Kingdom All-Stars keep the hits coming

Published: Dec. 29, 2019 at 9:50 AM EST
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The Kingdom All-Stars recently had one of its songs released on iTunes. "Stronger" was written by 14 year old Siri Jolliffe, an 8th grader at Barton School. She wrote it while recovering from back surgery.

"I didn't want it to just be about my back," Jolliffe said. "I kind of wanted people to be able to interpret it to other things in their life. Like relationships and stuff like that."

The Kingdom All-Stars are an independent, non-profit group of Northeast Kingdom students, grades 5 through 12.

"I just kind of fell in love with the band and I thought it was so cool that it was all kids," Jolliffe said.

"Everyone wants to be there and everyone wants to have a great time together," Danville School Sophomore, Liza Morse, said. "Everyone loves making music together and that's what makes this band so great."

The band was formed eight years ago by a small group of parents who thought student musicians deserved the same opportunities as student athletes.

"Before I got to the all stars, my guitar level was not at all where I am right now," Burke Town School eighth grader, Cameron Clark, said. "So, it's just really great."

Like a varsity team, students have to tryout. Burke Town School 8th grader, Jazmine Bogie auditioned a couple of times before making the band.

"It's something I've been working for, for a while so it just makes me feel proud of myself, feel accomplished," Jazmine Bogie said. "I found a lot of inspiration to write my own music and I've always performed on my own. So, it taught me how to perform better with other people."

Once in, there's no charge to participate. The all stars fund themselves through concert fees, private donations, CD and download sales. The band's first album of original music, "Smarticle Physics" was released last year.

"It's crazy knowing that people, not just my family and friends, people that I don't know are getting to listen to my music and getting to hear me do what I love to do," Danville School Sophomore, Ava Marshia, said."

The Kingdom All-Stars have been recording their music at Dreamery Productions in Barnet.

"We've had a great time doing it and I really love supporting them," studio owner and producer, John Heartson, said. "I've recorded local working bands and Grammy nominated song writers, but these guys, they're loads of fun in the studio, but when it comes to recording, they're just like the professionals."

"Being in this band the past few years has been life changing," Marshia said. "Skills like performing and coming into this recording studio and learning how to play with other musicians that are equally if not better talent wise, it's just been amazing."

Former members of the Kingdom All-Stars have gone on to become professional musicians. They will be releasing a new song each month for the next several months and the group's next live performance will be at First Night North in St. Johnsbury New Years Eve.