A new sound is emerging at The Country Day School. A rock band of Senior School students has been performing at various events around the School, much to the enjoyment of their peers and teachers. Jump the River mostly covers classic rock, but is looking to expand to more modern music. The talented musicians find inspiration from many different sources, including how they decided on their name.
The band initially found its foot earlier this spring during the March Break music trip to Italy. Guitarist Michael Rokas ’16 and vocalist Corson Panneton ’17 jammed together in their hotel room after the day’s events and quickly realized they should keep playing together. Keyboardist Sam Cantor ’17 entered the fray after visiting their hotel room later in the trip and liking what he heard.
It didn’t take long for the band to expand even more. After Mr. Arrigo’s impromptu bass music lesson on the bus during that same trip, Corson and Michael knew they needed a bassist in the group. The two didn’t wait long to approach Marissa Faiella ’18 about becoming the fourth member, an offer she gladly accepted.
The four started performing together at the Senior School’s Coffee House and quickly found an audience within the School. Corson admits to being nervous before their first show “I was really nervous, but after talking to the crowd before the set, I began to settle down.” Rokas was quite happy with their debut “We didn’t want to change anything; it went quite well and inspired us to play more.” They did realize they could use a drummer and quickly filled that role with Jackson Daniel ’19.
The young group is still experimenting with their sound and aren’t quite sure if they have defined it yet. According to Rokas “We are a rock cover band with a mixture of other sounds.” Marissa agrees and is excited to see a mix of new music from the band. “I grew up listening to old classic rock, Billy Joel, The Eagles, but I’m excited that we’ll be trying some more modern stuff soon.” The band exhibits quite an assortment of different rock influences from the other members as well; KISS, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Offspring.
Finding time to rehearse is not easy for the group. After a summer hiatus, the members still find it tough to get together considering all of the other responsibilities they have at CDS. Rokas explains how they found a way to make it work, “We practice our individual parts at home, but get together in the music department to rehearse before gigs at coffee house or assemblies.”
Jump the River did not struggle too long to settle on its name. After considering the names Rebel, and Mike Rokas and the Chow-Cows, the group looked back on a funny moment on their trip to Italy where it all started. Lead singer Corson decided he was going to jump a small creek in Lucca, Italy. Despite being advised by music teacher Mr. Arrigo not to jump, Corson proceeded anyway. “I ran and jumped but hit the side of the bank and slid down into the creek. Only my feet went into the water, but my shoes were soaked the rest of the day.”
The name was ultimately suggested by Julia Garbe’17, during a conversation with Marissa on the flight home. The rest of the band agreed that it was a great name with a great story.
When asked to describe the band to others, drummer Jack explains, “We’re just a bunch of kids who got together and wanted to play some music.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for Jump the River at the upcoming CDS Coffee Houses and assemblies. They don’t disappoint.