MUPC holds Battle of the Bands competition

Chloe Stewart

Every year, bands featuring student musicians have the opportunity to compete for a place in the Battle of the Bands music competition as preparations for this year’s Battle of the Bands competition are already well under way. This year, however, the MUPC staff behind it are trying something new.

Auditions were held and broadcasted by KBVR TV this past weekend. 15 bands auditioned, but ultimately only five will win spots in the Battle of the Bands event Friday, March 11 at 8:30pm in the MU Ballroom.

This year’s Battle of the Bands competition will be an independent event. In the past, it has been part of the DAM JAM music festival. According to Calvin Nguyen, one of the MUPC Coordinators in charge of Battle of the Bands this year, he and his colleagues ultimately felt that making it a separate event would improve the experience for both the bands and for student attendees.

“By breaking it off, we would be breaking something special, but we knew we were making the right choice to make this its own,” Nguyen said.

According to Maxwel Bettendorf, Battle of the Bands host, the change of event and venue should make for a considerable change to the event.

“I think it’ll be fun either way,” Bettendorf said.

Among the bands who auditioned was Bury the Moon. According to Jorge “Tito” Bañuelos, a sophomore studying biohealth science and the pianist in Bury the Moon, the auditions were a fun opportunity.

“I was sweating a lot out there,” Bañuelos said. “Usually when I’m sweating, I’m having a good time.”

Members of other bands expressed similar sentiments. According to Connor Stephenson, a sophomore studying pre-business and the drummer in Cousin Reality, Battle of the Bands is a good time regardless of whether or not they make it to the competition.

“Our mentality going into it was knowing that they were only taking five bands, so if we didn’t make the cut, we may as well have fun with it,” Stephenson said.

According to Bettendorf, the audition performances were generally very impressive and fun to watch.

“It’s tricky to pick five out of 15 when there were more than five who would be perfect for Battle of the Bands,” Bettendorf said.

According to Brian Blythe, a sophomore studying electrical engineering and the drummer/vocalist in Bury the Moon, he and his fellow band members are very grateful for the opportunity to work with Battle of the Bands.

“You can tell the people here really care,” Blythe said.

According to Nguyen, the feedback and audition process has been overwhelmingly positive so far.

“(The bands) come in with smiles on their faces,” Nguyen said. “It makes you feel like you did something for them.”