Belmont Ridge's Blues Brothers

Belmont Ridge's Blues Brothers

Three seventh-graders experience a bit of fame with their take on the famous duo.

Taken alone, Sam Renzi, Lucas McGavin and Ryan Bardenett are just three seventh-graders at Belmont Ridge Middle School showing their talent in choir and band.

Together, they're the Belmont Ridge Blues Brothers.

At the school's annual talent show in March, the trio took the stage to girls' screams and danced, sang and generally wowed the crowd through "Soul Man." Their debut came complete with suits, hats, dark glasses and skinny — homemade by Ryan's mom — ties.

Since then, the group has sung on the school's morning announcements and before Loudoun and Fairfax county officials and politicians at the Dulles Area Transit Association's annual dinner at the Hyatt Dulles.

The three are experiencing a bit of fame at Belmont Ridge — on Monday, they entered an after-school music room study hall to girls oohing and exclaiming, "They're so cute!"

Sam remembered the reaction after the trio sang "God Bless America" on the morning announcements.

"When we came back to get our backpacks from Mrs. Collins' room after morning announcements, everyone was standing and clapping," he said.

The boys are learning harmonies, a tricky thing for 13-year-olds. Right now, they just sing two parts, soprano and alto. In a year or so they'll have a tenor or two.

All three are deeply involved in performing arts. Ryan plays clarinet in the school band and sings in chamber choir. Sam and Lucas both sing in the eighth-grade choir, despite being seventh-graders. Lucas is currently making a movie about his move to Ashburn last year.

It was when the three starred in last fall's school play that the idea of performing together sprouted.

THERE'S JUST one problem: Ryan has never seen the Blues Brothers movie.

He'll see it "as soon as I can rent it," he said.

"That is the best movie," Sam said.

Lucas doesn't think Blues Brothers is all that great. He originally wanted the group to perform the Temptations' "My Girl."

But he has an exuberance on stage that belies a joy in performance.

As for the screaming girls, well, he can handle it.

"I'm used to it because I've performed in talent shows since I was in kindergarten," he said.