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Rock & Roll excitement was taken over at Elmhurst High School! The inaugural Battle of Bands competition kicked off at Elmhurst High School, May 21, 2005. Doors opened at 3pm and did not close until the judges determined the hottest teen band in the Fort Wayne area. This was a new & exciting event at Elmhurst that they hope becomes a tradition. The idea for Battle of Bands was the brainchild of the Music Booster President George Lay. He was convinced this could be a fun, safe event for area youth & a profitable venture for Music Boosters. The idea was socialized within the Music Organizations at Elmhurst and late last year began taking on a life of its own.

“Our motivation was clear – funding requirements necessary to provide the equipment, uniforms, props, travel & additional administrative personnel needed by the instrumental music teams at EHS are reaching critical shortages,” said President Lay. “We needed to invent profitable new events that would generate the revenue necessary to reinforce existing Music programs at Elmhurst & allow our programs to grow.”

The idea was simple – An opportunity to showcase some of the area’s best teenage rock bands at a safe, well supervised venue, targeted specifically to teenagers. Battle of Bands was a competition for teenage rock bands, but also an opportunity for them to play to a large, enthusiastic audience. Auditions were held at Elmhurst High School this spring to identify talented teen groups. The rules stated they must be teenagers and affiliated to a school in North East Indiana. The event was held on the big stage, in the main gym and was open to the public. Cash prizes were awarded to bands winning the Best of Show & People’s Choice. There was a tie for the Best of Show between Coverdown-Elmhurst High School and Down Strait-Southside High School. The People’s Choice Award went to Arto a band made up of Homestead High School students all except the drummer who was from Southside. This event was recorded, so a CD of original music written and performed by these young Rock Stars, will be available for sale. The CDs can be ordered through the Music Department at Elmhurst.

In addition to the talented music students being showcased at this event, Art Students of FWCS were given the opportunity to create artwork for the CD cover. Information was sent via email to Art Directors within the school system about the contest. Submissions were accepted by EHS Music Boosters until May 16th. The CD cover contest winner (pictured above) was Corey Johnson from Elmhurst Art Department. He received a $100 savings bond, as well as, having his artwork displayed on the cover of their “First Ever” EHS Battle of Bands CD. The Grand Prize Winner of the CD Artwork contest was announced with the band winners the night of the show. An Art Show, displaying all the great artwork received by Elmhurst was displayed in the main hall, the night of Battle of Bands.

Elmhurst High School has a long tradition of musical excellence, from Marching Band to Jazz Festival, and now, the Rock & Roll Battle of Bands. Each musician commits to long hours of practice and months of dedication to achieve the best show possible. Families provide unconditional support and encouragement. Directors and staff provide instruction, direction, and fresh ideas.

The Waynedale News Staff
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