Brennan Rock & Roll Academy was established to help children uncover and develop their love, passion and talents through the power of music. Through positive education and encouragement from kind and gifted musicians the students learn music, performance and industry skills while learning to dream bigger and believe in themselves more by gaining self-confidence through something they are truly excited about… music, the universal language. Brennan Rock & Roll Academy provides access to both real music lessons and the equipment used to create it to spirited children who otherwise may not have that access or opportunity.
Brennan Rock & Roll Academy provides music education for Boys & Girls Club kids that focuses on Rock & Roll instruments: guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and vocals. Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire will be able to receive weekly one-on-one lessons with professional musicians, along with weekly band rehearsals to prepare for upcoming concerts. As they continue to cultivate their skills, they will participate in a live performance in front of a real crowd. Super cool transportation will allow kids to attend the Academy and/or the Eastside Boys & Girls Club.
By participating in the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy, students will go through their own unique musical journey. In addition to learning to play instruments or sing, youth will learn how to work in groups and gain confidence that will serve them throughout their lives.
In order to rock at the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy, a youth must be a member of the Boys & Girls Club. The Eastside Boys & Girls Club is a safe, drop-in afterschool and evening program for youth from 1st grade to age 18 located at 700 S. Sneve Avenue, Sioux Falls. Membership is $25 per year per child, which includes all programming, meals and activities.
Boys & Girls Clubs focus on five core areas: Character & Leadership, Career & Education, Health & Life Skills, the Arts, and Sports, Fitness & Recreation. These core areas are woven into programming that is fun, engaging and positive. Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls, shaping them into future leaders, employees and community members.
Chuck Brennan, a former Sioux Falls Boys Club kid who has since had success as an entrepreneur, has struck the first chord with a donation of $250,000 and has committed funding nearly $3,000,000 to provide the rock & roll program to the kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire for the next 20 years. The Brennan Rock & Roll Academy will be located in a prime location on the historic Sioux Falls’ loop. Mr. Brennan grew up near 8th and Covell, less than a mile from the Historic Loop Plaza that he built with his business partner, Keith Bergh. As a kid, he used to ride his bike up to the construction site when they were building the original Hardee’s restaurant. As the years passed and the neighborhood started to decline he was thrilled to spearhead the development project that sparked an entire revitalization of the neighborhood.
Brennan never seemed to master an instrument so he started managing regional bands at the age of 18 to quench his music passion. In early 1990 he founded and ran one of the largest Rock & Roll venues in the Midwest, the Blitz Ballroom, in nearby Pipestone, Minnesota. Brennan also promoted concerts all over the region for years and worked with a wide spectrum of National Rock and Roll bands including his good friends in KISS, Alice Cooper, and just too many to list.
Kory Van Sickle
Kory Van Sickle, the founder/lead singer/songwriter of Kory and the Fireflies has joined forces with Brennan Rock & Roll Academy by consulting and co-creating with the organization on all things Rock & Roll. With 25 plus years as a professional in the music industry, Van Sickle has lived and breathed rock & roll the majority of his life. He continues to make his living doing so in a way that’s been a positive influence to his many fans and followers as well as to the Sioux Falls community fronting one of the Midwest’s most successful bands. Mr. Brennan envisions Kory’s involvement to be “a living example for the students at Brennan Rock & Roll Academy of what they can aspire to.”
Kory will speak with students and instructors sharing his experiences and expertise with the intention of inspiring the future rock and rollers. Other opportunities will be offered through Kory and the Fireflies where some students will have the chance to observe the band recording, see behind the scenes at shows, and if they do their “homework” possibly make a guest appearance joining Kory and the Fireflies on stage.
Kory’s ability to connect with audiences, write catchy songs and stage presence have played a large part in the success of Kory and the Fireflies. Kory’s message of peace and love make him a perfect fit for the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy.