BRATTLEBORO -- Teen indie-rock band The Snaz earned first place honors at the Youth Services Battle of the Bands last week.
The event, sponsored by The Richards Group, was held during Gallery Walk on Friday night, and featured five local bands which were judged on crowd appeal, musical technicality, stage performance and originality.
When awarding the evening's top spot, judges pointed to The Snaz's original compositions, tight arrangements, fabulous vocals, "star" quality of the band's stage performance and the enthusiastic response of the audience. The band features Sally Fletcher of Putney on bass, Mavis Eaton of Brattleboro on piano, guitarist Dharma Ramirez on guitar and drummer Zack James of Brattleboro. The Snaz's first-place award is up to 10 hours of professional recording time donated by Guilford Sound, valued at $1,500.
Second place was won by Brain Saw, a band which first came together at the Open Music Collective of Brattleboro, last summer. The band is composed of Robert Athanasopoulos of Keene, N.H., on bass, Sam Lazzaro of Brattleboro on drums, Nelson Congleton of Brattleboro on guitar and Gabbi Walton of Townshend on guitar and vocals. Judges were impressed by the band's nice transitions, good lead vocals, dynamic drumming and good eye contact and conversation with the audience. Brain Saw's second-place award is two sessions of an hour and a half of performance coaching Headroom Stages, a Brattleboro musical venue.
Cherry Hill, a heavy metal band from Keene, N.H., took third-place honors for the night. The band states it has a reputation of "making even the seasoned metal-head cringe." Judges commented on the band's tight playing, expressive and synchronized choreography and the deliberateness of their musical approach. For coming in third, the band earned a 90-minute coaching session with Jamie McDonald of Open Music Collective, which offers rock band classes and runs a music summer camp.
Judges at the Battle of the Bands included: Michael McKinney, a music teacher who performs regularly with the Wyld Nightz classic rock band; Samirah Evans, a jazz and blues vocalist who performs with Her Handsome Devils Trio and is founder of Sam's Sunday Set and Shed mentoring series; Aaron Chesley, music instructor and performer and owner of Headroom Stages performance space; and Jamie McDonald, upright and electric bassist who is artistic director of Open Music Collective.
For more information, contact Youth Services at 802-257-0361 or visit wwwyouthservicesinc.org.