HARLINGEN — “We will, we will recycle!” sang the band Vocal Trash as the students clapped along.
The band, an urban-themed Broadway style production, performed for more than 400 students from throughout the Harlingen school district yesterday morning.
“I think the message of the music was amazing,” said Kyriana Garcia, 15, a sophomore at Harlingen High School.
“I think recycling and reusing is the only way to have a future,” she added.
Band members used objects they found in landfills and repurposed them into musical instruments. Trash cans and water bottles became powerful drum sets for the performance at Harlingen CISD Performing Arts Center at 3217 Wilson Road.
“On the count of three! One, two, three! Aaaah!” shouted Steve Linder, vocalist, percussionist, guitar player and co-owner of the band.
All five members began by delivering turbo-charged renditions of popular songs, some tailored to the message of preserving the planet, avoiding unhealthy eating and curbing bullying. They strapped on metal garbage cans in front of them and pounded them with drum sticks. Linder smashed trash can lids together for dramatic effect. Everyone performed musical acrobatics as they sang and danced.
“I’ve got a feeling,” they sang, “that tonight’s gonna be a good night, that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”
Linder and Kelsey Rae, vocalist and co-owner, were excited about delivering their message.
“We are the voice trying to inspire youth to save the planet, and we do it through music and dance,” Rae said. “We call it edutainment. We educate the youth.”
The stop in Harlingen is part of a seven-week tour across the country during which they’ll perform in 26 states. Later Thursday they were scheduled to perform at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium. The event was sponsored by the Harlingen Concert Association, said Julie Ng-Castillo, educational outreach chair.
“I think they will see how they can be done in a creative way,” she said. “It’s a live performance and personally I know some might not have seen that.”
They all very skillfully involved the students in the performance, prompting them to cheer, move raised hands back and forth, and sing along with them.
“I thought it was really cool,” said Emily Weston, 16, a sophomore at Harlingen High School.
“They’re letting people know that one person can make a change,” she said.