Auburn Family

Battle of the Bands- a spotlight on student talent

Battle of the Bands, a competition where students tuned their guitars and warmed up their vocal cords to showcase their talents for their fellow students.

The University Program Council, or UPC, hosted the 5th annual Battle of the Bands on Sept. 22 on Cater Lawn.

Students were offered free food and soft drinks as they enjoyed the cool fall weather and fun tunes.

Six performers took the stage for this year's competition, A-Okay, Jon Wilkris Trio, MoonMachine, Andre's Giants, Cameron Dubois and Stay Classy.

Each band had a 20-minute time frame on stage, where they had to set up, perform and strike their set.

The first song played could be a cover or original song that was used for soundcheck purposes. The artists could then tweak their sound before they played their second song, an original song that was judged.

"The bands were scored on originality, vocals, stage presence, musicianship and overall impression on a scale of 1-5, 5 being fantastic," said Amber Gould, UPC director of special projects.

This year's judges were Kristi Malzahn, Tim and Todd Spicer from Spicer's Music, and Caroline Gamble and Alex Gamble from WEGL Radio.

Students not only got to have the experience of performing in a Battle of the Bands competition but also won prizes for placing.

First place received $400, second place won $300, third place received $200 and fan favorite won $100 and an hour podcast on WEGL Radio.

First place went to Jon Wilkris Trio, a singer/songwriter band featuring John Canada, Will Boswell and Chris Schiller.

The crowd was captivated by their acoustic Whitney Houston cover and great stage presence.

"We were very excited when we were named the winning band," said Canada. "It feels nice to get recognized for our original music."

This year's fan favorite went to a dynamic duo, MoonMachine. Aaron and Jake Wooley were named fan favorite by the crowd tweeting the name of their band with the hashtag #BOTB2015 during the event.

MoonMachine made their debut at Battle of the Bands. It was their first live performance.

"We are grateful for being voted fan favorite," said Wooley. "We are surprised and elated to know the audience enjoyed our music as much as we do."

Stay Classy, a fun pop/rock band, won second place. The band features the talents of Matthew Brown, Allen Jernigan, Jake Luttrell and Tyler Ambrose. Their style brought an edgy vibe to the competition.

"Battle of the Bands was our first competition we have competed in," said Brown. "We love any opportunity we can get to perform at Auburn. We are trying to get in on the college scene and atmosphere at Auburn."

Third place was awarded to solo artist Cameron DuBois, who performed an acoustic version of "I Can't Feel My Face."

"I enjoyed attending Battle of the Bands because it was a cool way to see the originality of all the bands around campus," said student Sydney Dale. "The bands were all so different but were all very talented."

UPC hosts events like Battle of the Bands to enhance the Auburn experience by creating an engaging atmosphere with events that are planned by students for students.

Visit the UPC website for the calendar of upcoming events to see which UPC event you should attend.

(Photos/John Hood and Carter Brown - University Program Council)

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