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The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Lizze Small Contributing Illustrator
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April 12, 2024

Fathers unite to perform in rock band

ROCK OUT: Rossmore, a band of mostly Marlborough fathers, has played at the Viper Room, has opened for Foreigner, and will soon open for Styx. At top, Bill Fay takes the mic. Directly above, dads Fay and Jed Johnson back up lead vocalist Rick Benoit.
ROCK OUT: Rossmore, a band of mostly Marlborough fathers, has played at the Viper Room, has opened for Foreigner, and will soon open for Styx.

When you watch a live performance of Rossmore ripping into into “What I Like About You,” the band members look like true rock stars. But when they head to Ernie Scarbrough’s music room carrying their instruments for rehearsal, they just look like your normal Marlborough dads. They are a little bit of both, everyday guys living a dream, at least for a few shows.

Two years ago, the group made it’s debut at a Marlborough dance. Now, they’ve played at the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip, have opened for Foreigner in Phoenix, and in January they will soon open for the Styx in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dads Fay and Jed Johnson back up lead vocalist Rick Benoit.
Dads Fay and Jed Johnson back up lead vocalist Rick Benoit.

The story began when the bassist and vocalist Bill Fay, father of Caitlin ’08, Natasha ’10, Megan ’12, guitarist Bill Birrell, father of Gracie ’13, guitarist and vocalist Jed Daly, father of Alex ’10 and drummer Steve Weeks, father of Jen ’08 met at a Marlborough father’s meeting.

After realizing that they all played instruments, the dads contacted choral instructor and keyboardist Scarbrough and formed science teacher and mandolin player Richard Del Grosso.

Scarbrough that that it “would be great if we could all get together and jam”, and Rossmore was formed to play for fun.

Although Rossmore was initially made just to play recreationally, once they performed for the dance they began to get more serious.

“We had such a great time playing for the dance that we decided to stay together as a rock group,” Fay said.

After they first played for the dance, Rossmore met monthly to rehearse. As the practices continued, the group got stronger, until they realized that more could come out of this.

Rossmore performs at a gig.
Rossmore performs at a gig.

“This is silly…why don’t we play somewhere?” Scarbrough said, and soon, through connections, a performance at the Viper Room was booked.

Not long after that, Fay met Foreigner’s concert promoter, who was looking for an opening band. Fay sent him a video of Rossmore playing at the Viper Room, and soon they were scheduled to open for Foreigner in Phoenix.

With a crowd of over two thousand people, Rossmore got a “real” rock singer, Rick Beniot for lead vocals who replaced former vocalists Fay and Daly.

“We had an amazing time, and the crowd was great. You really feel their energy, and put that energy into the music,” Fay said. His daughters Megan and Natasha, along with the rest of the family all went to cheer on Rossmore in Phoenix.

“They’re pretty amazing, and how many girls can say that their dad is in a band?” said Megan.

Shortly after Foreigner, Rossmore was asked by a music promoter to open for Styx in January. Fay said that they are “definitely going to do it-it’s too much fun not to!”

Despite all their success, the band is careful not to overstate its aspirations.

“I don’t think we are really going anywhere, but we’re just going,” Scarbrough said.

Fay continues playing even when he is not with Rossmore. Once in the Stanford jazz band and marching band, he now works with Megan and Natasha, who both play piano and sing.

“I love it that my kids think it’s cool that I’m in a band. We have a lot of family jam sessions at home,” said Fay.

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