Teton Music School taps into hair metal hilarity for birthday bash

The night celebrates five years of music education with the film "This Is Spinal Tap" followed by a performance by local band 86.
Teton Music School’s “Rockin’ Birthday Bash” features a screening of the cult classic film "This Is Spinal Tap" followed by a live performance from local tribute band 86 plus an ’80s costume contest, a selfie photo booth, dancing, and a cash bar. (Courtesy Photo)

Since opening its doors at the Center for the Arts in 2019, Teton Music School’s mission has been to educate and inspire people of all ages to create and share music.

The school was started by beloved piano teacher Kyle Johnson and drummer Ed Domer, who were looking for some new studio space at the time. When they discovered that the Center for the Arts had a music wing available they realized they could create an entire educational organization that served the community.

TMS has grown steadily since its inception. With nearly 300 students and 16 instructors, to give private lessons and group classes for all ages. Instruments like piano, bass, drums, guitar, woodwinds, and brass are offered as well as music production and music therapy.


‘If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it’

“We indeed have something for every age and every possible ability.” TMS executive director, Amanda Flosbach said. “It’s a little bit of something for everyone and, we’re just excited with the growth that we’ve had. And we’re ready to celebrate all of this on Saturday.”

To ring in TMS’ fifth anniversary, they will have a “Rockin’ Birthday Bash” on Saturday, April 27 at the Center for the Arts. The festivities will start at 7 p.m. with a screening of the cult classic mockumentary film “This Is Spinal Tap” with a live performance from local tribute band, 86. They’ll perform dance-inducing ’80s hair metal anthems on the Center Theater stage. There will also be a cash bar, costume contest, and a photo booth with all proceeds benefiting the Teton Music School.

“I wanted to offer a whole slate of fun opportunities for people to engage with the school differently,” Flosbach said. “The number one value at our organization is joy. If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it. And so to me, “This Is Spinal Tap is the ultimate music movie. It’s done with incredible skill, great music, and jokes that people identify with.”

“This Is Spinal Tap” is a well-loved film of hilarious moments and quotable lines. It’s written and directed by Rob Reiner and stars comedy legends Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer as “one of Britain’s loudest bands.”

Music brings people together

86’s lead singer Jeff Bratz aka Savage Rains and bassist Andy Calder aka Gunner Oslo channel the film’s energy in their live performances and are looking forward to fans of the movie getting the chance to be in the presence of greatness on Saturday night. 

“Savage and I are beyond excited that an organization like Teton Music School exists so that young people can hope to aspire to be like us someday on the big stage, making noise, being heartthrobs,” Oslo said. “This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to be around us. We’re excited for them.”

Flosbach suggests preparing for a fun night full of ‘80s nostalgia that brings the community together in honor of music education.

“I think you can expect to sing along with just about anything you can imagine that you know and love from the 80s: Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses,” Flosbach said. “It’s called a fundraiser/friend-raiser. What we do we want it to be available to the community. This event has a reasonable ticket price, about the same price you’d pay to go to a movie in the theater. We want people to be able to come out and have a great time with us.”

The power of music education and its benefits are abundant according to Flosbach, who speaks from experience not only as Teton Music School’s executive director but as a young student who utilized those opportunities herself.

“What it does for the brain, what it does for the socialization of people and skill development – kids at a young age need to have exposure to the opportunity to make music. To me, that’s important,” Flosbach said. “And as a person who had access at a young age to a strong public school music program in rural Wisconsin where there was, honestly, not much going on. It was such an important place to me where I had the opportunity to discover myself, and my interests. And it’s important to me personally to bring these musical opportunities to our community.”

Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Teton Music School’s Amanda Flosbach and 86 band members Savage Rains and Gunner Oslo.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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