The Rock 'N' Remember organization has disbanded after seven years and many memorable fundraiser concerts, but two members of the committee that ran the show are launching a new concert series to fill the void.
The event will now be known as Rock to the Future. The first of the annual shows will be April 7, noon-1 a.m., returning to the original home of the concerts, at the Marathon Community Center.
According to Pat Shannon of Alta, who is heading the event up with wife Patti, the importance of the event to area school music programs is the reason for keeping a fundraiser concert series alive.
"One of the guys from one of the bands called me and said, 'This is just too good to let it drop,' and we agreed," he said.
Rock 'N' Remember concerts were started in memory of Paul Sievers, a local musician with the band Wild Childhood who
had passed away, and later Al Sorenson, another stalwart of the area music scene, with the Ski Band. The concerts raised funds for scholarships for their children.
In recent years, the shows had raised funds to be given to middle school music programs around the region, which are often scratching for dollars for equipment and other needs.
While the Rock 'N' Remember committee felt that the concerts had run their course as a memorial event and decided to disband, the school needs remain, Shannon said.
"We need to carry this on. We said that we would keep going until we had made a donation to all of the middle schools in our region. We figured it would take 17 years all together to do that, although consolidations may cut that down some. We want to complete that commitment."
This year's schools to benefit, drawn out of a hat, include Galva-Holstein, River Valley, Emmetsburg and Fort Dodge St. Edmonds.
Since 2002, concerts have raised over $16,800 for school music programs, according to Shannon.
Appropriately, there will be a number of teenage musicians included in the lineup of seven bands for the April 7 show.
Rock Bottom, a new young band of high school students from Alta, will open the show around 3 p.m. at Marathon, with new wave and modern rock.
They will be followed by Victim Discounted, a high school heavy metal band that includes a musician from one of this year's benefit schools, St. Edmonds.
Stingray, the popular classic rock band out of the Pocahontas area, will be next.
241, a cover band with a growing local reputations, will return to the concert series.
Lefty, another classic rock band from the Fort Dodge area, will be on hand.
Planet Rock, which includes members of the former Cave Band, and the former lead singer of Tantrum 2 Blind, is rapidly gaining a following as one of the most professional and versatile bands on the area scene.
Closing the show will be Storm Lake's 2 And a Half band, with longtime guitarist/vocalist Steve Bavaro and his teenage son Tyler on drums.
Frank Bede of The Music Factory will emcee.
The auctions of the previous concert series will not be held, but there will be door prizes, contests, food and refreshments, and a BBQ Pork stand thanks to a hog donated by Eddie Farms.
This year's Rock to the Future concert will be themed, "Remembering Yesterday, Focusing on Tomorrow."
Featured will be two new events, a Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament, and a "Guitar Hero" PlayStation game tournament. Registration for both events begins at noon, with competition at 1. Prizes will be based on the number of contestants with entry fees, which include the price of admission.