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AllStars Highlight - Maddi Jones

Maddi Jones made it into AllStars for guitar, traveling across the country and ending her first tour with a bang at Lollapalooza. Her second tour headed out west towards sunny San Fransico, rainy Seattle and more. Since then she's gone on to college and had been teaching at School of Rock Elmhurst. Currently, Maddi is interning in California. We got a chance to talk to Maddi despite her busy schedule to revist her School of Rock days. 


1. Describe the moment when you found out you got into AllStars.


Maddi: There were six finalists in Elmhurst, and we knew that three students were accepted into AllStars. When they read my name off, I bursted into tears right away. I poured blood sweat and tears into preparing for each audition, and I had been dreaming of being an Allstar for years. It was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, and I felt so seen for the hard work I put into the audition process. Hugs all around and lots of happy crying.

2. What were you concerned or excited about once you got into All Stars?


Maddi: I was thrilled to meet a ton of goofy music nerds like me. Allstars has a certain playful and wacky culture to it, and it feels like a family who wants to push you out of your comfort zone in the best way and see you succeed. Closest thing to a sports team I’ll ever get. I was ecstatic to have an Allstars family in my life and make musician friends from all over the country. I still perform with some of these people to this day, and I’ve played in bands with at least nine of them!

3. What do you think are the biggest factors that ultimately prepared you to become an AllStar?


Maddi: You gotta be STARVING for the opportunity, because it’s a highly competitive program and everyone who auditions is very talented. It’s important to choose audition songs that highlight your unique strengths, and show them your personality – they’re looking for people who like having fun on stage! Passion, leadership, and dedication are key. I love that the program celebrates the people who show up to School of Rock with the mindset of creating a community, lifting people up, and taking things seriously but having fun with it.

4. Describe your daily practice regimen before you got into AllStars.


Maddi: I like to deep dive into things when I’m determined – eat, breathe, practice. I listened to and practiced my songs for hours every night, and I studied the intricacies of the phrasings as thoroughly as I could so that playing them felt like second nature. I also spent many hours studying music theory. When I was away from my guitar, I listened to my songs every opportunity I had- in the hallways between classes, running errands, walking the dog, etc

5. What kept you motivated and inspired to work hard enough to become an AllStar?


Maddi: I first became interested in the program when I saw the AllStars perform and there was this girl guitarist who absolutely shredded. She blew me away, I couldn’t take my eyes off her guitar playing for the whole show. I wanted to be in her shoes. I decided I would work as hard as I possibly could to make this dream come true for myself. Another source of motivation is considering the fact that you aren’t just working toward making it past each audition, you’re working toward being the best musician you can be when you show up to the tour. You gotta think long term.

6. Aside from the festivals, what city or show did you enjoy playing the most?


Maddi: Lollapalooza was obviously incredible, but my two favorite shows were in Cleveland and Pontiac. In Cleveland, we played outdoors at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and it was a blast playing at such a legendary venue. During our Motley Crüe song, I passed my guitar off stage, slung the bassist’s bass around my shoulder, and he picked me up and carried me around the stage while I played bass for the outro. It looked pretty sick. Playing in Pontiac at the Crofoot Lounge was also awesome because I crowd surfed in the audience with my bass. It was one of the most thrilling moments of my life!

7. What region(s) did you get to go to? Any fun stories from your time playing there?


Maddi: My last tour hit Seattle, Portland, Medford, Sacremento, Cupertino, and San Francisco. My first tour hit Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pontiac, and Chicago, ending at Lollapalooza. Playing Lolla was insane, especially since it was my first time at the festival. With our official artist wristbands, I ate in the artist tent with the other artists, I traveled by golf cart, and I got to go backstage for any act I wanted. Funny story – Camila Cabello’s photographer approached me because he thought I was a member of the band Superorganism, and he asked to take a picture with me (I took the picture). 

8. How was interacting and playing with other students you haven't met before? Did you find it challenging? 


Maddi: The people who make it into the program take music very seriously, so I felt this effortless musical flow with them despite never having played together before. When everyone puts in the work and preparation beforehand, it all clicks when you come together! It’s an out of this world feeling when you play a song for the first time with strangers and it sounds perfect. On top of that, everyone’s dancing and grooving on stage like we’re all old friends. Watching everyone else bring on the stage presence made it feel like a safe environment to step out of your comfort zone and try moving around more than you’re used to.



The AllStar Tour is an audition based tour that tours around the country, giving students the opportunity to play at famous venues and festivals where many famous artists have graced the stage there before. These students are the top 1% in the country and are immersed in the ultimate tour experience. From tour buses to press tours, our talented students get a taste of what life is like on the road for professional, touring musicians. 

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