COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 7, 2013) – Friday, March 1, was a cold, blustery night, but that didn’t stop the top ten high school bands in central Ohio from heating up the stage at GROOVE U’s Instaband finale. Nearly 500 fans, bands and partners were in attendance to witness the battle for a recording contract, complete with a professionally recorded EP, music video, website and more!
The judges’ vote was unanimous. Metal band, A F(r)iend in Me, with members from Groveport Madison High School and Arts & College Preparatory Academy clinched the 2013 Instaband title (see the winner announced on the Instaband YouTube channel). In the process, approximately $3,000 was raised for three local youth-based music education nonprofits the — Dick & Jane Project, Music Loves Ohio and Through Mind’s Eyes.
The runner up was alternative rock band, Mirror Image, from Watkins Memorial High School. They received $500 worth of recording time at Vaughan Music Studios, an Instaband Diamond level partner. The night got exciting when third place was too close to call, and Hollywood Red and Underground Magic had to play a third song as a tie-breaker. Hollywood Red, a rock band with members from Gahanna Lincoln and Reynoldsburg High Schools, took third place and won a $250 gift card from Instaband Executive Producer — Music Go Round.
“We were blown away by the level of talent and professionalism of the participants, and by the amount of support from family, friends and fans,” said Dwight Heckelman, Director of GROOVE U’s revolutionary music career program. “What an amazing first year for Instaband! We want to thank all the partners, judges, emcees, bands, fans and especially GROOVE U students for making it a successful event.”
From start to finish, the Instaband competition was produced by first-year GROOVE U students: Aaron Dill, Christian Porter, Derek Rassmussen, Katherine Dotson, Sam Gwin and Zachry Earhart. They developed the rules and judging criteria, handled marketing and promotion and functioned as stage managers, sound technicians, publicity managers, back line managers and videographers, all the while gaining real-world music business experience.
Local radio personality, Mark Dantzer, emceed the event which was judged by the following panel of local celebrity judges:
• Jerry DePizzo, O.A.R.
• Dwight Heckelman, Founder and Director, GROOVE U
• Kevin Joy, Features Reporter, The Columbus Dispatch
• Brian Lucey, Grammy-winning Master Engineer, Magic Garden Mastering
• Shayla Reaves, News Reporter, WBNS 10TV
“It is a natural fit for us to have our students produce Instaband as a way to help build community, plus it’s a great hands-on learning experience, which is part of our DNA here at GROOVE U,” said Heckelman. “GROOVE U believes in the power of the local music community, and we see a real need for local high school artists to engage that community.”