of student musicians, juggles academics — he was nominated for a presidential scholarship award — and sports, as a member of the RHS varsity squash team. “It’s not hard balancing music out with squash, because it’s easy to find time to do the things I love.”
As for the future, there will undoubtedly be new bands to join and form, and performance reunions in Rye during school breaks. Matelich echoes what holds true for all the musicians: “I want music to always be a part of my life.”
So stay tuned!