Daughtry’s Elvio Fernandes leads local “School of Rock”

~Registration for aspiring rock musicians ages 10-17 now open~

Possible Camp ROC Star for adults this summer


Rochester, NY – Founded by local musician Elvio Fernandes in 2009, Camp ROC Star is anything but your typical summer music camp. This unforgettable experience for aspiring rock musicians ages 10 – 17 begins with their arrival at camp via limousine, and ends with performing in a fully-produced rock concert.

Currently singer, songwriter and keyboardist/rhythm guitarist for the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated band **Daughtry, Fernandes explains: “It all started with my bringing kids on stage during Uncle Plum shows,” referencing his former Rochester band. “Once I saw how excited they got when given the opportunity to express themselves on stage, I realized that moments like that can change a child’s confidence forever.”

Fernandes assembled a staff of talented area musicians who also have experience working with children – teachers, social workers, and even a school principal. While not inspired by the 2003 film School of Rock, there are similarities: Camp ROC Star participants are placed in bands, rehearse a song of their choice and one chosen by staff, receive individual music lessons as well as supervised band rehearsals, participate in seminars that cover everything from branding to stage presence, and put together a final performance for family and friends that boasts concert sound, lighting and staging.

“The experience changed my son’s direction and led him down a positive path I am not sure he would have traveled otherwise,” writes camper parent, Susan Edwards. “[It has] resulted in a sense of level-headed confidence that was not there before. The experience is one that makes me feel very grateful that kids in Rochester, NY get to have the opportunity to work closely with such incredible talent.

Camp instructors include past and present members of Hard Rain, Me & the Boyz, My Plastic Sun, Prime Time Funk, Reporter, Uncle Plum, and more. They are: musical family members Alex Akers (songwriter/bass/guitar), John Akers (singer/songwriter/keyboards/guitar), and Paul Akers (bass/vocals); Mark Balestra (guitar), Dave Cohen (drums), Johnny Cummings (singer/songwriter/keyboards, guitar), Mike Gladstone (songwriter, guitar), Rich Greene (singer/songwriter/guitar), Teena Guarnere (vocals), and Fernandes* himself. 

This year’s camp will take place at the new Lyric Theatre (440 East Avenue) from August 10 – 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day, with the final performance on Friday, August 14 at 5 p.m. Singers, guitarists, keyboardists, bassists and drummers ages 10-17 with at least one year of playing experience are welcome. Total cost is $549, and includes lunch and snack each day. Registration information and forms can be found at: camprocstar.com/p/register.html.

How about a Camp ROC Star for adults? Fernandes says he’s received so much interest in the idea that he’ll create one this summer – IF he gets enough people to commit. It would also take place at the Lyric Theatre, during the same week as the kids’ camp, but in the evenings. Those interested should sign up at camprocstar.com/p/adult-camp-roc-star.html.

*Elvio Fernandes is an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician as well as a producer and recording engineer. In his three years with Daughtry, he has performed all over the world for millions of people in arenas, stadiums and theaters, and on television shows including American Idol, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve w/Ryan Seacrest, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael, Arsenio Hall, The Talk, VH1 Morning Buzz, Queen Latifah Show, and others. He is a self-taught singer, pianist and guitarist who formed one of this area’s most successful and popular bands, Uncle Plum. As a songwriter/producer he co-wrote the song “Crazy,” which was certified Gold, selling more than 700,000 copies worldwide.  He also co-wrote the song “Witness,” which is featured on the latest Daughtry album entitled Baptized, and produced a stripped-down version of the song as an iTunes single. He has co-written songs with artists and songwriters including Chris Daughtry, Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Richard Marx, Claude Kelly (BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year), David Schuler (Pink), Michael Miller (B.O.B. and Akon), Greg Howe (Michael Jackson, Enrique Iglesias, Rhianna, N’Sync, Justin Timberlake) and others.

**Chris Daughtry was the fourth-place contestant on the fifth season of American Idol, after which he signed a record deal with RCA Records and formed his band, Daughtry. That self-titled debut album became the fastest-selling debut rock album in Nielsen Soundscan history, selling more than one million copies after just five weeks. In its ninth week, Daughtry reached number one on the Billboard charts. Chris Daughtry is now the third most successful American Idol contestant in terms of record sales, behind only Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, who both won their respective seasons. At the 50th Grammy Awards, the band was nominated for Best Rock Song for the single “It’s Not Over.”