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School of Rock opens Bellevue location this weekend
The Puget Sound has long been a breeding ground for talented musicians - and the School of Rock may be partly to thank. This weekend, the music program - which already boast more than 90 locations worldwide - will open it’s second Washington locale. In Bellevue.
Managed by Washington native Kris Kierulff, the new location has been in development for the past year. Kierulff, who grew up on the Eastside, got his start in the music industry by attending all-ages shows at the Old Firehouse in Redmond.
“I loved community of live music,” Kierulff said. “And fell in love with live music aspect of the music business.”
Looking to instill his love of music in kids, Kierulff designed his own degree in college that focused on youth empowerment through artistic expression, and has since worked a variety of jobs on the business side of the music industry - including working as a booking agent and tour manager for several years.
Noting the high burnout rate of people who work in the music industry, Kierulff said he found himself at a crossroads five years ago, trying to figure out what he was going to do next. That’s when he was offered a job to manage the School of Rock’s Seattle locale.
“It was just the perfect fit,” he said.
Kierulff says the idea for a School of Rock location on the Eastside came about because the company is looking to expand across the country.
“They really believed in the team and staff at the Seattle School and felt they could really invest in Bellevue,” Kierulff said.
Kierulff said some staff from the Seattle school will also work in Bellevue. However, the new location has also provided the opportunity for him to hire instructors he didn’t necessarily have room for in Seattle. There will also be a handful of students who currently attend the Seattle School who will be moving to the Bellevue location.
“Bellevue parents are excited to have a school that’s closer,” Kierulff said.
In regard to the school’s curriculum, Kierulff said the core of what they do is performance based music education.
“We put on shows to teach music, we don’t teach music to put on shows,” Kierulff said.
School of Rock students from the Seattle location have played shows at the Crocodile, Neumos and the Showbox, as well as stages at Bumbershoot and Seafair.
School of Rock Bellevue will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. at 14330 NE 20th Street, Bellevue.
The event will also feature a drum clinic with legendary Santana member, Michael Shrieve.