Give a Hand for the Band

Freshman Finley O’Malley sings in rock band with other high school students


The bright stage lights shine onto freshman Finley O’Malley’s face as she adjusts the microphone in front of her. She takes a deep breath and readies herself for yet another performance.

From a young age, O’Malley has always been intrigued by the art of music and performing through musicals, choirs, and more.

“I was always more interested in dancing and singing on stage than throwing a ball around,” O’Malley said.

So when O’Malley’s band coach, Emily Boganowski, had the idea of starting a band, O’Malley was all in. The Blackbird Rock Company band consists of about 11 members playing a variety of instruments. O’Malley is one of the lead singers for the band.

“[O’Malley] has such a unique, powerful voice and I knew immediately that this would be a great opportunity for her,” Boganowski said.

Blackbird Rock Co. began in November 2021 and has already come a long way. From performing at Turner Park to some of their own private gigs, the band has achieved so much in the few months they have been playing.

“One of the best things to ever happen to me was to be offered the role in the band,” O’Malley said.

Through the band, O’Malley has grown both internally and externally, as she learns more about herself while developing her musical skills. 

“It has been so rewarding to watch Finley flourish within the band,” Boganowksi said.

An important aspect of the band is rehearsals. Blackbird Rock Co. practices one to two times a week for two and a half hour intervals. They start by playing through the songs they have down really well, and then focusing on the ones that could use some work.

“[I like] working with the band to figure out how we want to play [the music] and kind of make it our own,” O’Malley said.

Blackbird Rock Co. does primarily covers. From Måneskin to the Beatles, the band plays a variety of 80s-90s  rock music.

“The main focus of Blackbird Rock Co. is to provide students with an educational experience of what it is like to be in a professional band, and to have a blast doing it,” Boganowski said.

Music has also strengthened O’Malley’s relationship with her sister, junior Marin O’Malley. 

“Ever since day one, my sister and I were making and putting on musicals for my family,” F. O’Malley said.

The O’Malley sisters have been each other’s biggest supporters as they have performed together for many years. M. O’Malley has watched her sister grow with the band as she cheers her on.

“She’s gained a lot of confidence and kind of grown into discovering who she is and who she wants to be,” M. O’Malley said.

O’Malley has dedicated much of her life to music, it is seen in the band that her hard work has paid off and made an impact on others. O’Malley hopes to continue making both music and friends as the band grows and she grows with it. 

If you’re interested in adding your talents to this band, contact or Emily Boganowski (402-880-3502).