Eastview Middle School turns into the School of Rock whenever Geezer gets together to teach students a thing or two about classic rock ’n’ roll.
When Simon Sterling isn’t teaching English literature, he’s playing rhythm guitar for Geezer, a band of six Eastview teachers, who routinely perform at school assemblies and get a Beatles-like reception from screaming students.
“It’s a good way to break the ice, so that students aren’t just seeing you as a teacher in the classroom,” said Sterling, who helped start the band about four years ago.
Geezer sprang to life when former Eastview principal Stu Henry saw Sterling jamming with social studies teacher and drummer Mike Hulyk. Henry, who’s now deputy-superintendent of Red Deer Public Schools, joined in with his bass guitar and the group was born.
Henry was eventually replaced by math teacher and bassist Steve Roslinsky when Henry left Eastview. While he’s made an occasional guest appearance with the band, playing the cowbell, Sterling joked that Henry “feels like (fifth Beatle) Pete Best — kind of left behind.”
Geezer also includes singers Jeremy Clevette, who teaches a strategies class for students needing extra help, and science teacher Geoff McRorie.
The lead guitarist is English teacher Greg Boulay, “who has more talent than the rest of us put together,” said Sterling.
Boulay helped Eastview students start their own rock bands.
Two student groups — Lacie Gallant and the Jive Turkeys and Danielle, Martha, and the Funky Mr. E — performed with Geezer at a school assembly recently.
Sterling said it’s all in good fun but also takes a lot of practise.
Geezer, which plays tunes by Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Tragically Hip and The Clash, is known to take the odd request. But it takes time to bone up on new material. “We’re working on adding Satisfaction (by the Rolling Stones), but it takes us a while, we’re so busy with our families and school, it’s a struggle to get together,” said Sterling.
So far, the band of teachers has had one professional gig, at Bo’s Bar and Grill, and is also slated to entertain education students at Red Deer College in February.