Rock the District Celebrates Ten Years

Fundraising event to be held April 12–13

Cali Rodi

The Carefree sundial will be shining with talent as celebrity headliners, alumni who made it big, plus 30 student bands take the stage for two unforgettable evenings in April to raise money for the Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation.

Rock the District is the signature fundraising event started by Cactus Shadows High School student Melissa Nelson and hosted by the Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Since its inception, it has raised more than $200,000 benefiting Cave Creek teachers, students and schools.

This year’s Rock the District celebrity headliners include country stars Ryan Sims, Chad Freeman and Cali Rodi. As an example of how this stage can be a launching pad for big-time music industry careers, Rodi performed as a student at the first Rock the District back in 2009 and was recently signed by Keith Urban to his publishing company, BOOM.

Chad Freeman

Among the alumni students returning to their roots are Tia Penny the youngest to play in Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding and Homestretch, the band that won third place. Also appearing is Promise to Myself, an alumni band whose music has been chosen by Dutch Bros. Coffee to play in their locations across the country.

This year’s special 10th anniversary event will “turn it up to 11” with:

  • Sanderson Lincoln Black Label Lounge, a swanky place to relax with an adult beverage while enjoying the show
  • VIP Tables, allowing concert-goers to see the show up close
  • General admission tickets, allowing guests to rock the night away with the crowd
  • Food trucks including Firehouse Kettle Corn, Hibachibot, Kona Ice and Munch Box
  • A silent auction, where bidding is available now online, and continues at the live event
  • Online Tipping with a “Split the Tip” feature, providing half to the student performer and half to the school district

Chad Freeman

“Rock the District will be bigger and better than ever during our 10th Anniversary show dates on April 12 and 13,” says Rock the District organizers Kesha Cardinal and Sarah Byrne. “With the headliners, it will be a chance for all of Phoenix to see these world-class acts. With the alumni, it’s a chance to see how these former students have become up-and-comers in the music industry. For the students, this will be a chance for friends, family and neighbors to see these teen bands and singers take the stage and show the world what they got!”

Rock the District will take place April 12–13, at East Sundial Circle in Carefree. Gates open at 5pm both days and shows start at 5:30pm. To learn more or buy tickets, visit

The Horny Toad’s ‘Rock the Toad’ Announces Performers

The Horny Toad, Cave Creek’s oldest originally owned restaurant, will host an entertainment-filled, family-friendly day known as Rock the Toad Saturday, April 22, from 10am-3:30pm. The fun kicks off with music by the teen Rock the District program. Admission to the event is free.

The gifted young performers who will entertain residents and visitors with their amazing musical skills from 12-4:30pm are:

Brook Newman

  • 12pm: The Undecided
  • 12:30pm: Henry Thompson
  • 12:45pm: Carissa Canto
  • 1pm: House of Noise
  • 1:30pm: Brook Newman
  • 1:45pm: Alexis Brown
  • 2pm: Bare Teeth
  • 2:15pm: Eden Cuslo
  • 2:30pm: Seylah Cislo
  • 2:45pm: TnT
  • 3pm: Promise to Myself
  • 3:30pm: Sam Potter Band
  • 4pm: Mitchell Wolfe

In addition, from 10am until 3pm members of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, known as the Arizona Gunslingers and who share a common interest in preserving the history of the Old West, will demonstrate their shooting skills and assist event visitors interested in trying the sport of cowboy fast draw.

Tom Price, general manager for The Horny Toad, says the restaurant, which turns 41 years old later this year, will also offer food and drink specials that tie into the Rock the Toad theme.

Rock the District, the only teen musician program of its kind in the nation, is a parent-guided, student-driven program that is part of Cave Creek Unified Education Foundation in Cave Creek.

The Horny Toad offers world-famous signature dishes including made-from-scratch fried chicken, barbecue, pork and beef ribs and mesquite-grilled porterhouse, prime rib and strawberry shortcake.

Located at 6738 East Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek, The Horny Toad is open Sunday through Thursday, 11am-10pm and Friday and Saturday, 11am-11pm. For additional information, call 480.488.9542 or visit

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