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News : Entertainment Mar 16, 2012 - 2:15 AM


Bands battle it out in Third Annual Ridgefield BandJam

By Ridgefield Playhouse





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Mark Rivera is one of the judges at Ridgefield BandJam
Ridgefield BandJam 2012 will rock at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, March 25, at 4 p.m. Now in its third year, the competition for middle and high school bands was created by kids to raise money for The Ridgefield Playhouse, a non-profit performing arts center. The last two events were sold out. Middle and high school bands who will compete for top honors have been chosen through live tryouts held in February. Celebrity judges from the music industry for this year’s BandJam will include Mark Rivera (Billy Joel’s sax player) and Vaneese Thomas (singer with Aretha Franklin, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Céline Dion to name just a few). Ethan Carey, i95 Radio Jock, will be this year’s emcee. Musical direction is being provided by David Morgan of the Music Shed, Redding, CT. This year’s event is again being sponsored by Route 7 Music (Brookfield, CT) with media sponsor i95fm -The Home of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The radio station will host a judging page of the eight finalist bands and allow people to vote for the "i95 Listener Fan Award" which will be announced the night of the BandJam finals (March 25). The Ridgefield BandJam 2012 winners will be invited to perform live on i95fm.

“Our first two BandJams were sold out and were incredibly successful events raising money for our not-for-profit Playhouse. We are thrilled the boys want to do it again this year”, said Allison Stockel, Executive Director of The Ridgefield Playhouse.

The brainchild of enterprising students Cole Butchen, Michael Rosamalia, Tucker Hearon and former Ridgefield High student Richard Hume, Ridgefield BandJam was conceived as a fundraiser in 2009 after the guys learned that the Playhouse was struggling in the economic downturn. The students created a benefit that would satisfy their love of music plus lend support to the Playhouse, hence “Ridgefield BandJam” was born. RidgefieldBandJam.com, a Web site developed by the kids, holds all the details of how it works.

For tickets ($20) to attend the Ridgefield BandJam and more information about The Ridgefield Playhouse, call the box office at 203-438-5795, or go to ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.




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