Fans of the “Harry Potter” series may not have any more new books to look forward to, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be seeing — or hearing — new material about the characters.
That’s because of the surging popularity of “wizard rock,” a genre in which young musicians write and perform music incorporating elements of the series.
And North Syracuse has its very own wizard rock band — Kingsley and the Shacklebolts, who will be performing at 6 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 20 at NOPL at North Syracuse.
The band — consisting of Connor Strader on drums and vocals, Nick Snow on guitar and Jake Roundy on keyboards, all juniors at Cicero-North Syracuse High School — got together earlier this year.
“We’ve been playing together since February,” Strader said. “I had been hearing about [wizard rock] for a while, and Nick and I are in another band together, so I started thinking that if we did it, we could get some attention. So I called these guys and asked if they wanted to do it. We just thought it would be fun.”
In choosing their name, the band looked to other wizard rock bands like Harry and the Potters and Draco and the Malfoys. They chose to honor a favorite character, Kingsley Shacklebolt, an Auror (a wizard who fights dark magic) who ends up Minister of Magic.
Strader said he believes the genre is so popular because it gives fans another way to keep in touch with their favorite characters.
“The series was so popular,” he said. “This genre of music is a way to keep those stories going.”
Roundy noted that most of their fans were already fans of the series.
“They’re all pretty much around our age,” he said. “They’re people who grew up reading ‘Harry Potter.'”
The Aug. 20 appearance at NOPL will be the band’s second gig at the library.
“When we first started playing together, we were looking for shows,” Roundy said. “We figured libraries would be a good place to start, so we started calling them. Our first show was at the North Syracuse library.”
“It was a lot of fun,” Strader said. “They asked us back again.”
Kingsley and the Shacklebolts have also played at Borders Booksellers at Carousel Mall; they provided live entertainment during the store’s premiere party for Stephanie Meyers’ “Breaking Dawn,” the final book in her “Twilight” series about a young girl who falls in love with a vampire.
“We had been calling them and asking them to let us play,” Snow said. “They asked us to play for the ‘Twilight’ premiere, and it seemed kind of natural — a lot of people who read those books read the ‘Harry Potter’ books.”
If you miss the NOPL appearance, you can catch Kingsley and the Shacklebolts at a fundraiser for Jazz Central in Syracuse on Nov. 15; check back with The Star-News for details.
Even if they never make it big, Strader, Snow and Roundy are happy to be doing what they’re doing.
“If we get gigs, we’ll be happy, obviously,” Snow said. “But if no one comes to see us, we’ll still have fun.”
“We like having people see us — they’re coming to hear what we’ve written,” Strader said. “It’s our stuff and they’re listening to it, which is pretty cool. But whether we get shows or not, we still want to make music.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.