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Bands set to do battle at Newport

Courtesy of Deadwood Floats

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Gladiators, knights and soldiers battle. Local bands will also look to prove their valor in a worthy cause at the 14th annual Battle of the Bands.

Hosted by the Ohio State sophomore honorary, Romophos, Battle of the Bands is scheduled to take place Thursday at Newport Music Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The event will showcase local music groups with proceeds going toward CityMusic and its Musical Opportunities Reward Everyone program, which provides music education to underprivileged students.

The show will feature the bands Wooden Teeth, Scrimshaw and the Mariner, Big Game and Deadwood Floats. All competitors will be vying for a grand prize – seven hours of recording time. A panel of judges will select the winner.

Deadwood Floats will return to the stage after competing for a similar prize at last year’s contest.

“We had a lot of fun playing last year,” said Adam Schutz, guitarist and vocalist for Deadwood Floats. “We enjoy playing, so it’s rewarding enough to just have the opportunity to play the show, especially at a place like the Newport. And then obviously (music education) is something we all feel strongly about, so to be able to support a cause like that is really great to be part of.”

The competition was held at the Ohio Union two years ago before relocating to Newport Music Hall last year. The move, Schutz said, has added incentive for the acts to perform at their very best.

“(Newport Music Hall) is really, really great,” Schutz said. “First of all, I’ve been seeing concerts there since I was probably 15. To be able to play on the same stage that I’ve seen Phoenix or Passion Pit, all the bands that I really love, is pretty awesome.”

Joining the competing bands will be various student dance and a cappella groups that will perform between sets.

The goal of providing a platform for local acts to display their talent, however, is just one objective Romophos is hoping to accomplish. Another is to donate $5,000 to CityMusic.

“Music really can make a difference in someone’s life who has never been exposed to it,” said Ben Hemmelgarn, a second-year in molecular genetics and Romophos president. “As opposed to a national organization, we really wanted to focus on something that would help people right in Columbus and also help people become exposed to music.”

Jennifer Mayer, coordinator of the Battle of the Bands and a second-year in political science and Chinese, mirrored Hemmelgarn’s comments.

“When we started out, we decided we wanted something that was really connected to the kind of event that we were doing,” Mayer said. “We were looking around and stumbled upon

CityMusic and their M.O.R.E. program, and we just knew it was the perfect fit.”

CityMusic has focused on providing chamber and world music to the Columbus area for about 28 years. The group created the M.O.R.E. program in 1990 to cater to schools where music programs had been cut or never existed.

Despite drawing most of its funding from older generations of music enthusiasts, Heidi Howes, executive director of CityMusic, said it is refreshing to see a younger audience contributing to the efforts of the program.

“Because of the economy, music programs have been cut and it is sort of an afterthought for a lot of people,” Howes said. “The fact that Romophos is sort of infusing us with this donation, however big or small, is just proof to us that what we’re doing is important and acknowledged.”

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or at the door. Group discounts are available.

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