By Noe Gutierrez

The Academy of Musical Performance (AMP) is a non-profit music education organization created for young musicians in the Coachella Valley who are seeking the complete rock band experience. With grant funding from Goldenvoice, AMP has been able to achieve its primary goal of enriching the lives of young musicians living in the Coachella Valley by fostering productivity and social responsibility through creativity, communication and collaboration in the development and enhancement of musical performance and concert production skills through participation in a “rock band” style educational setting. This statement of purpose will be on full display Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 6 p.m. at Tack Room Tavern at the Empire Polo Grounds for AMP’s Jam Session #2 Showcase. You’ll see and hear what the bands have been working on for the last six weeks.

This summer AMP will again be looking for students interested in vocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, electronic music, promotion, stage, lighting and production. The camp features the desert’s top musicians teaching in a small band format providing support for musicians in their performance and concert production skills through rehearsals, workshops, individual instruction and live performances. The camp runs Monday, June 26th thru Saturday, July 22nd 2017 at Shadow Hills High School in Indio.

AMP was created in 2015 by a committee of volunteers involved with The Coachella Valley Community Trust. Kate Spates, AMP’s Program Director, is joyful in the community’s embracing of the program. “It’s wonderful how the community has embraced this program and local organizations have offered opportunities for our young musicians to showcase the results of collaboration, communication, hard work and dedication to their craft. I’m continually impressed by their professionalism and perseverance at such a young age. We are so fortunate to have an outlet for their creativity with this program and we are so incredibly grateful to Goldenvoice for their seed funding and our dynamic committee who produce it all.”


Coachella Valley Weekly spoke to some of the parents and program participants about their experiences with AMP. Annemarie Campbell (parent) expressed her thankfulness and the reality of the lack of funding for the arts in public schools. “It’s an amazing program that has allowed our daughter Tiffany to go above and beyond anything that a school could possibly provide.” According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (2016), students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well.

Cecilia Aldaz (parent) shared the benefit AMP has made to their family as a whole. “It’s been a wonderful experience for our child as well as for us. She has developed so much these last few years in AMP. She has advanced as a musician.” 82% of parents rate music education highly as a source for greater student creativity, a 21st century skill that’s highly likely to help young people stand out in an increasingly competitive global economy, NAMM (2016).

Israel Pinedo (musician) shared of his transformation. “It’s changed my life for the better. I’ve met lots of new people and lots of musicians. AMP has made me a better musician overall.” Music connects our youth and encourages freedom. Teenagers can use their musical experiences to form friendships and to set themselves apart from their parents to develop their individuality and independence.

Ultimately, music is enjoyable for children. Jake Besant (musician) talked about how music brings an element of joy. “It’s been super fun and I really love being part of AMP.”

Bob Hamilton, AMP Music Director shared this, “AMP has the potential to create a music scene of young professional musicians to represent our community at festivals and events across the Coachella Valley. Our core values include creativity, communication, and collaboration. Aside from the musicianship, accountability and professionalism are needed to thrive in our program. We build strong leaders and listeners in tune with the people and environment that surrounds them.”

We’ll leave you with this fitting quote from John Quincy Adams, our sixth President of the United States; “I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.”

AMP Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017: AMP Jam Session 2 at the Tack Room Tavern Indio, CA 5 to 9 p.m.

Friday, April 7, 2017: 7th Annual FIND Food Bank Telethon AMP Bands Performance broadcast live on CBS 2 5-11 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017: Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs 7 p.m.

Friday, April 28th – Sunday April 30, 2017: Stagecoach Festival AMP Bands Performance

Monday, June 26th – Saturday, July 22, 2017: AMP Summer Camp at Shadow Hills High School, Indio, CA

If you have an event where you would like an AMP band to perform, please send inquiries to: