Can someone actually be the lead singer, electric guitarist and songwriter for a rock band while at the same time serving as a titleholder for the Miss Virginia/Miss America organization? If your name is Caroline Weinroth, the answer is yes!
Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Caroline is currently a graduate student at George Mason University and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Poetry. She also earned her undergraduate degree from George Mason in Theater Performance and Audio Engineering.
While Caroline was an undergraduate at George Mason, she formed a band called Cinema Hearts with her brother Erich Weinroth. This is how Caroline describes her band: “A pageant queen fronts a rock ‘n’ roll band: Haunting harmonies soar over electric guitar in Cinema Hearts’ tribute to the Wall of Sound.”
Caroline’s Cinema Hearts band was selected “Best Local Band 2017” by Northern Virginia Magazine last year and the band has recorded two albums during their career. Cinema Hearts regularly tours at concert venues around the Northern Virginia/DC/Maryland area and also has played in major east coast cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Richmond.
In addition to her leadership with Cinema Hearts, Caroline is also a pageant queen. Last year, she served as Miss Mountain Laurel 2017 and then competed in the Miss Virginia 2017 state pageant. Then in February earlier this year, Caroline won the Miss Northern Virginia 2018 title and will be competing in the Miss Virginia 2018 pageant next month in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Being the front woman for a rock band is not always an easy thing. One prime example of the type of hardship Caroline has encountered is gender discrimination. Three years ago Caroline was on a family vacation in Corona, California and touring the Fender guitar factory when she faced an extreme dose of sexism.
Caroline describes the Fender factory experience on her blog: “I wore my She Shreds t-shirt and told the tour guide how happy I was to be at the factory, because I play a Fender Jaguar. Instead of welcoming me and treating me like the other older men guitarists in our tour group, the tour guide said, “Wow, you really play? Chicks who play are so cool.” He prodded me the whole tour, testing me with hard questions about pick-ups and gear and telling me my Modern Player Jaguar was not a “real Fender instrument.” It was hard to be reminded at the place where my favorite guitars are made, ‘You’re not part of the boys’ club’. Later that day, I cried in a hotel bathroom and wrote the lyrics to “Fender Factory.”
The song Caroline wrote that day, “Fender Factory” has become one of Cinema Hearts most popular songs. Caroline plays her Fender electric guitar with this tune as she sings the chorus, “Doesn’t make me wanna buy a Strat, when you talk to me like that.” The song has a catchy new wave/punk groove and features a guitar solo by Caroline during the middle part of the tune. The song absolutely rocks!
Although both men and women love the “Fender Factory” song, it especially resonates with women who have faced sexism not only in music but also with other areas in their lives. Here is a video of “Fender Factory” when Cinema Hearts played the song in Brooklyn, New York during March 2018:
For the upcoming Miss Virginia 2018 pageant, Caroline’s community service platform is Music Empowerment, a movement to create civic change through music education and performance.
On Caroline’s website she states what her goal is when she competes in the pageant: “My platform is Music Empowerment, because I believe that music has the power to impact individuals and communities. I advocate for women and girls in music by performing with my band, speaking at music events, and collaborating with arts groups. One of my favorite groups I’ve volunteered with was Girls Rock Roanoke, a music camp for girls in Roanoke, Virginia.”
With the Miss Virginia 2018 pageant happening next month, Caroline will be singing and playing her electric guitar during the talent part of the competition. I am not sure if there has ever been a Miss Virginia contestant to play a guitar for the talent section of the competition before, but I am excited that Caroline will get the opportunity to play her Fender guitar next month in Lynchburg.
Caroline Weinroth playing her electric guitar and singing a cover version of the Beatles song, “Come Together” at the 2018 Miss Virginia Pageant, Lynchburg, Virginia, June 2018. Video added on 12/26/18.
In reviewing Caroline’s mission of music empowerment, she already promotes that type of activity through her Miss Northern Virginia 2018 functions and also with the leadership of her Cinema Hearts band.
No matter the outcome of the Miss Virginia pageant 2018 next month, I am confident that Caroline Weinroth will continue to be a positive role model for music empowerment throughout the commonwealth of Virginia.
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