Interlochen Arts Academy students open for Bon Jovi

Five singer-songwriters performed onstage at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena on April 5, 2017.

From left: Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, Jesse Munsat, Taylor Meloche,  Ally Lubera, Bon Jovi, Marley Harris-Deans, Grace Baer and Kyle Novy.

From left: Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, Jesse Munsat, Taylor Meloche,  Ally Lubera, Bon Jovi, Marley Harris-Deans, Grace Baer and Kyle Novy.

Interlochen Center for the Arts Singer-Songwriters on stage at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on April 5, 2017.

Interlochen Center for the Arts Singer-Songwriters on stage at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on April 5, 2017.

Bon Jovi, in collaboration with LiveNation, selected singer-songwriter students from Interlochen Arts Academy to open for the 2017 This House Is Not For Sale Tour performance on April 5, 2017, at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.

The five students selected to perform were: Grace Baer of Lafayette, California; Marley Harris-Deans of Las Vegas, Nevada; Ally Lubera of La Grange, Illinois; Taylor Meloche of Windsor, Ontario; and Jesse Munsat of Washington, D.C. These same five students, all seniors, had just completed a West Coast tour during which they performed at venues including Disneyland, the Hotel Cafe and Idyllwild Arts Academy and attended a master class with Aqualung’s Matt Hales.

According to the contest announcement on the Bon Jovi website, the Academy singer-songwriters “demonstrate(d) that they have the sound, style, and substance to open an arena show.”

Founded in 2012, the Singer-Songwriter program at Interlochen Arts Academy provides a comprehensive curriculum in the discipline of popular music songwriting. Students in the singer-songwriter program study music business and sound recording techniques alongside private instruction in guitar, piano, voice and composition. The program is headed by Courtney Kaiser-Sandler.

An Arts Academy alumna (IAA 94), Kaiser-Sandler has 15 album credits on iTunes including four albums with her band, Kaiser Cartel, and two solo albums. Her original songs have been heard on film and television including "Bored to Death," "The Firm," "Private Practice" and "Good Morning America." She has also worked alongside high-profile artists including John Mellencamp, The Wallflowers, Sufjan Stevens, Petra Haden, Yuka Honda and Sean Lennon.