2010.07.07 Kent Deatrick: Battle of the Bands

Written by David Green.

I appreciate all the members of the bands who participated in this year's Battle of the Bands contest. Your efforts provided us with one of our best shows ever.   

Our three judges selected for the first time a “Judge’s Choice Winner.” That honor went to “Variety Pak” from Delta, Ohio.

A key to the success of the event is the involvement of many behind-the-scenes volunteers, including: the REACT security team, helpers at the gates and voting table, the official counters, the electrical expansion team and the sound management team on the stage.

A local Morenci band, “TBA” (also know as, “Nunya” and “Kevlar”), won the popular vote for the third year in a row. They may change their name each year, but their classic rock and roll music is consistently high caliber with the audiences.

The popularity of our Battle of the Bands has increased each year since its inception in 2008, according to our voting attendance. The original attendance was 366 in 2008; 426 in 2009 and  538 this year.   

Prompted by our successful format, we have observed nearby towns follow our lead and initiate their own Battle of the Bands programs. Waldron started one in 2008. This year Hudson had representatives here to observe, take notes and meet the bands. Hudson is planning a Battle of the Bands July 31 at its festival.

It is my challenge each year to make the next year’s Battle even better than the previous. I observe, analyze and collect input from the audiences and the bands every year.   

So, for next year I am planning an expanded format, which will involve two brackets. I think it will be the fairest way to include all the bands in a competition that recognizes and welcomes the diversity of music and a wide ranging audience. 

Again, I seek to put together a fun, fair and entertaining program for everyone involved. As in all contests, the end result produces one winner, but by having the initiative to join in our Battle, that makes them all winners in my eyes. 

- Kent Deatrick

Festival Entertainment Director

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

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