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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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