Alice Cooper bassist’s show to benefit Barbee’s music program

MILWAUKEE – A Friday concert and fundraiser put together in part by Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric aims to raise money to add music to after-school arts offerings at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Lloyd Barbee Montessori School.

Fittingly dubbed “After School’s Out,” the event includes a raffle and shows by Garric, Mother Dog, Into Arcadia and The Black Saints along with an online silent auction:

Auction items include an Alice Cooper-autographed guitar; a KISS-autographed drum head; an Al Jarreau-autographed CD set; CDs, shirt and hat signed by the band America; and a package of items autographed by Milwaukee Brewer Rickie Weeks.

Doors for the show open at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 22 at Hotel Foster on the city’s east side, 2028 E. North Avenue, Milwaukee 53211. Acts are expected to go on around 8 or 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door, with those proceeds going to the school as well.

The idea for the fundraiser came about after Garric and his wife Lindsay Garric, who helped organize the effort, decided to celebrate their daughter’s high school graduation in a way that would give back to public schools.

Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric (center) with students from MPS’ Lloyd Barbee Montessori School; Garric told the students to say “Rock ‘n Roll” before the photo was taken!

Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric (center) with students from MPS’ Lloyd Barbee Montessori School; Garric told the students to say “Rock ‘n Roll” before the photo was taken!

Bobby Tanzilo, an MPS Montessori parent, brought the idea of supporting Lloyd Barbee Montessori School to Lindsay Garric, an colleague.

“There was something about this school and program that tugged at our heartstrings,” Chuck Garric said.

Lloyd Barbee Montessori is a relatively new program in MPS. The school provides its students – more than 80% of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch – with an after-school arts program that supplements school-day arts programming provided by a specialist teacher and partner arts organizations. The program, bolstered by the MPS Partnership for the Arts and Humanities, offers visual art, dance, drama – and even Spanish instruction.

Now, the school wants to expand the program to five days per week and add musical instrument lessons.

“Music has definitely been an important part of my life and has taken me all around the world,” Chuck Garric said. “I just wanted to give these kids a chance to see what is inside of them, to fall in love with music and just let them know that there’s other people who care about them.”

“I’m so impressed with Lindsay and Chuck’s efforts in putting together the fundraiser — and also his band members here in Milwaukee as well as everybody that’s donated from the world famous artists to the local artists and business here in town,” Lloyd Barbee Principal Catherine Loss said. “It feels great because we have a great program for our kids and now we have people from outside of our wonderful school community care about our school: people in Milwaukee, the U.S. and the world.”

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving more than 78,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000.