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Teen bands rock William Jessup

By: Liz Kellar The News Messenger
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William Jessup University was rocking Saturday night. Literally. Eight bands drawn from area high schools competed in a drug- and alcohol-free Battle of the Bands. The event was organized by the Rotary Club of Lincoln and Placer County Youth Diversion Services and the teen group it sponsors, We Are Teens Always Helping. “The Battle of the Bands event is the WATAH group’s first coordinated youth-directed event and it never would be possible if these organizations hadn’t stepped up and volunteered their time,” said Charmaine Frost, whose son, Tom, graduated from the program. According to Don Lemmon, of youth diversion services, the Battle of the Bands was something the kids themselves came up with. “They wanted a drug- and alcohol-free event, something that could attract a larger, more general teen audience,” he said. “Every detail was determined and taken care of by the kids.” Lemmon said a committee of youth in WATAH program and Lincoln Rotary met biweekly since the end of February to plan the event. “The Rotarians did a great job of providing mentoring,” he said. More than a dozen bands completed the application process and were winnowed down to eight. The event did not draw as many teens as organizers had hoped, but the small crowd was enthusiastic, nonetheless. By 7 p.m., Viscera had taken the stage and over the next four hours, each band had its chance to play before their peers and their parents. The event wrapped up at 11 p.m. when the winners were announced – Grenade Jumper, from Granite Bay High School, took third place; 2 Hot 3 Fast – whose members include several graduates of Bear River High School — took second; and Bismark, from Placer High School, won first place. Other bands that participated were Viscera, from Oakmont High School in Roseville; The Band Formerly Known As Night Train, from Roseville’s Woodcreek High School; Decollate, from Oakmont High School; Black Tie Occasion, from Rocklin High School; and No Admission, a Sacramento-area band. Lemmon said the Battle of the Bands definitely will happen again next year, with more publicity in all area high schools and in a smaller, more intimate venue. “The event provided great deal of growth and skill building for the WATAH kids,” he said, “because of the interaction with community and looking out for all the logistics of putting on the event.”