Student groups compete in Battle of the Bands


Sophomore Jordan Lerner and seniors Reilly Beckstrand, Adam Tuch, and Dylan “Smoothsuade” Rothman perform in the schoolwide Battle of the Bands competition in the band Esoteric Jive Clan.

Caroline Katz, Staff Writer

Students were on the edge of their seats as four bands performed in the Student Council’s Battle of the Bands on April 17.  With two emcees, three judges, and dozens of Schreiber students in attendance, the night was a hit.  Attendees had the opportunity to hear music by the bands Esoteric Jive Clan, Dirty Dan and the Pinheads, Gag Me with a Spoon, and the Fireside Chats.

The Student Council helped to organize the event. However, the bands were responsible for making many of their own arrangements.  In addition to rehearsing and preparing for performances, the bands had the job of getting people excited and encouraging students to attend.

“The biggest preparations were marketing the event and selling tickets,” said sophomore and student council executive officer Aaron Siff-Scherr.

There were sound checks and rehearsals about an hour before the show, and the Battle of the Bands commenced shortly there after.  “It was super simple to maneuver and so easy for everyone to just enjoy and watch,” said senior and student council executive officer Martha Horowitz.

The winner, Gag Me with a Spoon, performed popular 80’s rock music.  They played the songs “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Go’s, “Walk like an Egyptian” by The Bangles, and “Fire” by Pointer Sisters.  Gag Me with a Spoon vocalist and senior Laynie Calderwood commented on the victory.

“We were really surprised when we won,” said Calderwood.  “We didn’t expect to win. We really just did it to have fun.”  Band members seniors Calderwood, Megan Poulos, and Adam Tuch, and sophomores Jacob Marschall and David Chain, only got together about one month before the event.

Another crowd pleaser was the band the Fireside Chats and its a cappella music.  Freshman Kristiana Kouvaras commended their performance.

“The Fireside Chats were hilarious,” said Kouvaras.  “They did songs like ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ by Van Morrison and ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ from The Lion King, and they were very spirited.”  The Fireside Chats are seniors Scott McCann, Sam Timothy, Taro Katayama, and David Adler.

Esoteric Jive Clan brought something different to the table with their funk music.  Seniors Reilly Beckstrand, Noah Milstein, Adam Tuch, Scott McCann, Dylan Rothman, and junior David Resnik performed the songs “Strasbourg St. Denis” by Roy Hargrove, “Kung Foo” by Carl Douglas, and “Chameleon/I Shot the Sheriff,” a medley of the two songs by Herbie Hancock and Bob Marley.

Dirty Dan and the Pinheads played alternative rock songs “Aeroplane” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Mardy Bum” by the Arctic Monkeys, “Out of Exile” by Audioslave, and “Taper Jean Girl” by Kings of Leon.  The band members, juniors Dexter Jarach, Jacob Kaypour, and Dan Gersh, received the best response from the audience during their performance of “Aeroplane.”

With each band performing a different style of music, the audience experienced a diverse range of pieces from a variety of different artists.  Horowitz stated that she enjoyed the experience.

“It was really interesting that each band was unique,” said Horowitz. “Not one of them offered the same type of atmosphere or sound.”

Many of the participants in the event were seniors, and they encouraged people to take part in Battle of the Bands next year.

“Just do it,” said Calderwood.  “My friend Megan Poulos and I don’t play any instruments, so we were a little hesitant, but we just went for it.  We took it seriously, but not too seriously, and I think that’s why we won.  We just had fun with it.  So my best advice would be if you’re not sure, just do it.”

The judges of Battle of the Bands were social studies teachers Mr. Craig Medico, Mr. George Muhlbauer, and Ms. Jennifer Klock.  They judged on a scale of one to five in  different categories, including originality, stage presence, sound, and overall performance.

Emcee and senior Olivia Mann praised the show.

“All of the bands were very well-organized,” said Mann.  “The sound was great, the lighting was great, and the tech was much better than last year.  The bands also sounded better.  I found that they were more harmonious and that they worked together like all great bands should.”