Chic Spotlight: Band In a Bus

Chic Spotlight: Band In a Bus

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It’s a band class on wheels! Read on to learn more about this fascinating new performing arts business that helps underserved youth in the community.

Cincy Chic: What is Band In a Bus?
Nick Rose-Stamey, Executive Director at Band In a Bus: Band In A Bus, made possible through a partnership with Elementz, aims to bus the performing arts to communities in need. 

You read that right. We’re building a band class on wheels! Music plays a big part inside, and outside of the classroom. According to new research, on average students who participate in music and arts related programs score higher on standardized tests and develop positive social emotional skills that can point them towards a promising future. 

Even though these results are overwhelmingly positive, a significant number of music and performing arts classes are being removed from the average student’s school day. Our hope is that by removing barriers for students to access the arts—providing the classroom, instruments, a hip, modernized performing arts curriculum, and staffing–Band In A Bus can offer a mobile, 21st century band class experience that can bridge the performing arts gap facing today’s communities. 

Band In A Bus currently provides music programs to 7 schools throughout Cincinnati Public Schools and helps around 70 students a week channel their inner rockstar.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the program?
Rose-Stamey: All of the kids that I’ve seen give up on the arts because of things outside of their control. I’ve spent years helping nonprofit organizations develop music programming in lower-income communities. These places are full of the best, most well-meaning people. But the day-to-day struggles these communities face develops a number of creative challenges—like schools unable to provide adequate teaching space, arts instructors being forced to fundraise for their own classes, and so many cardboard boxes, overflowing with broken instruments. 

Speaking from experience, there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing a student throw in the towel because of a broken instrument. So when I would pack for these programs, everyday I’d think about how much more effective, and life changing this could be for the students if you built them the ideal classroom. Like Ms. Frizzle and her magic school bus, why shouldn’t we have a place where students can hop on and learn about music regardless of their socio-economic standing?  And as it turns out—with a big enough bus and a few instruments, you absolutely can. 

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Rose-Stamey: Band In A Bus receives operating support from our partners at Elementz, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The guy behind the wheel is me. I’m a performing artist with a passion for music education. I have developed music programs that’s impacted hundreds of students all over the Cincinnati region with organizations like Elementz, Music Resource Center-Cincinnati and ABC Arts. 

Cincy Chic: What types of events do you perform at?
Rose-Stamey: We’re currently planning our first student ‘jam session’ with some friends at The Hilton Netherland in downtown Cincinnati. More details on this event coming soon! Band In A Bus has a lot of students who can jam, perform and rock with the best of them. Let us know how we can help you make some noise for your event! 

Cincy Chic: What makes Band In a Bus unique?
Rose-Stamey: Beyond making the world’s best mobile band class, this is the first mobile. Music program built by the community for the community. Music is an art form designed to bring people together, and we want every program to feel well-informed and customized to fit the needs of each community we serve. 

Cincy Chic: What do you love the most about Band In a Bus?
Rose-Stamey: I love that in only 6 months of starting this business, we’re in 7 schools and covering everything from rock band repertoire, to podcasting and so much more! Who knows what next semester will bring! 

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Rose-Stamey: Band In A Bus just formally launched a fundraising campaign for our first mobile classroom. If you want to support the band, please share this donation link

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Rose-Stamey: You can follow along as this band class gets rolling at or on the following social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram. If you or your readers want to learn more, feel free to reach out anytime to Nick,