Who will win the Battle of the Bands competition for teens, at the 2012 Hillsborough County Fair at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Dover? That determination will be made tonight, Oct. 20, after the last of the nine scheduled bands perform.
Three of the bands took to the stage Oct. 19: Rosco's Libido, NRG, and Nantucket Nectars.
The second day of Battle of the Bands competition kicks off 5 p.m. on the outdoor stage at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in the Greater Brandon community of Dover, off State Road 60 on Sydney Washer Road.
Joe Soletti, of the Hillborough parks department, said five judges with musical backgrounds rate the bands in five categories: guitars, drums, vocals, showmanship ("what you do in between songs, how you related to the crowd," he said) and originality.
First- second and third-place prizes will be awarded, at 9:15 p.m., Soletti said. All three winning bands will be awarded trophies. The top two bands will get studio time as well, with the Morrisound Recording studio in Temple Terrace.
"What we do, we're coaches," he said about the Hillsborugh County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department representatives working at the fair. With the annual Battle of the Bands competition, he added, "We want to reach out to that different teenager, who might not be involved in sports but is involved in music. They're kids and they get to perform in front of the public."
Any band that wants to perform gets to perform, Soletti said. Advance registration is required.
Emmy Fleeting's son, Chance, a student at the International Baccalaureate program at King High School, performed with his band, Rosco's Libido, which also includes band members Kyle Rose and Dane Constant. Rose attends King High School and Constant attends Wharton.
"Having things like this, the Battle of the Bands, gives them more immediate goals to work towards and to feel good about," Emmy Fleeting said.
Jane Kelly agreed. Her son, Richard Carr, performed with Ian White, in the band, Nantucket Nectars. The teens attend Tampa Catholic High School.
"I think it's fantastic," she said about the bands battle. "It's so close to home and it [showcases] homegrown [talent]. It's a safe environment for it."
White said his inspiration for forming a band came from his chidhood friend, Ted Jarzinski, who "had a lot of wisdom when it came to music."
Jarzinski moved out of state with his family and Carr, who knew White since kindergarten, stepped in to form a band and practice daily.
"Aside from it being in the family, music is always there," said Carr, who received his first full drum set two years ago. "If something doesn't work out, I always have science and music."
"It's the same for me," added White. "A lot of members of my family are musical and for me, music is like religion. Each note has a look and feel. It's not just sound, it's character."