New Camp Empowers Girls Through Music

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COLUMBIA - After learning an instrument in a week, forming a band of girls who have never met and writing their own original songs, CoMo Girls Rock bands took the stage Saturday night ready to show off what they learned at camp.

This year was the first CoMo Girls Rock camp. The camp is dedicated to empowering girls through creative expression, musical exploration and performance. It provides leadership opportunities and promotes self-esteem in a safe space.

"We're trying to show these girls that they can do anything that they set their mind to," Camp band aid Shannon Boyer said.

CoMo Girls Rock accepted 20 girls to participate in the week-long camp. Girls attended work shops, band practices and other activities all week long. Some of the workshops focused on feminism and body image.They formed their own bands and learned vocals or how to play the basics of either the drums, bass or guitar in just a week. The bands worked with band aids to write their own original songs and practice together as a group.

One group of girls formed the band they call "Five % Glass." Boyer and another leader have been working with the band all week to write their original song and put together their performance.

"They have been doing so well," Boyer said. "It's amazing. We had most of our song written after the second day. They've blown my mind so much. It's so inspiring."

Camper Emma Briner learned to play the bass this week and is a part of "Five % Glass."

"I love the bass so much right now," Briner said. "I can't let anybody else touch my bass at this point."

This is Briner's first time attending a camp, and she said it's been a great experience.

"The first day I was really shy but everybody was so nice, especially the leaders," Briner said. "I'm really glad I got to come. I would have been disappointed if I did anything different."

The bands finished up their final rehearsals Friday to perfect their songs and performance for Saturday night.

"I'm a little nervous just because I've never played bass before," Briner said. "I'm confident that our band plays so well together that if I did make a mistake we would still sound really good."

The bands will take the stage Saturday night at Mojo's. Doors open at 6pm and music will start around 7pm. Tickets are $5 and all ages are welcome to attend. Minors will also need to pay at $2 surcharge at the door.

"It's really cool to see a bunch of girls come together," Boyer said. "They're from different backgrounds and they don't have similar personalities. It's really cool to see them come together and find unity in something like this."