The band Era of Good Feelings is made up of a group of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School sophomores, and the name comes from history class, according to singer and guitarist Skylar Hall.

“We were learning about this period of solidarity in U.S. history, and I was like, that would be a really good band name,” he said while gathered around a foosball table in Alex’s place with four other band members Tuesday afternoon. Tripp Hopkins plays the drums, Jaden Edelman plays the keys, saxophone, and sings, Jack Holmes plays the bass, and James Murray plays guitar. The group weighed different options for which songs to perform without their lead vocalist, Bella Giordano, violinist Alexandra Rego, and primary pianist Spencer Pogue.

Ernie Boch Jr. donated $5,000 to Alex's Place this week through his philanthropic organization Music Drives Us. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“We’re kind of winging it today,” said Skylar. “American Idiot? Or maybe Smells Like Teen Spirit? That’s a very cool song.”

They’ve been playing for long enough that they don’t get nervous before performances, only butterflies.

The band formed about a year ago, and they play regularly at Alex’s place, the youth center at the YMCA. Tuesday’s performance was a special one though because Ernie Boch Jr., through his philanthropic organization, Music Drives Us, was donating $5,000 to Alex’s place in the name of its former director, Tony Lombardi. Mr. Lombardi was a much-loved leader of the teen program who died last year.

The band members say the rehearsal space at Alex’s place is far superior to practicing at on of their homes. “I still have hearing damage from that,” Jack said. Alex’s place also provides summer music workshops, a recording space, a stage, and instruments to teens. Era of Good Feelings is hoping to have a battle of the bands over the summer.

“We’re actually really grateful,” Skylar said after the band took the stage, “That’s not a joke.” Then, they played the Jackson 5’s I Want You Back followed by The Surfaris’ Wipe Out. It rocked.

Era of Good Feelings will perform again at Alex’s place on April 28.