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Amity Teen Center gears up for Battle of the Bands

Popular annual event showcases area talent

As the leaves begin to fall in Bethwood, the live music scene begins to heat up; it's time for the Amity Teen Center's (ATC) 16th annual Battle of the Bands competition, one of the non-profit teen center's major fundraising events of the year.

The Battle of the Bands competitions take place in the 5,000 square foot teen center and all bands play a 30 minute set with a 10 minute break between groups.  Bands are judged in four categories: musicianship, crowd interaction, draw (i.e. how many people come to see them) and overall opinion.  Six judges preside over each round and the judges can include anyone from members of previous year's winning bands, music teachers, community volunteers and other musicians.

Battle of the Bands consists of five rounds of band "battles" where six different bands compete in each round.  This year, the rounds take place every other Friday from 7-11pm beginning Oct.1 with the finals on Dec. 10.  Two bands are chosen as the winners of each of the five rounds and on the Monday night of President's Day weekend those 10 bands get to taste the "big time" when they each take the stage to play the legendary Toad's Place in downtown New Haven.

Over the past several years there has been an audience of more than 750 people at the Toad's Place show.

This year the culmination of the Battle of the Bands competition at ATC will take place on Friday, Dec. 10, when one band will be crowned the grand prize winner and receive a special prize package that includes generous contributions from Sam Ash Music as well as things like band photo shoots, recording time, sessions with public relations representatives and various contributions from the community.  In addition, the band that is named the grand prize winner gets to choose their time slot to play at the Toad's Place show in February.

ATC has bands playing year round on most Friday and Saturday nights, many of which end up competing in the annual Battle of the Bands competition.  Bands don't have to be from the area but it does give them an edge in being chosen for Battle of the Bands if they are local and have previously played ATC.  

After each round of the competition, ATC's website is updated with the winners.  The only requirement to apply for Battle of the Bands is that the band be comprised of teenagers or cater to a teenage audience.  Bands are allowed to play no more than two "cover" songs in their set; the rest must be original material.

For the 10 bands that win the opportunity to play Toad's Place in February, in order to enjoy that privilege, ATC requires each band member sell 10 tickets to the Toad's show and donate three hours of volunteer time prior to the Toad's show doing something related to ATC.

The non-profit Amity Teen Center opened in 1987 and has been at its present location at 10 Selden Street in Woodbridge since 2006. Soon after opening on Selden Street, the husband and wife team of Jen and Brock Boilla became the directors of ATC.

ATC takes pride in their marriage of two of the biggest forms of teen favored entertainment: video gaming and live music.  Aside from the live music they provide on the weekends, the center offers a variety of popular games ranging from Halo to Smash Brothers to Madden, featuring multiple gaming stations.  Munchies Café provides refreshments and the center also offers full wi-fi, multiple large screen televisions and a billiards area.  A PC room also allows teens the freedom to do their schoolwork and tutoring and mentoring are available.

Applications are accepted on the Center's website (www.amityteencenter.org) every August and the bands are chosen by September 1.

This year's Battle of the Bands dates and bands are:

Friday Oct. 1: The Hypnosis, Quarantine, A Silent Protest, Viking Wizard Eyes, Third of May.

Friday Oct. 15: Without Regrets, From Peasants To Kings, A Tempting Fate, 3 Under Par, Cinged.

Friday, Oct. 29: Iscaria, The Blame We Take, Premonition, The Average Greys, Believe, Taken To The Skies.

Friday, Nov. 12: Scizzorkikk, Wrekklless, Sink The Ocean, Orcumentary, Interium, The Unwanted.

Friday, Nov. 26: Justin Chan, Forgetting Fame, She Eats Planets, Flood The Ark, Miasma.

Friday Dec. 10: BATTLE OF THE BANDS FINALS!

Applications are accepted on the Center's website (www.amityteencenter.org) every August and the bands are chosen by September 1.

Admission to each Battle of the Bands show is $10.

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