An Oakdale native and his wife are teaming up to open their newest School of Rock — inside a former daycare center in Sayville.
Joel and Emilia Camp said that they expect that some time in June they will start bringing to the Sayville area what they’ve been bringing for seven years to their Farmingdale School of Rock location — a positive environment where young people can thrive socially and learn music.
“We offer not just music but a social environment. It gives the ability for kids to find a second home,” Joel Camp, 45, said. “They find people with similar interests. And it’s better than spending time on video games and cell phones.”
The Camps new 2,600-square-foot School of Rock will be located at 4832 Sunrise Highway South Service Road, right next door to Sayville’s new vegan deli, Clementine’s. It is the former home of Tender Hearts Preschool.
“It’s the perfect location. It’s right off the highway and easy to get to,” said Camp, who grew up in Oakdale. “A big chunk of the South Shore will be familiar with us.”
The space will have two rehearsal rooms with state-of-the-art lighting and sound proofing, two kick-butt drum rooms and seven lesson rooms. Outside, there’s plenty of parking space and room for outside performances, the Camps said.
Back inside, the rooms will each be named and themed after such rock stars and groups as Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. Also, there will be a student lounge — AKA “the no parent zone.”
School of Rock students — most of whom will have been cooped up for most of the last year due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic — can expect to learn teamwork, responsibility, courage and communication skills, the Camps explained.
“It’s really important for the kids to get together and be social,” said Joel Camp, noting that many of the students at the Farmingdale School of Rock went on to study music in college. “It’s part of being human.”
At School of Rock, kids will go in for lessons and eventually join a group and do live shows and perform at street fairs. They can expect to perform in one or two gigs per season, Joel Camp said.
“We’re about getting the kids out and putting their music into practice,” Joel Camp said.
Greater Sayville of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar said young people in and around Sayville are in for a treat with School of Rock.
“Sayville has been known for our great up-and-coming youth musical artists,” she said, “and we’re happy to see yet another great venue for children to learn music locally.”
Great couple, perfect team
Joel Camp, a Five Towns College graduate, is a former school music teacher who has played the saxophone in thousands of gigs — from Broadway to street fairs to wedding and festivals. He played in the musical “Jump” at the Hudson Theatre.
Emilia, 44, is an MBA graduate from Stony Brook University.
“Between my music and her financial background, we believed we had a good team to move forward with this project,” Joel Camp said.
And the Camp team is only getting bigger and stronger.
The Camps have two children, and both have been in a music performance group since they were 6 years old. Saxton, 10, plays the piano and guitar, and Dylan, 8, plays base.
Check out some photos of the School of Rock in Farmingdale.