Students in Penn State Altoona’s Sheetz Fellows Program took part in planning the April 9, 2016, Walkney Rocks the Jaffa event, Altoona’s first ever music concert headlining a hometown rock/alternative band. The benefit concert, produced by Altoona Community Theatre (ACT), featured Walkney, formerly known as The Big Time, a band formed in 2009 by students from Bishop Guilfoyle and Altoona High Schools.
To celebrate the band’s upcoming fifth EP, Walkney wanted to offer a concert in its hometown to thank local fans and inspire youth in the area to follow their dreams. The band asked for help from a local marketing consultant who suggested partnering with ACT and the Sheetz Fellows who could help plan and execute the concert. Each year, the graduating class of the Sheetz Fellows Program takes on a servant leadership project that helps members gain real-world business experience and has the potential to leave a legacy within the community. ACT conducts a variety of programs encouraging the creativity of young people, so the collaboration was a natural fit.
During the concert, the band performed old and new songs alike. In addition, more than twenty musicians, vocalists, and dancers from local schools were invited to perform.
About 1,000 people were in attendance raising a total of $15,800 for ACT, far surpassing the original goal of $5,000. Proceeds from the concert will help support ACT’s programming for kids to develop their creative side and give them the opportunity and the confidence to perform on stage.
Following the concert, Walkney gained national attention from MTV, being named one of the “9 pop-punk bands you need to get into right now.”