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After four days of intensive learning and practicing, Travis Tighe and his Heightened Senses bandmates perform at Summer RockCamp. (Sonia Fernandez / Noozhawk photo)

Young rockers got their chance to blow their audience away on Aug. 8 as Jensen Guitar & Music held its 2008 Summer RockCamp show at its main stage on De la Vina Street in Santa Barbara.

The show was a chance for the RockCamp kids to show off their chops, after four days of intensive teaching, learning and practicing, provided by the Jensen Guitar teachers, who are veteran performers. Advanced musicians from each of the weeklong RockCamp sessions formed bands, picked a song and put it all together.

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Fans and family packed the main stage as group after group of the young musicians, ages 9 to 16, performed.

“I didn’t even know he could sing,” proud father Hans Pedersen said of his son Christian’s performance. He wasn’t the only impressed parent.

The RockCamp, now in its second year, was a hit from the start, said Main Stage Manager David Hekhouse, who is also a musician in the group The Tearaways.

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Lindsay Saveriano fronts her band, Shadowcast. (Sonia Fernandez / Noozhawk photo)

“There’s a lot of talent around here,” he said. Many of the kids are already students of the shop’s teaching staff, he said, kids who wouldn’t have any experience playing live, or even with other kids, if it weren’t for the camp.

That thought, along with the popularity of recent films such as The School of Rock, were just a couple of things that inspired the store to create the program.

While parents might see it as a way to keep their kids out of trouble over the summer, while learning an instrument besides, and Jensen’s teachers are happy to be able to impart their vast knowledge to the younger generation, clearly this is serious business for the young musicians in the program.

When asked if he was considering a career in the world of rock, 14-year-old Travis Tighe showed no hesitation.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “Oh, yeah.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at