Miami Girls Rock Camp Prepares for Its Final Showcase at Grand Central

On the day of the Miami Girls Rock Camp’s inaugural session, the Miami Beach Community Church was buzzing with a different kind of music than it was used to. A bunch of little rock ‘n’ roll queens, ages eight to seventeen, were getting acquainted with their instruments and learning what it’s like to be in a band. The underlying purpose behind all this noise is to help the young girls gain confidence through musical expression.

On Wednesday, July 22, the camp was well into its third out of five days, with the volunteers and campers eagerly prepping for the finale show on Sunday, July 26. The girls — 24 in total — were grouped into five bands based on age, and each band will create a song to perform at the final show.

The week of workshops, instrument instructions, and band practice is as much about instilling the confidence and courage needed to get up on stage as it is about music. For camp cofounder Steph Taylor, getting people to come out to the girls' final showcase at Grand Central is all the more important in maintaining the supportive atmosphere of the overall experience.

“Everything that they’re working on in here and working out and going through is leading up to that moment for them to shine,” says Taylor.

“The support that they have here, if this is even an inkling of what’s to come, then I know we’re going to be just fine,” she continues. “This is only one portion. We’re all going to be there on Sunday cheering them on, on top of their parents and their friends and our friends. It’s going to be ten times this, so I’m really excited for that.”
Cofounder Heather Burdick further emphasizes the significance of support.

“I think it’s amazing that a community would come together and support our camp and I think that is important for us to do as humans,” says Burdick. “We’re creating something where they’re going to feel confident and they’re going to feel supported.”

All staff and campers are savoring the days leading up to the finale. Cofounder Emile Milgrim is especially excited about how well things are going.

“It’s really incredible to hear the entire building sound like music, and I can’t wait to hear what songs these kids write,” says Milgrim.

Burdick is excited to see weeks of preparation finally come to fruition. “[I hope] that it continues to feel so special, that it continues to feel so inclusive and exciting and happy. It’s pretty adorable around here,” she says.

Finally, for Taylor, she is happy to see everything is turning out exactly as she imagined in the earlier stages of the camp’s establishment. All she hopes now is that the week continues in the spirit of self-confidence and unity.

“My hopes are that these girls come more and more out of their shells, foster new relationships, turn into songwriters or musicians that want to continue working on that craft in some way and that ultimately everybody comes out of this experience feeling empowered and like one group," Taylor says. "That goes for the staff as well as the campers."

Miami Girls Rock Camp Finale Showcase. With Fate Squared, Playing With Gum, Scorched Earth Policy, the Overacheeverz, the Ragdoll Kittens, the State Of, and Sharlyn Evertsz. Sunday, July 26, 6 to 9 p.m. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; Admission costs $5. All ages.

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Junette Reyes is a Miami native multimedia journalist with previous writing credits at FIU Student Media, South Florida Music Obsessed, and WLRN. She generally prefers chilling with cats over humans and avoids direct sunlight to maintain her ghastly appearance.