April Clark knew three years ago that Reach and Teach was destined to do big things.
The student-based multi-media marketing and concert promotion program has indeed grown from a student-promoted rock concert at Colbert County High School to reaching 38 schools across the Southeast this year alone.
Among this year’s Reach and Teach events is the second annual River City Rhythm Fest, in Decatur, scheduled for May 9 at the Austin Junior High football stadium. Tickets go on sale March 1 and are available online at Eventbrite. General admission tickets are $18 and the show starts at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m.
Musical artists include Trea Landon, Sean Stemaly and Muscle Shoals native Rachel Wammack.
Wammack was the only country artist on Entertainment Weekly’s 2019 Artists to Watch list. She was also named to Rolling Stone’s “10 Best Country EP’s of 2018” among other honors. Based is Nashville, Wammack was selected for County Music Television’s “Next Women of Country.”
Clark said she expects Wammack to be a big draw to the festival from among her fan base in the Shoals.
The music festival is being organized by a select group of high school students who, this spring, are planning, promoting and executing the festival from booking artists to designing graphics to obtaining sponsors and working the event.
The program is designed to provide students with real world opportunities and exposes them to career paths in marketing, event planning and more.
Clark, the co-founder along with Cam Flener of the Velcro Pygmies, coordinates the nonprofit Reach and Teach organization and said the students are involved in doing everything from developing the logo and flyers for the festival to ticket designs.
“They’re learning every aspect of what it takes to sponsor a community concert, from obtaining noise ordinance waivers to working with civil service employees organizing police and fire department presence,” she said. “We’re plugging students in everywhere we can.”
In an effort to include all the various Career Academies of Decatur, Clark said culinary students will also have a role in the festival preparation as they prepare food for the artists’ hospitality room.