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Ready for Geddy: a high school band’s ‘Tornado’ of success

Ready+For+Geddy+members+Elliot+Garneau%2C+Noah+Casey%2C+Zeke+Cunningham%2C+and+Casey+Sorensen+practice+together+during+Tutorial.
Zara Prime
Ready For Geddy members Elliot Garneau, Noah Casey, Zeke Cunningham, and Casey Sorensen practice together during Tutorial.

The stage of Archie Williams Little Theater radiated with bright purple light, as student band Ready for Geddy finished their captivating performance of Megadeth’s ‘Tornado of Souls’. The theater, packed with students and families, burst into applause. The band members took a bow, before handing off the stage to the next student band. 

However, their set was far from over. 

A video of the performance, posted on YouTube on Jan. 31, unexpectedly went viral. With now over 300,000 views, and reactions from audiences from across the globe, Ready For Geddy was an overnight online success. 

“It was pretty crazy because it grew [so quickly]…You don’t think that people would be seeing our band, especially when you start out, around the world,” said Ready for Geddy drummer, Zeke Cunningham.

Initially assembled in 2023 in Archie Williams Performance Workshop (PW) class, Ready for Geddy stands out for its ability to master classic and challenging songs. Inspired by the iconic Canadian rock band Rush, the band began by focusing on mastering Rush’s difficult songs but soon expanded their repertoire to other bands. 

The band initially consisted of junior drummer Zeke Cunningham and junior bassist Noah Casey. Soon after, senior Casey Sorensen joined as lead vocalist and junior Elliott Garneau joined as a guitarist. The band also includes junior Calin Blodgett who plays keyboard, but since he attends Marin Academy he is unable to perform in PW concerts. 

Ready for Geddy drummer Zeke Cunningham and bassist Noah Casey practice in the music room. (Zara Prime)

PW is an elective class offered at Archie Williams, created for experienced musicians to work in a group setting, build musical skills and perform. Members of the class rotate through continuously changing bands, as well as learn chords, note reading, music theory, and rhythmic styles. The members of PW bands are constantly swapped due to the nature of the class. However, this particular band, formed by musicians passionate about working together, continued to meet outside of class. 

“This class has not only brought the band together, but it’s still having a very lasting influence, giving us time to work with each other and work on the songs to refine our music,” Zeke said. 

Inspired by classic and heavy rock, Ready for Geddy’s set lists are heavily influenced by the 1968 rock band Rush. According to Zeke, the band originally planned to focus solely on Rush’s challenging and captivating songs but ultimately decided to include other bands.

“Originally, we were just going to do strictly Rush, which is a really awesome ripping prog[ressive] rock trio… but [they’re] really hard. It takes months to really nail one of their songs. So we started looking at other stuff, and we took a lot of the songs we had been doing [in PW]” Zeke said. 

Ready for Geddy’s admiration for Rush extended to the naming of their band, incorporating ‘Geddy’ as a playful nod to the iconic Rush lead singer, bassist, and keyboardist Geddy Lee. “Geddy” combined with their pre-concert phrase, “Are you ready to rock?” formed their band name, Ready for Geddy.

“We never were sure if we wanted to stick with [the band name] because it started as a joke. But it did end up kind of becoming, I dare say, iconic. I love it. I don’t want to change it ever,” Zeke said.

Ready for Geddy’s debut performance took place at Noah’s summer party in 2023, a gathering hosted by his family where local experienced musicians can perform and watch each other. According to Noah, they delivered despite the pressure, exuding an energetic performance that had the crowd cheering, featuring Rush classics like “Tom Sawyer.”

“We were playing for a bunch of other people, and we were playing for not only our peers but people who we respect as musicians. It’s more stressful to play for someone who’s been playing for 40 years than to play for someone’s m

Guitarist Elliott Garneau practices with Ready for Geddy in the Archie Williams band room. (Maisie Ferner)

om,” Noah said.

Each of the band’s members have extensive experience in playing music. Zeke began playing the drums in fourth grade when he transferred to Lagunitas Elementary School. At the time, he was unfamiliar with his new peers and joined the school jazz band to find a community. However, he started taking music seriously in ninth grade.

“I saw how awesome [drums] were and the depths you can go to. All the different genres and everything about [drums], and percussion in general [is] really a fun exploration of music,” Zeke said.

Ready for Geddy bassist Noah Casey began playing music at a young age, due to inspiration from his percussionist dad.

“[My dad] was the biggest musical influence in my life because he always encouraged me to play music and he was always playing music. So that was my dream: to be a musician like him,” Noah said.

Noah began by playing cello in fifth grade at Manor Elementary School, and when he reached middle school, he sought ways to continue his music. His passion led him to experiment with upright bass in the orchestra and jazz band programs. By ninth grade, Noah landed on electric bass as his primary instrument. 

Singer Casey Sorensen began her musical journey at age seven when she started playing piano and started voice lessons when she was 11. 

“I’ve been singing ever since I was really little; there was always music in my house,” Casey said.

Ready for Geddy guitarist Elliott Garneau posted the popular video of their ‘Tornado of Souls’ PW performance on the band’s YouTube channel. Initially posted due to a lack of storage on Elliot’s phone, the video unexpectedly going viral was an immense surprise for the band members.

Ready for Geddy drummer Zeke Cunningham jams out in a music practice room. (Maisie Ferner)

“The most memorable [moment] for me was Elliott texting me like, ‘by the way, our YouTube video has like 100,000 views,’” Noah said.

The video now has over 300,000 views and thousands of comments, including a comment from the lead guitarist of Megadeth, Kiko Loureiro. Many of the views are international, including many from South America. Additionally, a popular YouTuber reacted to the band’s performance, further increasing Ready for Geddy’s exposure and recognition within the musical community.

Looking ahead, Ready for Geddy aims to expand its presence by booking more gigs and increasing its fan base. Noah hopes to grow a supportive community around the band, where people can recognize them from previous performances.  

“[My goal is to] get out and play more gigs, get a larger following, and grow the community around this band. Just so that we can have people that will see us on a poster and be like, ‘Oh, I’ve seen them, they sound good. I’ll see them again,’” Noah said.

The band plans to continue their musical journey after their eventual graduation from high school. After graduating this coming spring, Casey will be attending college as a music education major. 

“As far as after high school pursuing music, I’m going to Sonoma State and I’m going to study music education, and I’m really excited for that. I always want music to be a part of my life and I want to play with this band as long as we can,” Casey said. 

Ready for Geddy continues to book local performances, including Battle of the Bands on Saturday, April 27, and a private gig at the Fairfax Pavillion on Saturday, May 11. They hope to continue to grow their fanbase and book increasingly large concert opportunities. 

Ready for Geddy’s mesmerizing performances have attracted international attention. Their dedication and passion for music continue to drive them forward, promising even greater success for the band in the future.

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About the Contributors
Hava Rossiter
Hava Rossiter, Cub Arts and Entertainment Editor
Hava is a freshman in her first year of journalism. She plays field hockey and loves to listen to music. In her free time she spends time with friends, plays guitar and bakes chocolate chip cookies.
Zara Prime
Zara Prime, Reporter
Zara is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. She loves listening to music, spending time outdoors, and playing lacrosse. You can often find her with her friends or making art.
Maisie Ferner
Maisie Ferner, Reporter
Maisie is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. In her free time she loves to dance, listen to music, and travel with her family. You can often find her playing with her two dogs or hanging out with friends.
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    Martha StephensApr 5, 2024 at 9:35 PM

    So fabulous!!!!

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