Searching for bands to ‘battle it out’ to benefit education

Friday, January 29, 2016

Your Voice Weekly, Friday, January 29, 2016
Shelley Koppel
Staff writer

TREASURE COAST — The Lyric Theatre is gearing up for an epic Battle of the Bands. Middle and high school students from St. Lucie and Martin counties are invited to submit videos of their groups on YouTube from Feb.15-March 14. Finalists will be selected by judges from The League in combination with YouTube ratings. Finalists will be announced by April 15 and will compete May 7 on The Lyric stage.

Bands may compete in one of two categories: garage bands with two or more members with instruments and school ensembles with no more than 25 members playing instruments. Bands can include singers. There is a $25 registration fee that will benefit The Lyric’s arts and education programs.

On May 7, finalists will compete for prizes. Winners will be selected by judges and audience choice votes. The garage band winner will win a cash prize and the opportunity to open for a Lyric show next season. The ensemble/school band winner will have the choice of a cash scholarship or Lyric Master Class for the school.

The new event is sponsored by The Lyric League, an auxiliary group formed to help The Lyric in its mission of providing a home for the performing arts that entertains and educates. The Battle of the Bands is intended to support local, young talent and to raise funds to expand The Lyric’s arts and education programs such as Artists in Residence, Children’s Discovery Series and the Awesome Summer Camp.
Funds will be raised through the May 7th event with sponsorships, ticket sales and audience choice votes. Audience members will have the opportunity to put dollar bills in the box for a particular band as a vote.

Colleen Schramm is co-chair of The Lyric League. She spoke about it and the Battle of the Bands.

“What we’re trying to do is come up with an annual signature event that will be our key fundraising event for The league and publicize what we do,” she said. “It’s for education and outreach. We’d like to start doing ticket underwriting, so more children have the opportunity to attend events.”

Schramm became involved when her daughter, who attends private school, had the opportunity to meet one of the flautists performing at The Lyric. The performer visited her school.

“The kids in our band thought he was a hero,” Schramm said. “I thought, ‘Wow, that left an impression.’ I didn’t realize that someone has to pay when an artist comes to the school. When I was approached to join The League, it was an opportunity to get more children to experience this type of thing.”

Niki Norton, The League’s other co-chair said the Battle of the Bands was a good fit for The Lyric.

“The Lyric is about performing and there’s raw, interesting talent,” she said. “It’s a great tie to The Lyric and a way to increase our demographics, age-wise. We’ll tap into middle and high school kids and their parents and bring it to a whole new audience. It’s a way to approach a whole different audience. People don’t know The Lyric is a non-profit and in an historic building. There is a uniqueness people don’t know about. I’m excited about it. It’s the first event and I’m putting a lot of energy into it.”

If you have middle or high-schoolers who are in public or private school or are home schooled, who live in Martin or St. Lucie counties and dream of being on the stage, tell them to pick their best music and post it to YouTube. Who knows what might happen?

The Battle of the Bands to benefit The Lyric Theatre’s education and outreach programs is open to bands in St. Lucie and Martin counties. Flyers and posters about the Battle of the Band are being distributed to local middle and high schools, music stores and other sites.

For more information about the Battle of the Bands or The Lyric League, contact Karin Leone at (772) 220-1942, ext. 205or More information about entering the competition is