Several hundred enthusiastic fans came to Redeemer’s Auditorium for the Finale of a remarkable event. Redeemer’s inaugural Battle of the Bands – High School Edition featured five very diverse bands performing in front of friends, family, classmates – and judges.
The concert, organized by Redeemer’s Recruitment and Student Life Departments, was the conclusion to a competition that began when more than 20 bands submitted video entries via YouTube. The five bands that performed at Redeemer were chosen through an online contest that saw more than 30,000 votes cast through Redeemer’s website. At the finale, each band performed a 20 minute set in front of a panel of judges that included Graham Rockingham, Music Editor for The Hamilton Spectator, Amy King, a record producer at Grant Avenue Studios and Scott Orr, who is in charge of Artist and Repertoire for Hamilton's indie label, Other Songs Music Co.
DiverseCity, from Senator O' Connor College School in Toronto, took home the Judge’s Award as the top band. Their brand of contemporary urban music was praised by the judges as “oozing with commercial appeal,” and being very close to being radio ready. Performing all original compositions, the band was also given high marks for the presence and the energy they brought to the stage.
The Number Stations won the People’s Choice Award, as voted on by the audience. The youngest band in the competition, this Ancaster-based group’s set featured covers of a number of classic rock songs that had the audience singing along.
The judges were amazed at the quality of all the bands, and the voting was, according to Rockingham, “exceptionally close.” Scott Orr said all the bands were better than many he has seen in the clubs around Hamilton, even though those bands have players 10-15 years older.
For winning the Judge’s Award, DiverseCity was awarded an Artist Development Package valued at nearly $1,000. The package includes one-hour consulting sessions with four professionals from the music industry and one song professionally recorded at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton.
Micah Van Dijk, Activities & Orientation Coordinator at Redeemer was instrumental in organizing the Battle of the Bands, and he and Josh Looy, a third-year student, served as MCs for the evening. He encouraged the bands to use this as just a step in their development. “I hope that this has been a great experience for all of you,” he said, “and I hope that you will continue to grow in your craft. And who knows…maybe you’ll be back on this stage as Redeemer students!”
Battle of the Bands – High School Edition was part of Sibling Weekend, organized by Student Life. The weekend features a number of other activities for current Redeemer students who have invited their siblings to campus. It also took place on Redeemer’s first campus visit day event of the year. For Karen Barker, the Recruitment Department’s Event Coordinator, it was a great way to kick off the Visiting Day Program. “The energy and excitement around the event was incredible. It has been a great way to show some of the unique opportunities that our campus offers students.”
The event certainly made a positive impression on many who were there. “Everything about this event was top-notch,” said one guest, whose child was in The Number Stations. “The kids were treated so well by Redeemer, and the event was exceptionally well-organized.”
For more photos of the event, and (coming soon) video clips of the bands that performed, visit the Battle of the Bands website. And watch for information on next year’s event!