In recognition of International Women’s Month, two members of the local all-girl rock band Viridian Lights were invited to perform a virtual concert to a class of sixth grade students at Holcomb Elementary on March 19.
Lead guitarist and vocalist Alexandra Padilla and Highland resident, bassist and lead vocalist Sarah McClung joined the class in a Google Meet from Viridian Light’s recording studio.
The band members introduced themselves and shared how they became interested in playing instruments, singing and performing in a rock band.
Padilla and McClung are a product of the San Bernardino City Unified School District’s Teen Music Workshop.
“Kicks,” by Paul Revere and the Raiders, was the first song performed in their mini set.
The band then performed a song by Phillip Bailey and Phil Collins and wrapped up their performance with a classic Journey song, “Separate Ways.”
Afterward, the band members held a question and answer session with the students.
Ruben Urbano asked, “How do you feel when you are performing?”
McClung, who has been performing since she was a child responded, “I love it. I usually don’t usually get stage-fright. Performing on stage is like a second home to me.”
“Performing is my second biggest place of joy next to praying,” said Padilla. “Playing on stage, I feel super comfortable and happy.”
Emily Tapia asked, “Do you have a favorite song? If so, which one is it?”
“My favorite song is ‘Separate Ways,’ by Journey,” said Padilla. “No matter where we play, everybody loves that song. It’s got a lot of energy and audience rocks out and sings it with us.”
Melissa Gonzalez asked, “If you could play with any other bands, who would it be?”
After some thought, Padilla responded, “I’d love to play with Joan Jett or Green Day. I really love Green Day.”
Emily Maldonado asked, “Do you guys want to do this for the rest of your lives?”
Padilla responded with an emphatic, “Heck yeah! Absolutely. I want to do this every day. I love it, whether it’s performing or playing in the studio.”
Padilla found her passion to play and sing after she saw a band perform at her elementary school.
“I said to myself, I really want to do that,” said Padilla. “Now that I am an adult playing concerts everywhere, I finally get to play for a group of sixth grade elementary students. It’s kind of like coming full circle.”
At 24 years old, Padilla uses a Gibson Studio Les Paul guitar when she is on stage.
“I like Les Paul guitars because they give a warm full tone. I’ve always preferred Les Paul guitars.”
Padilla performed with the Teen Music Workshop for four years and then became a staff member. She believes the workshop was pivotal to her musical success.
“The Teen Music Workshop is great for anyone that wants to play an instrument,” said Padilla. “It’s free. As a student, you’d get to perform at community events, theme parks and other venues in Southern California.”
McClung, who has been singing since she was a child, sang and played bass for the Workshop for six years.
“The Workshop provides kids with opportunities to play and grow and learn their potential,” said McClung. “I started out as a singer. I was able to develop my voice with the band.
“I didn’t know how to play bass until it was brought up to me. I love the bass, and I’ve never looked back. Someday I’d like to play with the Eagles or Journey, if I could. It would be amazing!”
Padilla and McClung enjoyed performing for the class.
“This was our first virtual performance with an interactive audience, ever,” said Padilla.
“It was cool playing on this type of platform because it was for a totally different purpose. We usually perform to entertain, but today this was more of an educational show. Our message is, if you want to play a guitar, bass, keyboards or drums, do it. And if you find you enjoy it, more power to you.”
McClung also agreed on performing on a virtual platform.
“I loved doing this concert,” said McClung. “If we can inspire one student to help them see that they, too, can perform on stage, then we did our job.
“We’ve opened the door for them to see that they can do it with hard work and dedication.”
To learn more about Viridian Lights visit their website, ViridianLights.com.
Viridian Lights will be performing at The Canyon-Montclair on April 30 at 7 p.m.