On Friday, Oct. 27, six bands competed in Wilmington for a chance at five hours of recording studio time at The Real School of Music. The night was organized and hosted by Wilmington High School Choral and Theater Support (C.A.T.S.) group.
With two fantastic MC's introducing the groups, the night was a blast filled with incredible music in an array of genres. Several of the performers are current students at Real School, including a jazz student of Erik Ringstad.
The performances were thoughtful and endearing; the first group, a drummer and guitarist, played an instrumental set of passionate ambient rock. The second group, another drum and guitar duo, played two originals and a cover by the Black Keys. For their last two songs they switched instruments, showing impressive musical talent. The third group put on an incredible show, getting the crowd on their feet. They had a drummer, synth player and three vocalists. Playing original hip-hop music, they had a memorable performance.
After a brief intermission and a hilarious performance by an acoustic duo covering Flight of the Conchords, the show continued with an emotional guitar-driven performance from a jazz group, and ended with Pineapple Blast, the largest band of the night. They had a great Alice in Chains vibe going on and put on quite a show.
Real School instructors Dave Reffett and Violeta Dontcheva were judging the competition. They both had a great time, and Dave announced the winners on stage. Congratulations to Pineapple Blast for winning the grand prize of 5 hours studio time at Real School, and $100 cash! 2nd place was claimed by Wolf River who took home $150 cash, and 3rd place was The Mooners, winning $100 cash.
The bands had a chance to showcase their skills in front of family and friends, and one hundred percent of proceeds from ticket sales go to the C.A.T.S. Scholarship fund.
Julie Ledoux organized the event. She is the President of the Wilmington High School Choral and Theater Support (C.A.T.S.) group. “We felt the night was a huge success, and we most definitely couldn't have done it without The Real School of Music! This was our first time running a Battle of the Bands - and as daunting an undertaking as that seemed from the outset, the outcome was a really fun night! Not just for the performers but also for the audience members. Having such an enthusiastic audience like we did was great for the kids who were performing! All of the kids did a great job - from the stagecrew to lighting to sound and of course the MCs and comedic musical act who performed between curtains. We weren't quite sure how big a crowd it would draw for the first time out - but we were very pleased - we had just under 100 people show up and suspect that that number will grow in the coming years. Having free t-shirts provide by Real School was an added bonus for our unassuming audience members as they walked through the door."