'Rocky Horror' Concert Raises Money for Local Soup Kitchen

School of Rock Montclair's student house band rocked out recently for a good cause.


A benefit concert recently raised big bucks for a local soup kitchen in Montclair. 

Young local musicians from School of Rock Montclair donned costumes and makeup to perform "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on Nov. 30. The benefit concert at the Unitarian Church raised $6,000 for Toni's Kitchen, the food ministry at St. Luke’s Episcopalian Church.

“The concert was absolutely amazing, and the kids’ massive energy and great performances were impressive,” says Anne Mernin, director of Toni’s Kitchen. “The audience was singing along, dancing, and smiling throughout the entire show. I loved it!”

The 10 member house band included seven Montclair High School students:  

  • Nagee Diaz-Carpening, 18, on drums/vocals/guitar
  • Sam Unger,15, on vocals/guitar
  • Cassidy Crosby, 16, on vocals/guitar
  • Mika Itkin-Weinstein, 15, on vocals
  • Julia Guiterrez, 16, on vocals/keyboards
  • Eli Segir, 14, on vocals/bass
  • Stephen Browne, 14, on drums

The band began learning the songs from the “Rocky Horror” soundtrack in September, and they attended a midnight showing of the 1975 cult movie at The Bellevue Theater soon after for additional "research."

“Contributions from local sponsors helped to offset our production costs associated with putting on the show so that all the ticket sales revenue went right to Toni’s Kitchen,” says Matt Sandoski, owner of School of Rock Montclair.  

Along with the financial help of local sponsors, prizes and raffles were donated by The Bellevue Theater, WPLJ-FM, and the New York Giants. 

Fairway Market, the concert's sponsor, also earmarked a percent of purchases at the store in November for donations to Toni’s Kitchen, which came to $5,000.

“When I heard the news of how much Fairway was donating to Toni’s Kitchen, I was blown away,” says Mernin.


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