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Battle of the Bands will be the first of its kind at Saint Mary’s

Liz Harter | Friday, January 20, 2006

There will be a battle at Saint Mary’s Saturday night. At 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center, four acts, two bands and two solo artists, will compete in the first ever Saint Mary’s Battle of the Bands, sponsored by the First Year Board and the Residence Hall Association.

The acts slated to appear are Robbie Hazen, Slap Bracelet Suicide, Somersaults and Ryan Connaughton.

Although local bands also wanted to compete, Maura Clougherty said Saint Mary’s wanted to confine the competition to student groups.

During winter break, Clougherty and Frances Bruder, the Student Activites Coordinator, sent e-mails to all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students advertising the idea to those interested. The e-mail asked for a CD with three demo songs, five bands replied and all were accepted – though one band had to drop out due to time conflicts.

Though the planning took place while no students were on campus, Class of 2009 vice president Pauline Kistka said she doesn’t think that the break cut down on responses.

“It was easy to attract [the bands] because it is a great opportunity to get their name out there,” Kistka said, “The winner receives studio time, and also opens for a nationally touring act at the Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board TOSTAL in April.”

All of the bands are exposed to the Los Angeles-based judges who will be in town for the contest.

“The advantages are tremendous,” Kistka said.

The judges include the members of the indie band Thornbird and producer Ulysses Noriega, who has worked with artists such as Coolio, Ben Folds and Limp Bizkit. The performers will also be able to attend a 20-minute session with the judges on Sunday, during which they will receive one-on-one feedback about their lyrics and performances. Thornbird will also be performing at Saint Mary’s on Jan. 23.

The Battle of the Bands is one of the fundraising ideas that will coincide with the Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon, taking place on April 21 to benefit Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Riley Hospital does not turn any children away due to monetary needs and therefore spends $25 million unbudgeted every year. At least 68 colleges and Universities including IU, Butler University, Ball State and, this year, Saint Mary’s, put on dance marathons to help raise this money.

“Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to take a hand into the light. Make a difference,” said Francesca Johnson, president of the Class of 2009, quoting the freshman board’s Riley Hospital motto. “Do it for the kids. The evening will be fun, and these children need all the money that they can get.”

One hundred percent of the profits from Saturday night will benefit Riley Hospital for Children. Tickets cost $6 in advance, sold in the Student Center at Saint Mary’s and the LaFortune Box Office at Notre Dame, and cost $8 at the door.