Travis Hale taught a band class for kids who wanted to play in the marching band and an orchestra class for symphonically inclined kids.
But the musically gifted kids who didn't fall into those two categories — those rockin' out in local bands, working on rap careers or producing soulful acoustic music — were getting missed.
So two years ago, Hale, Southeast High School's director of instrumental music, introduced a class called Commercial Music, intended to give students a taste of the music business, from publicity to performance.
On Saturday, the class will present the second annual BuffStock music festival (named by combining the school's mascot, a Buffalo, and the name of the famous Woodstock music festival). The event will be on the courtyard at Southeast, 903 S. Edgemoor.
The festival starts at 1 p.m., featuring a lineup of young musicians from Southeast and from all around Wichita. The final act — The Love Family — will take the stage at 5:30.
Hale's 15 students in Commercial Music spent the year immersing themselves in all aspects of the music business.
They first split into five bands, some recruiting friends to join them. Hale has a rapper, a classic metal group, an indie/acoustic group, an alternative rock band and a group of pop/punkers — called Behind the Solution -- who have played gigs around Wichita, including a recent one at the Donut Whole.
The final project for the class is to create the music festival, and the students do everything, including lining up acts, arranging publicity and promotion and securing sponsors.
Each band was required to write at least one original song, and the class has produced recordings of its music as well.
"I kind of think of it as a vo-tech class for music," Hale said. "It's real hands-on and gives them real-world experience."
The bands that were formed in the class are among the 17 on the bill, which also includes several Southeast classmates chosen during an audition process, several alumni (including popular local musician Tony Ngo), and relatives of Roger Love, a member of the Love Family band and a teacher at Southeast.
The first BuffStock last year drew a crowd of nearly 500 people, and Hale and his students are hoping to top that this year.
"This class has given me the ability to be able to do things I never dreamed I'd be able to do in high school," said Robin Jacobs, a 17-year-old junior, guitar player and BuffStock's graphic designer. "It really taps into some talents I would otherwise not use."
If you go
What: A music festival put together by a Southeast High school music class featuring young local talent plus Rudy Love and the Love Family.
Where: Southeast High School courtyard, 903 S. Edgemoor
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
How much: Admission is $3 at the gate. Concessions will be available.
For more information, call 316-973-2803.