Get Your Groove On At SummerStrings! RockFest

Troy Ramey (center) and Matthew Schneider (far right) with a group of SummerStrings! RockFest kids and teens. (Photo by Kathleen DiResta)

By Elizabeth Winchester

SummerStrings! RockFest pairs professional musicians with youth orchestras made up of more than 80 kids and teens. This year singer Troy Ramey headlines the festival, which will take place July 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra University’s Adams Playhouse. Tickets for all ages are available online at

“I am just so honored to be a part of it,” said Ramey. “After seeing the kids rehearse I was reminded of how powerful music can be for kids.”

Ramey grew up taking part in music programs in Vermont and found it “refreshing to see kids have incredible enthusiasm for playing instruments and being part of a talented group” right here in Sea Cliff, where he has lived for the past two-and-a-half years.

Ramey was a finalist on NBC’s The Voice last year. He has been releasing music as a solo artist since 2015, has about four million plays on Spotify, and his performance of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” reached No. 1 on the iTunes rock chart.

Sea Cliff musician Matthew Schneider started SummerStrings! in 2012 to keep kids playing their instruments over the summer in a fun, social setting where they have the freedom to try new musical experiences that aren’t possible in school programs. Schneider has gotten to know Ramey and his music better by writing parts for the kids to play on it and is looking forward to the concert. “Troy’s songs, personality and spirit have wonderful energy and putting that together with the kids I think is going to be a really great combination,” Schneider explained. “I’m also looking forward to continuing past the concert [with Ramey]. I feel like I made a friend.”

In addition to Ramey’s sets, the concert includes vocals by recent North Shore High School graduates Siobhan Esposito and Ella Oswald; adult musicians Frank Ferrara, Dan Roth and Steven Uh will also take part. Learn more at

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