Weatherford Democrat

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June 18, 2009

Girls get a little rock 'n' roll at camp

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Asenet Torres wants to rock 'n' roll.

She's 10. On Monday, she wore black capri pants and a ponytail. She talked bubbly about playing drums at Chicas Rock, an all-girls rock camp set up in an old photography studio.

"You can express your feelings with them (the drums)," Asenet said. "When you play drums, you play with your heart."

The camp, run by La Conquista, an all-female, cumbia/pop band from Monterrey, Mexico, is designed to teach girls how to be a rocker while still being a girl.

Surrounded by sound equipment and a tangle of power cords, 11 campers chattered excitedly as they strapped on guitars, stepped up to the microphone or sat behind a drum set. They paid $300 each for the two-week camp.

"They're learning quick," said La Conquista's bass player, Cecy Trevino. "No matter where they came from, it doesn't matter. Here, we're all going to learn the same."

By learning, she means jamming but also getting some history on musicians that have paved the way for girls, such as Joan Jett and the Go-Go's. Campers also are tutored in management 101 and how to keep a band together.

"We want to teach them how ... to keep with it," Trevino said, shouting to be heard while some campers played "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," a hit for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

"We want them to learn how to have fun," she said.

The atmosphere is free of boy pressure, something Trevino said she didn't have.

"Back in the day we had to learn how to play with the boys," she said.

The camp is the first of what La Conquista hopes to be many rock band camps for girls.

Some boys' parents called to get into the camp, but La Conquista wasn't having it, they said.

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