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M-PHS Battle of Bands raises funds for sophomores

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium was vibrating from the volume of the Battle of the Bands March 21, as eight bands performed in support of the M-PHS sophomore class.

The competition consisted of student bands Hills of Ballard, Cadaver Collection, The Dead Are Judged and My Name Is Bob, but the show continued with “bonus bands” Marine View Drive, Kill Closet, Arisen From Nothing and With Scars To Prove.

A panel of one adult and four students judged the bands in the areas of overall performance, showmanship, sound quality and crowd response. The Dead Are Judged took first place, scoring 88 points out of a possible 100, while Cadaver Collection came in second, with 76 out of 100. My Name Is Bob received 72 of 100, earning the band a third-place ranking, while Hills of Ballard were awarded 62 points of 100, and fourth place.

One judge called Hills of Ballard “amazing overall” on the written evaluation forms, while other judges wrote that My Name Is Bob’s “strings sounded great” and “drummer stole the set.” The evaluation forms also cited Cadaver Collection’s stage presence, with one judge writing, “You made me cry real tears. Not bad for the walking dead.” As for The Dead Are Judged, the band was judged positively for their crowd involvement, timing and vocals, with one judge writing, “You made me get to my feet.”

Gordon Erdman and Lynn Rowley, the M-PHS sophomore class advisors, have worked with students to coordinate several fundraisers for the class, of which the Battle of the Bands is but one. Still, with estimated earnings of more than $1,000 for the night, Erdman deemed it an effective fundraiser, especially since the bands play for free. In return, Erdman bought the bands pizzas.

Erdman explained that these fundraisers help cover the costs of the current sophomores’ senior prom, cruise and graduation in three years, and that each class stages similar activities to pay for such expenses. He elaborated that the Battle of the Bands started at M-PHS nearly half a dozen years ago, and its competing bands consist mostly of M-PHS sophomores through seniors, with the occasional freshman. Even the “bonus bands” have strong ties to the school.

“Marine View Drive is made up of M-PHS alumni,” Erdman said. “One of them still goes to school here. The daughter of one of the members of Kill Closet, who’s a member of the band herself, goes to school here.”

Arisen From Nothing’s Eric Hanson and With Scars To Prove’s Nick Allen are also members of the faculty at M-PHS. Erdman noted that this is the first year that any M-PHS faculty members have performed in the Battle of the Bands, and he believes that students were excited to see both their peers and their teachers up on stage.

“Having these types of affordable activities is a positive thing,” Erdman said. “Along with the school’s games and clubs, it provides these kids with opportunities to do things with their fellow students in safe environments.”

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