While some musicians spend years gaining popularity before they perform at major summer music festivals, high schoolers Keeanna Martinez and Eric Meyers decided to hit the fast-forward button.
The two musicians, students at Broomfield's School of Rock, were chosen from 17,000 students around the country to join an all-star band playing at Lollapalooza this week. Martinez and Meyers are among the top 1.5 percent of School of Rock students who made the cut.
School of Rock is an after-school music program that teaches youths how to master instruments such as guitar, drums, keyboards and bass while practicing for live performances.
The national School of Rock AllStars tour hand-picks the best musicians to form bands and play at Lollapalooza and other venues across the country as part of the Love Hope Strength Tour, a partnership with the Love Hope Strength Foundation, an international, music-centric cancer charity.
Lollapalooza, a Chicago music festival that boasts headliners such as Eminem, Outkast, Skrillex and The Avett Brothers, can draw as many as 300,000 music lovers, according to Reuters.
That exposure is huge for Martinez and Meyers, who showed up at their regular band practice on Tuesday with a sense that the Lollapalooza trip is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to gain exposure, wow crowds and have fun.
"This is going to be awesome. I'm pumped. I'm psyched," said Meyers, a 17-year-old senior at Holy Family who honed his guitar skills at School of Rock.