CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — Friday, a group of kids is throwing a community concert in Camden County. They’re part of a non-profit that wants to spread good cheer with good music. We caught a rehearsal in Oaklyn, where the young performers are getting ready for the big show.
We were there as the kids sang in a circle: “I hope you have the most wonderful day!”
These are songs for kids, but let’s face it. Anyone can relate to the message.
“They’re about kindness and love and, like, friendship,” said 8-year-old Leniyah Osler.
Charles Jack Kelly said the message is, “Don’t be too sad all the time and try to stay happy a lot.”
Ten years ago, Sara O’Brien started this program, Community Rocks!, a non-profit for ages 3 to 16. The children come from several South Jersey communities to learn art and music after school.
“They not only have something amazing after school, but they’re empowered to be in school and learn as much as they possibly can to have the most fulfilled lives as they can,” Sara said.
Not only do the young people sing, they help write songs. This week they release a new album, “Let Yourself Shine.” It’s a project that took six years.
“There are children who are now in college who were part of writing these songs,” Sara said.
Now the kids are rehearsing for a community CD release party Friday.
“We’re going to be singing some of our Community Rocks! songs in front of a crowd,” Leniyah said.
“I want them to feel happy and to like our songs,” 9-year-old Anya Stutzman said.
One of the performers will be Sara’s own 8-year-old. “Our career together began when my daughter, when she was in my belly,” Sara joked.
Friday’s event will feature dancing, singing, and an open mic for kids. They’ll be selling the CD, too, getting the word out that community does indeed rock.
The party starts at 4 p.m. at Haddon Township’s Lawn Concert venue at 51 Haddon Avenue. Local stores are carrying the CD, too.
You can also buy it online, here.