Girls Rock Roulette 2017 - by Bria Barton

... some bigger girls are getting their chance to shine.

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An ensemble of rocker chicks is strumming, drumming and singing their way to New Brookland Tavern on Sept. 23 to show off what it means to have girl power.


Girls Rock Columbia is hosting Rock Roulette 2017, a fundraising event that goes toward funding their Girls Rock Camp and year-round programming.


Although Girls Rock strives to teach their younger members the splendors of music and self-confidence, on this night, some bigger girls are getting their chance to shine.


“At Girls Rock Camp, we always remind our campers that their most powerful instrument is their voice. It's really important to us that our adult volunteers and supporters have opportunities to use their voices just like our campers,” Jess Oliver, Girls Rock Columbia executive director, says. “We lead by example, so it's good to be able to empathize during camp week when we are asking them to do something that might be intimidating. This is a great opportunity for volunteers who might want to work on building up their confidence in front of an audience because they will have their band mates up there with them for support.”


Last month, the Girls Rock ladies were each assigned a band in preparation for Rock Roulette 2017. Over the last couple of weeks, their task has been to practice their instruments and compose at least one original song with their respective band members.


“I am most excited about the people who have never played an instrument. One of my band members is playing keyboard for the first time, and she showed up to rehearsal absolutely glowing,” Oliver says. “It helps me remember that, yeah, we are largely a summer camp for youth, but it's really important to empower each other too. We adults doubt ourselves sometimes and feel small and powerless too, so it's important to take the opportunity to do something brave and remember, ‘Oh yeah... I ROCK!’”


Those participating in Rock Roulette 2017 are also individually raising money for Girls Rock through their own Razoo links, which they have posted on their social media. Oliver encourages people to donate because every dollar goes “directly to Girls Rock Columbia's future programming.”


Oliver believes that the public should come out and support Rock Roulette 2017 because it might just be that inspirational push a person needs in order to step out of their comfort zone. Additionally, she says, “[Rock Roulette is] bound to be a fun and energetic night of community and positivity” and that the audience can expect to see “a lot of really big smiles.”


“I'm also really happy that we have some community members participating in Rock Roulette who have never volunteered with us,” Oliver says. “We want to continue to grow, and this is one way we can keep making connections.”


Rock Roulette 2017 begins at 8PM. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at They will also be available at the door.