For High Street, the Sky is the Limit
Young musicians to display talent at Winnetka event
by Lauren Finkler
September 08, 2011 | 01:08 AM
In fact, it was above that from the very start, opting for a Winnetka attic as a practice haven instead.
Now, four years and about 40 crowd-pleasing shows later, the young, talented quintet has its sights set on releasing a second record and competing in the 95 WIIL Rock Battle Brunch Sunday, Sept. 25, in Arlington Heights.
But before that happens, the band of Kurt and Erik Findling, Jenny Thompson, Billy Hennessy and Emre Erel will be able to again test out their music on the Winnetka community at Skip in the Park. The fundraiser for Chloe’s Crew, which helps people in need by supplying school supplies, clothing and meals, begins at 4 p.m. in Hubbard Woods Park. High Street is scheduled to take the stage at 5 p.m.
Jenny, a 14-year-old Kenilworth resident, will wow the crowd with her impressive vocals, which she has been fine tuning for 10 years.
“Jenny has the voice of a gifted angel,” said drummer Kurt, of Winnetka. “And Emre shreds on the bass.”
Emre, a 15-year-old from Skokie, joined the band in 2010 and has been playing bass for more than five years. He also plays guitar and saxophone on the side.
Billy, 14, of Kenilworth, has been playing rhythm guitar for five years and joined the band in 2009.
Kurt, now 14, founded High Street when he was 10 years old. He picked up the drum sticks at age 7, when he and younger brother Erik, 12, stumbled upon their dad’s music equipment in the attic. Their dad, David Findling, started playing guitar when he was 5, so it wasn’t surprising when Erik did the same.
Musical talent is strong in Jenny’s family as well; her grandfather was an opera singer.
In the band’s early stages, others came and went, but the final five members have solidified a great lineup and a great relationship.
“These guys are like brothers to me,” said Jenny, who has two brothers aside from the four she found in her bandmates. “I went to preschool with Billy and Erik reminds me of my little brother.”
“We’re talented, we’re young and we get people going with us,” Emre said. “Our music appeals to all ages. At our last show, we saw people in their 40s and 60s in the crowd.”
With such a diverse crowd of fans, it’s no wonder High Street, with its bluesy rock sound, took second place at Battle of the Bands in Muskegon, Mich., in April, beating out 16 adult bands.
The group is certainly adjusted to the limelight. Thanks to its second place finish, High Street also landed a gig at Muskegon’s Summer Celebration and played for approximately 13,00 people. High Street also performed at U.S. Cellular Field before the Sox game Aug. 21.
“Lots of adults really like the music we play and I feel like lots of the younger kids look up to us,” Jenny said. “It just shows you don’t have to be a certain age to be successful.”
“They’ve got a vehicle that they can drive 100 miles an hour and it’s time to hit the gas,” David added.
But don’t take their word for it. Visit www.highstreetrocks.com to preview the band’s first EP, “Out of the Attic,” which is also available on iTunes. Or stop by Hubbard Woods Park this Saturday to hear High Street live.
Skip in the Park
What: Enjoy food, fun and music from High Street while supporting Chloe’s Crew.
When: 4-8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10
Where: Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
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