Taylor Foxx

(Rock Hill, S.C.) – For nearly a decade, the “Concerts at the Courtroom” series has combined music and art to showcase the skills of local musicians and build a sense of community in the Rock Hill music scene.

The series, which began July 2010, offers live shows two to three times a month at the Gettys Art Center for an entry fee of about $5.

On Sept. 29 a humble crowd of 20-30 people gathered in Old Town section of Rock Hill to see the local bands Jenney Besetzt, Motel Glory and LAUGH.

“I think it’s one of the best opportunities around,” said Chase Warren, lead singer of Chase Warren and the Homewreckers, a band that often performs at the event.

“The Courtroom is a special place because the vibe lacks any type of pretension; the crowd is there to see art. That gives the artists so much freedom to express themselves. Of all of the stages I have been on, none feel as freeing and raw as that place.”

Michael Gentry, gallery manager of the Arts Council of York County, runs the “Concerts at the Courtroom” series.

“A lot of our music scene and social scene comes a lot from the art department at Winthrop,” said Gentry, who is a graduate of the university and a punk musician.

“I wanted to bring them into the festival so their friends would come and they would get to show off their art just like these musicians are showing off their work.”

These shows have helped the local music scene grow exponentially, according to Gentry, with about 14 bands, of various styles, performing at the event regularly.

“Being a fine arts major at Winthrop had a huge impact on becoming involved with shows at the Courtroom,” said Alexis Howard. “Rock Hill is so supportive of local music. Pretty much every weekend there would either be a house show or concert at the Courtroom to go to, usually with friends I knew in the bands.”

The next “Concerts at the Courtroom” event is Oct. 17 and will feature a Latin theme with the bands Chócala, STEFA* and GASP.

The Courtroom also hosts two music festivals a year, which feature a number of bands over a span of two to three days, including the Dumb Sweater Fest in January and the Don’t Sweat It Fest in the summer.

Editor’s Note: Taylor Foxx is a musician and member of the band LAUGH.