By Megan Bartlett & Mary Husser
On Oct. 11, many DHS students attended and performed in the Battle of the Bands, which is put on every year with the help of social studies teacher Ric Shahin. There were five acts, two of them being bands with three or more members.
Senior Jack Thompson opened with his cover of the song “Hallelujah.” Thompson has been playing his acoustic guitar and singing in BOTB since his sophomore year. He appreciates that his guitar playing has improved over the years, but is unsure of whether or not he will play in the upcoming spring BOTB. While he enjoyed the event, he was perplexed by how few people showed up.
“At this point I have no idea what we could do,” Thompson said. “We’ve advertised so much.”
Junior Steven Klier, a guitar player and vocalist, got together with fellow juniors Tyler Sian and Matt Cassiday to form the band We Had Options. Klier also performed a few acoustic songs solo, and has now played for two years in a row. He is thankful for the opportunity to play in BOTB, and for the stage experience it provided.
Seniors Danny Hill and Leah Spaulding also performed together. Hill approached Spaudling early on and asked if she wanted to work as a duet, and she accepted. Both sang while Spaulding played piano and Hill played acoustic guitar. One of the songs they performed was “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. She participated last year, but had a much different experience this time around.
“Last year was different, I was only singing, but this year it was me and Danny, so I got to showcase my talent a little bit more and actually play piano. I do think I did a little better,” Spaulding said.
Spaulding feels that having something to work toward to makes performing a lot easier and believes more people should come to BOTB next year.
“Something that is important to you makes you want to try harder and gives you a reason to sit down and practice and actually do better,” Spaulding said. “I wish more people would come. It’s people in your school, going on stage, and that’s something hard to do. People should be there to at least watch them.”
Senior Morgan Wynne has sung in BOTB for three years now, and also feels it has helped her to improve as a musician.
“[Battle of the Bands] helped me meet a lot of new people and I’ve learned a lot about forming a band and working with others, and the confidence to be a better performer,” she said.
Wynne also feels that the outcome this year was an improvement from last year, but could still be better. She suggests that DHS should get others from the community involved.
“There were some people from Midland High there, so maybe we could advertise more at Midland High, or maybe in the Midland Daily News to get more people involved,” Wynne said.
Whiteout, a band with juniors Kenny Grove, Eric Drenckpohl, Nathan Schell and Daniel Engwis was formed a while back and performs in BOTB each year.
Grove enjoys getting out with his band and playing music he likes in front of people from DHS, but is also concerned with how many few people showed up to watch the performers.
“I really don’t know if there’s anything more that could be done. It was already on the announcements every day, there were posters around the school, so I guess just word of mouth is the only way to get more people to come,” Grove said.
“It was a great experience that I was very fortunate to take part in, and I look forward to doing it again,” Grove said.
See images from the 2011 version of this Dow High Tradition!