What happens when students graduate from our program?

We’re so proud of our alumni who carry on their skills as musicians and young leaders to achieve success in their high school classrooms. We’re also proud that our alumni carry with them a love of music that lasts a lifetime.

That’s why, every Monday, Miami mentor Gene Paul Gayol meets with an enthusiastic quartet of alumni who have decided to form a band. Though yet unnamed, the band has big plans to rock the Miami scene.

John, Brittney, Dieneal and Jayden have now worked together for several sessions, and are striving to build a repertoire list that they can perform around the city. These four rising rockstars join our first alumni band, Unistiq, which was founded by some of our earliest program graduates.

Gene serves as the new band’s mentor and manager, coaching them musically as well as helping them with the logistics of booking gigs and setting the band in motion. A member of the Guitars Over Guns family for five years, Gene also serves as a rhythm section mentor and as director of our Hope Choir program in collaboration with Camillus House.

“My favorite experience has been just kind of getting to know the kids and being able to hang with them in a little bit more of a lax, after-school kind of vibe – having fun with them and just seeing them smile as they get new parts down,” Gene said. “I’m enjoying getting to see kids I’ve known for a while unwind and relax into their musicianship and enjoy themselves.”

As the band works hard to grow their repertoire and branch out into the community, keep an eye out for upcoming gig announcements. “Stay posted,” said Gene. “Right now we’re building our band so they can play representing Guitars Over Guns at different special events.”

Until then, the band’s future is bright. “My hope for the band is that they can be a band of leaders, who are comfortable leading on their own,” Gene said. “I’m proudest of seeing our kids, my mentees, fulfill sort of a mentorship role themselves. And to see them be able to lead and take charge has been something to be very proud of.”