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Phi Mu Alpha Sin­fonia will host Hillsdale College’s Battle of the Bands this Sat­urday, Dec. 7.

Five bands will take the stage Sat­urday night at 8 p.m. and battle until a decisive winner is decided by a panel of faculty judges and audience approval – “American Idol-style” said junior Ian Swanson, director of the event. He said the grand prize is the sat­is­faction of being rec­og­nized as the best band on campus.

“There is no other venue like this to showcase the talent of the school,” Swanson said. “Bands will come out of the woodwork and totally sur­prise people.”

The event is meant to be a relaxing break between classes and finals said senior Micah Speers, Pres­ident of Phi Mu Alpha. At $2 per ticket for nearly four hours of musical enter­tainment, it’s worth the dis­traction from studies.

“This is a come and go kind of event,” Speers said, “Come and have fun.”

This year’s contest will consist of a vast array of musical genres and styles. From the well-known Pickled Beats to the up-and-coming Vir­ginia and the Woolf you will see both old and new faces.

Pickled Beats

Trent Kramer, vocalist and gui­tarist of the Pickled Beats said he was not part of the original southern-rock band, but sisters junior Haley and senior Jill Buccola, senior Mar­garet Danaher, and senior Andrew Parish wel­comed him in.

“We have girls from Waterman, and an ATO – I’m an athlete,” Kramer said. “But we are all really solid Chris­tians and we get along really, really well.”

Kramer said they will be playing country music with some classic rock and Zac Brown Band covers. They are entering the com­pe­tition with inten­tions of winning – finally. They came in second the pre­vious two years to the band The Gen­tiles, who have since grad­uated.

Ian Swanson and the Con­gress

Ian Swanson and the Con­gress is what leader and bass player Swanson called a “short attention span” band.

“Every song is com­pletely dif­ferent,” Swanson said. He said all the songs they will be playing are orig­inals written by his father, Sean Swanson.

The band, recently formed is made up of almost all Phi Mu Alpha members – sophomore Wyatt McDonnell, freshman Jeffrey Gaiser and sophomore Christopher Pan­dolfo along with their non-PMA drummer Andrew Parrish – are all hopeful that their band will win.

“They are all my friends, they are great guys and will rep­resent the product well,” Swanson said.

Rage Against the Regime

Rage Against the Regime is also a new PMA band, lead by Speers and his band mates Pan­dolfo, sophomore Ian Fury, freshman Tim Brox­terman, and McDonnell.

“I’m super excited,” Speers said. “I have never played in a band before – I’m a little nervous.”

The band will spend their half-hour on stage per­forming classic rock songs, Switchfoot and even some Metallica.

“We have pretty good chem­istry because we have known each other for awhile,” Speers said. “Even though Tim is a new ini­tiate, he has meshed with us super well.”

Speers explained their goal is to have a lot of fun and go crazy. He said they may not be the best, but asserted they will cer­tainly be the most fun.

“We’ll pretend, enjoy the spot­light and the crowd – if the crowd enjoys it you are ful­filling your purpose,” Speers said.

Vir­ginia and the Woolf

Freshman Catherine Coffey and junior Josiah Young are the members of Vir­ginia and the Woolf — which Coffey describes as a “whim­sical and playful” band.

Coffey started her band by herself in 2011 when she began writing her own songs and bought a ukulele. After a concert series at her local coffee shop she came to Hillsdale and recently expe­ri­enced YouTube success – one of her songs gar­nered 50,000 views in only a couple days.

The name of her band was inspired by Vir­ginia Woolf, an author whose writing style Coffey said con­nects with her own musical style.

“I am really excited. I think it will be fun to have my music be heard. Hope­fully people will like it.”

Young is a new addition to the band and con­siders himself “lucky” to col­lab­orate with her.

“He’s Vir­ginia and I’m the Woolf,” Coffey added.

Alto­gether Twenty One

The Alpha Tau Omega fra­ternity started a band specif­i­cally for Battle of the Bands. Andrew Parrish, freshman Noah Hiser, junior Spencer Amaral and sophomore Michael Ragan are the fra­ternity band’s members.

The band will be playing rock music from the ’70s to early ’90s, Ragan said. Despite having not prac­ticed yet, Ragan said their broth­erhood will help their chem­istry.

“We want to put on a good showing and impress some people.

The John Taylor Band

Not com­peting in the com­pe­tition but still per­forming, sophomore John Taylor said his band will bring a wide variety of music to the stage, along with his band­mates sopho­mores Ian Andrews and Whit­taker Dun.

Taylor, who is only per­fomring one song, said his band will play any­thing from his own music, to covers, to Irish songs and ’90s grunge.

“We never do a single song the same way twice,” Taylor said.

He said other people should listen to the music they like and not to care what anyone thinks of it.

“Music for us is dif­ferent than for other bands,” Taylor said. “They focus on having their own theme or sound, but for us its about having fun.”

Taylor said the audience should be laughing and not con­fused while his band per­forms.