Making MusicGAMBIER, Ohio (November 15, 2004) Their styles ranged from ambient to pop to funk. But the five student bands that competed in this year's Battle of the Bands had one thing in common: On November 5, they each decided to forego the usual weekend circuit to participate in the annual contest and vie for its $350.00 prize.
Brian Speiser, Class of 2005, guitarist for Fat Kid, the winning band, admits that money was the primary motivation, but also applauds the philosophy that underlies this school-sponsored event: "It encourages the local music scene to grow," he says. "It gives bands a chance to play events that aren't necessarily the same old parties."
The event, held in Old Kenyon, was part of the late-night alternative programming offered by the Office of Student Activities and featured pizza, door prizes, and best of all, live performances.
Fat Kid, a six-member funk band formed in September 2004, is made up of Speiser, freshman bassist David "Fire" Harrington, sophomore percussionist Adam Lucas, junior vocalist and triangle player Sean O'Neill, and seniors drummer Nate Appy and alto saxophonist Joe Dolman.
Their eclectic style and repertoire, described by sophomore Julia Perry as "an amalgam of sounds," ranges from jazz jam sessions to a memorable cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic."
Speiser hopes that more student bands will find a place in such musical events as Philander's Phling or Summer Send-off in the future. Student bands are less expensive, he explains, and more in tune with the student body's musical tastes and preferences. Events such as Battle of the Bands and an enthusiastic student body have a simple and positive effect, he adds. "It just encourages people to get out there and play."
By Lauren C. Ostberg, Class of 2007