No Pressure

No Pressure

For many music groups, getting exposure can be a problem. But that’s “No Pressure” for the Hanover Township, Northampton County, band that Bob Sedlock manages.

“No Pressure” is the name of the ‘80s-to-pop kid cover band that Sedlock’s sons Grant and Bryant created three years ago with friend Andrew “Drew” Cirillo. Growing in size and popularity each year, the band boasts a current complement of eight members – all aged 12 or younger – and an exciting new gig: Musikfest.

Organizers for Bethlehem’s renowned music festival came knocking on the band’s door after the group took the “Outstanding Child Performers Award” at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards this March.

“That was a big step for them,” manager/dad Sedlock said. “They got to meet [60s rock and roller] Chubby Checker and, since then, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing.”

Gloria Domina, co-director of the music awards, said “No Pressure” took the prize by popular vote after performing with Community Youth Award winner Wyatt Newhard, a 10-year-old Lynn Township boy with cancer who wanted to learn to play the drums. “Everyone loved their performance,” Domina said.

Although Grant Sedlock, the band leader, is only 12 and his brother Bryant, the youngest member, only 9, the act of taking the stage and making music came naturally. That’s because their father and grandfather have been in bands for some 20 years and taught the kids to play instruments as soon as they were able. The elder Sedlock is lead horn player for the horn and funk band “Lucky 7” that has opened for such stars as Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Bill Haley’s Comets, and The Drifters. The younger is a pharmaceutical representative who travels the world and started playing with “Lucky 7” the past two years.

“My father plays and teaches trumpet and I play a bunch of instruments (trumpet, guitar and piano) and my basement is set up for a full band,” said Grant and Bryant’s dad. All of “No Pressure’s” rehearsals occur in his Hanover Township basement.

Grant credits everyone with the name of the group. “Everyone went home with the task of thinking of a name,” he said, “and then we voted.”

“No Pressure” fits, manager Sedlock said, because his style of teaching music is laid back. “The kids wanted to learn pop music so they are easy to teach,” he said.

Grant, who sings and plays piano and trumpet for the group, started taking lessons at age 2. Bryant, who plays drums, began at 4.

When guitar player/vocalist Drew, now 12, joined his pals to form a group, the threesome performed at their school talent show at Asa Packer Elementary School in Bethlehem, at open mic nights in the Lehigh Valley, local Boy Scout events and parties.

Growing in size and popularity each year, the band boasts a current complement of eight members – all aged 12 or younger – and an exciting new gig: Musikfest.

The boys sounded good, Sedlock said, but needed a bass player. So, they asked Carly Schwenger of Palmerton, who happens to be the daughter of “Lucky 7’s” sound engineer. Carly, 12, plays bass guitar and flute. She also sings.

As a foursome, “No Pressure” added charity events to its gigs, especially at pediatric cancer centers. Next, Drew’s younger sister wanted in, Sedlock said. A year older than Bryant, Ella Cirillo is 10 and offers back-up keyboards and vocals.

Apparently, word spread that the kids were having fun while learning to play and entertaining others, so the group continued to grow. They added, in this order: Elijah Sivick, 12, on piano, clarinet and soon-to-be bagpipes; Alexa Lagree, 12, lead vocals and violin; and Chris Secula, 11, baritone and vocals, all of Hanover Township.

The group rehearses a week before each gig and has been performing a dozen times or more a year. Music from the classic rock bands “Journey,” “Survivor” and pop rock band “Maroon 5” are among the 30 songs in their repertoire. “Eye of the Tiger” is one of Grant’s favorite songs to perform, in part because he sings it.

Money from the band’s paid shows goes toward professional coaches, equipment, T-shirts and banners, Sedlock said.

Where the young rock stars go from here is anyone’s guess. The Sedlock boys have two sisters, Sadie, 6, who sings and is learning piano, and Ava, 3, who also sings. Sedlock would like to see members, including Grant, write some original music. He also would love to hear “No Pressure” on the radio. Lehigh Valley Music Awards’ Domina said she’s sure the group will continue to do well and wishes them “all the best.”

The kids are looking forward to being center stage at Musikfest’s Volksplatz tent for opening night in August. “Playing in front of all those people will be really cool,” Grant said.

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