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Rockin' out at Summer Meltdown

200 Yes I Can students help make music festival a success

Posted: May 23, 2009 9:56 p.m.
Updated: May 24, 2009 8:00 a.m.

Headliner Shwayze (foreground) and his partner Cisco Adler (left) got a little help on keyboards, bass and trumpet from Prints Hornsworth Delay (right) at Summer Meltdown Saturday night.

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Heads bobbed back and forth as dozens of young adults rocked out to the songs of 13 bands playing on an outdoor amphitheater that was turned into a professional concert stage Saturday at Golden Valley High School.

The sixth annual "Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness and Social Inclusion Concert" was a hit in the eyes and ears of those who attended and those involved in its 10-hour production.

Students and parents listened to live music reverberating off the walls of the high school from non-local and local bands like Evidence is Here, Mission:Black and BLT. Crowds cheered on their favorite bands and visited merchandise booths for T-shirts and CDs.

"Everything's awesome - the shirts, the bands, everything's cool," said Jesus Lozoya, 19, who is part of the Yes I Can Program, the William S. Hart District nonprofit program for students with and without disabilities that produces the rock festival each year.

Lisa Lamedman, Canyon High School's Yes I Can advisor, said about 200 Yes I Can students were involved in the day's production.
The Meltdown is a $30,000 event which takes a year of planning, fundraising, booking talent and more, Lamedman said. All proceeds from the concert will support the Yes I Can program.

"It was a lot of hard work, but it paid off. This is really fun," said Anokina Touman, 17, a Yes I Can student at Golden Valley.

Shwayze fever was in the air as students waited in anticipation for the Malibu-based headliner band's performance at 9:30 p.m. The hip-hop/indie rock band's 2008 debut CD hit No. 1 on the iTunes album chart.

"Everyone's having a good time, music is flowing, kids are smiling, parents are smiling, kids love the free stuff," said Bret Lieberman, Yes I Can program advisor at Golden Valley High School and Summer Meltdown executive producer. "The kids are happy and that's all that matters."

Also at the concert: Bridgeport Elementary School sixth-grader Johnny Flinn, who won a random drawing Thursday morning in the Racer's Edge "Summer Meltdown Ultimate Giveaway."

Flinn took the stage to receive his prize package including event T-shirts, food vouchers, the latest CD by each band, and more.

"It was pretty exciting. It made me really happy," Johnny said. "I'm enjoying a lot of bands, especially Mission:Black. That was the best one here."

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