Pursuing JC / About
Pursuing JC had first started at Shelter Rock Church back in 2011 and began as a youth group band with just one song. However, once heard they quickly found that their level of playing ability gained them much deserved attention and they were soon invited to churches and festivals throughout Long Island. To date they have played over 200 shows or events, including leading worship at retreat, being part of the NHL's faith & Family Nights, and even some Gala's & Sweet 16 parties.
The band has a reputation of producing an amazing technical sound along with lead singer Michael Ottavio, whose deep and powerful voice resonates throughout any room. And at only 14 years of age you won’t want to miss the fast paced drumming of Corinne DeRosa, whose pink drum sticks are always well in hand. Together, Pursuing JC creates an authentic sound, fueled by their goals to achieve and entertain!
QUOTES: Clearly the members of the Pursuing JC band are ecstatic with being a part of LI Pageants but even more thrilled with the chance they are being given to send a message to those who listen to them play and pay attention to the words of the songs they choose.
On one song called Viva La Vida and as band member Kelsey De Rosa (16), Melville, NY explained, “This song is about Napoleon who built his entire kingdom on sand, which is weak, but we are building the foundation of our life on solid rock, which is strong and what this song is about.”
One of the paragraphs of this song goes as follows:
“One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand”
Michael Ottavio (15), Manhasset, who is the lead singer and a guitarist, continued on that theme noting, “The song was originally written about Napoleon but we think of ourselves and believe that when we build our lives on a good foundation our lives will have better endings.”
And what about the message that this band of members that range from 11 years old to 16 have to say, even the younger ones in the group offered thoughtful advice. “For those people who feel like they have no hope my wish is that the message in the songs we choose gives them hope,” remarked Kelsey’s 12-year-old sister and drummer Corinne.
Michael’s 11-year-old brother Alex, a guitarist, didn’t hold back when it was his turn to speak and piped up, “When people first see us they think how cute but after they hear us they are surprised by what we can do. What I want is for them to be inspired to achieve their dreams and not let anything stop them.”
For Kelsey’s and Corinne’s 13-year-old brother and pianist Gregory the message was that, “just because we are young doesn’t mean anything because you can follow your passion at any age.”
What was most impressive about this group of kids was how clear they were about the fact that this is not just about a group of kids singing but it’s about those messages and others that they hope to pass along.
Kelsey pondered before she spoke emphasizing the importance of what she wanted to say. “There is a lot of talk about our generation and how we are a soiled generation. I don’t want people to leave just knowing our music or performance ability but rather to take away hope for our generation and to maybe rethink it. Not that we are better or different but I want them to realize that maybe they have misjudged our generation.”
Michael’s final comments were also carefully thought out. “Being in high school it has taken us away from a lot of things that could have been detrimental to our lives because we spend our free time practicing.”
He further added about what he hoped the crowd would take away from watching them play. With a name like Pursuing JC it is clear that this is a Christian band but their hope is to cross the boundaries. “I think what I want them to take away especially non-Christians is that it’s true that we are a church derived band but there are songs even on regular radio that have messages of hope and faith. For all of us, we believe that no matter what is happening in your life heaven has a plan for all of us.”
It is Emerald’s comment that this article will close with. “Adults are always looking at us as kids and even in school we have to raise our hands to do things like go to the bathroom but with this band we can go up there and we can play music and we can show the world that we are all capable of amazing things whether we are young or old.”.
GOALS: “There is a lot of talk about our generation and how we are a soiled generation. I don’t want people to leave just knowing our music or performance ability but rather to take away hope for our generation and to maybe rethink it. Not that we are better or different but I want them to realize that maybe they have misjudged our generation.”