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The Dolls are just more than pretty faces

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In celebration of International Women's Day, we catch up with Guam's only girl band shaking up the local music scene.

Forget Josie and the Pussycats. Meet The Dolls: Rachael Esteves on vocals and guitar. Sabrina Borja on saxophone. Megan Volsteadt on trumpet. Susana Wusstig on bass guitar. And Regina Oliva - the tiniest of them all - rocking out on the drums. This is their typical Friday night - gigging at Castaways in Tumon to a packed bar, performing Top 40 favorites as well dozens of their own originals.

Megan said, "We're very underestimated. I feel, maybe with our fellow musicians they know where we are, our caliber, but for the general public they see a group of girls and they're like that's cute and then we rock out and blow their socks off! "  These girls are all accomplished musicians - and even prouder products of their respective band programs at the Guam Department of Education.

Megan added, "I think that fine arts in the public school systems, they need more support. And yes it's been improving in the last couple of years, but I think since I started in middle school, it was not in a great position. I was lucky enough to go to a public school that had a music program and instruments, and someone who was competent at teaching."

Not only are these fierce females taking center stage, they're taking over the classroom. Because, where else would The Dolls hang out? Playhouse Studios offers affordable private lessons - so music lovers of all ages - can increase their music literacy.

Rachel said, "Playhouse Studios is important because when I was young, I wanted to have music lessons but they were really, really expensive. So I was like I wanted to create a music school that would be like what i wanted. And it would be easily affordable and easily accessible."

Echoing her sentiments, soon-to-be band teacher Sabrina said, "I want them to be independent musicians. People who can read music, make music, have fun and pass that joy onto others. I think it's just the best job in the world and there needs to be more music teachers."

And that gave shoutouts to all their music teachers, past and present, with Regina saying, "We are so interlocked with the music scene now. I feel like all the people who brought us up like Max (Ronquillo) and John Bermudes. What they taught us was right about being a musician in the scene. I think they really did a good job of trying to cultivate some kind of - kind of like planting the seeds and watching the seeds and trying to make sure they're going in the right direction."

And no room for divas on this stage. These girls have nothing but love for their fellow performing artists.

Regina added, "Even with us here at Castaways, sometimes we'll leave the bar and then we'll go and hop onto Porky's and check the other bands who play. It's kind of like our job to and I'm proud to say that because I love doing it."

Megan added, "Everyone in this community, we all know each other, we all support each other."

But why should you support local artists like The Dolls? Sabrina said, "Can you imagine a world without music? Movies without music? Just dancing without music? I think it ties into everything. We have to support that as teachers, as parents. It's very important."

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