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The Packer Weekly: Amb commits to Rock School experience

Thinking back to her mistake during her solo in the song “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, junior Sheridan Amb remembers vomiting in the bathroom afterward as her nerves finally consumed her. After she played her song in front of the audience, she threw her guitar at her drummer, knowing the audience did not hear the mistake but still feeling embarrassed.

“I’m one of those people who need to play perfect, and I messed up,” Amb said. “I was so hopped up on the adrenaline and the craziness, but after that night I was fine.”

Amb was playing with her band at The Venue at The Hub through Elevate Rock School. Elevate was started by Bryce Elevate in goals of creating a meaningful rock experience.

“My entire life has been focused on music,” Bryce said. “The lessons I encountered as a child didn’t quite connect with me, and as I became a teacher myself, I realized that I could do something about it.”

Through the process of creating Elevate, Bryce inspires students to pursue their musical career, such as Amb and junior Bryan Tassava.

“Bryan was actually a student of mine when I taught at home before Elevate opened,” Bryce said. “Bryan has a natural country style to his voice and has a rich tone quality that singers strive for.”

Tassava decided to commit to a music career after being bullied when he was younger because he wanted to prove his classmates wrong.

“It feels really good to know that people aren’t going to ignore you and they just want to see you do well,” Tassava said. “They aren’t bent on tearing you down; they just want to see you do well.”

Bryce said his goal for the school when it first opened on Nov. 1, 2011, was for students to embrace their musical journey and make it a lifelong lesson.

“It builds a sense of belonging, friendship and team work,” Bryce said. “As you learn that you don’t need to be so self-conscious or worried about what others think, you learn to walk taller and be proud of who you are.”

Because of Elevate, Amb believes she has become more confident in other ways.

“I can now do speeches without shaking out of control,” Amb said. “It also helped with playing and wanting to play more because they give you more ways to play and learn songs.”

Currently at Elevate, Amb is in a band with another guitar player, a bass player and a vocalist.

“You are with kids your own age,” Amb said. “As of now, we are trying to figure out what fits in our band. It’s nice because I have a studio in my basement and I can invite my band over to practice.”

Amb takes lessons once a week on Tuesdays rotating between having a core lesson, which is the basics of guitar, and a rock lesson, which consists of playing with the band and choosing a song.

“Personally, it is worth every cent,” Amb said. “You actually get to have your own band and feel like you’ve been accomplishing so much.”

(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information visit