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This Thursday, May 17th, the 8th annual Columbia Public Schools Battle of the Bands will be held at the Blue Note at 7:15pm. Battle of the Bands is hosted by Hickman High School every year and is a competition that pits Rock Bridge Bands against Hickman Bands for prizes and glory.
“The first Battle was at Hickman in May of 2004. The event has occurred every year except for 2009, when we could not field enough competent bands to have a show,” said Paul Overeem, sponser of the Hickman Academy of Rock. “Its purpose is to give high school bands a chance to test their mettle, to access opportunities to record their music and learn studio technology, and to provide a “farm team” of sorts for the local scene in Columbia”
The Bands competing in this year’s battle are Volatile, Odd One Down, Lot 56, and Table for Five, all of which have passed the mark as “competent” bands to compete in the upcoming battle.
“Since The Blue Note donates their space for us to stage the Battle rent-free, we do not want to disgrace that space. We ask that bands be able to play together in coherent fashion, show an awareness of their audience, muster at least 25-30 minutes of material that they can play with consistency, and demonstrate enthusiasm,” said Overeem. “We are open to all genres including rap, jazz, country, electronica, and solo performers are welcome as well. We featured two junior high bands last year, both of whom did quite well.”
Ben Morgan, bassist for Lot 56, is excited for the upcoming competition.
“Yeah, I’m a little nervous,” said Morgan. “I’d say that we are indubitably in a great position to win it all. We’ve been preparing a lot for this, and I think it’s going to go really well.”
Students interested in going, such as senior Tristan Welsh, are more than happy to pay the relatively low entry fee of five dollars.
“I’ve gone to Battle of the Bands the past two years,” said Welsh. “I’m confident that this year will be just as amazing as it has been in the past.’
By Alex Burnam