Global Navigation

Top Navigation

Left Navigation

Churches and Graveyards win 2018 JCC Battle of the Bands

2018 JCC Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards, from Marcellus High School, get their set underway. The classic rock band consists of (L-R) Dan Balman, bass; Christian Malone, drums; Ben Carranti, vocals; Tyler Wetherell, vocals; Colin Arnett (not pictured), piano/saxophone; and Jackson Masters, lead guitar.
Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus High School.
From left, Ben Carranti and Dan Balman of Churches and Graveyards.
Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus High School.
Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus High School.
Churches and Graveyards' lead guitarist Jackson Masters.
Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus High School.
The JCC's Mick Hagan hands over the prize money to Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus High School.
2018 JCC Battle of the Bands winner Churches and Graveyards from Marcellus High School. Pictured are the band's members, from left, Jackson Masters, lead guitar; Ben Carranti, vocals; Colin Arnett, piano/saxophone; Dan Balman, bass; Christian Malone, drums; and Tyler Wetherell, vocals.
2018 Battle of the Bands emcee Bob Staffa, 95X radio personality, kicks off the show by introducing the evening's first act Sydney Irving from Marcellus High School.
Sydney Irving • Marcellus High School
Sydney Irving • Marcellus High School
Sydney Irving • Marcellus High School
Sydney Irving • Marcellus High School
Sydney Irving of Marcellus High School brought her younger sister, Kalissa, on stage to join her for her final number American Girl by the late Tom Petty.
Sydney and Kalissa Irving perform Tom Petty's American Girl.
Vivid Recall from Liverpool High School and Baker High School (Baldwinsville), the night's second band to perform, kicks off their high-energy set.
Vivid Recall • Liverpool High School, Baker High School
Vivid Recall • Liverpool High School, Baker High School
Vivid Recall • Liverpool High School, Baker High School
Vivid Recall • Liverpool High School, Baker High School
Vivid Recall • Liverpool High School, Baker High School
2018 Battle of the Bands emcee Bob Staffa announces the fourth band FM All from Fayetteville-Manlius High School and Nottingham High School.
FM All • Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Nottingham High School
FM All • Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Nottingham High School
FM All • Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Nottingham High School
FM All • Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Nottingham High School
FM All • Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Nottingham High School
Emcee Bob Staffa announces the evening's fifth and final band Decent from Lafayette Junior-Senior High School.
Decent • Lafayette Junior-Senior High School
Decent • Lafayette Junior-Senior High School
Decent • Lafayette Junior-Senior High School
Decent • Lafayette Junior-Senior High School
Decent • Lafayette Junior-Senior High School
From left, 2018 Battle of the Bands judges Josh Winoski, Dan Wrona and Nate Murphy from last year's winning band Posted; Katrina Tulloch, life and culture reporter for The Post-Standard; Jose Varona, More Sound Recording Studio; Bob Staffa (B.O.B), 95X radio personality; and Greg Minix, Syracuse NewTimes.

Content

January 19, 2018

The lilting strains of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida echoed through the Neulander Family Sports & Fitness Center at the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center just after 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 13. It was a bit unusual. Normally, the Fitness Center is closed at that hour. Then again, on most days, musicians aren’t going head to head with each other as part of a concert in the Schayes Family gymnasium.

But this night was different. It was the JCC’s Battle of the Bands, an event where five high school bands faced each other in a truly impressive musical showdown. And Viva La Vida performed by Sydney Irving of Marcellus was only the first act of the competition, which was ultimately won by Churches and Graveyards, a fellow Marcellus band whose name describes their town which has four churches and three graveyards all within a mile of each other.

“But we have never practiced in a graveyard,” said Dan Balman, 17, the bass guitarist of this classic rock sextet. “There’s no power in graveyards. Still, I guess we can get a generator.”

This light-hearted exuberance is to be expected after winning the competition. The celebration was made even sweeter because the band is only three months old.

“We’re the new kid on the block,” said Christian Malone, 14, the drummer and the youngest member of the group. And while the band is new, some of the members have played with each other before. Their ability to work so well with each other is what led them to form this band so that they could create original music and play local events regularly.”

One of Churches and Graveyards’ original numbers they played was Avalanche which according to Balman, was written after he was called a “natural disaster” by his chemistry teacher when she caught him zoning out in class. “I always get nice, little nicknames from my teachers when I do stuff like that,” he said while insisting that it isn’t something that happens too often.

The rest of the band includes Tyler Wetherell, vocals; Colin Arnett, piano/saxophone; Ben Carranti, vocals; and Jackson Masters, lead guitar. They were awarded a $200 cash prize, eight hours of studio time at More Sound Recording Studio in Syracuse, the headline slot at this year's Contact Community Services’ TeenFest event, and the opportunity to play in a special JCC 2018 Spring Showcase concert.

Vivid Recall, from Liverpool High School and Baker High School (Baldwinsville) was the first runner-up in the competition. Singer-songwriter Sidney Irving from Marcellus High School finished in the third place.

“It happens,” Irving said with a smile on her face. “But performing is in itself is such a rewarding experience. I live for the music. That’s what’s most important. Viva la musica.” With that, she patted her younger sister Kalissa softly on the shoulder and they walked out of the venue with their parents.

The other Battle of the Bands entrants this year were FM All from Fayetteville-Manlius High School/Nottingham High School and Decent from Lafayette Junior-Senior High School.

Judges for the 2018 Battle of the Bands were Jose Varona, More Sound Recording Studio; Bob Staffa (B.O.B), 95X radio personality; Katrina Tulloch, life and culture reporter for The Post-Standard; Greg Minix, Syracuse NewTimes; and Nate Murphy, Josh Winoski and Dan Wrona from last year's winning band Posted.

This year's Battle of the Bands was sponsored by More Sound Recording Studio, 95X, Contact Community Services and Pepsi.

For more information about the JCC Battle of the Bands, contact the JCC at 315-445-2360 or info@jccsyr.org.

 

Sidebar

Footer