Get ready to rock

Teen Battle of the Bands registration deadline is May 11

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Teen Battle of the Bands is May 19 at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Bands competing in the event must have a three-song set prepared.

— Kyle Hornor and his four band members have been practicing two days a week to get ready for the fourth annual Teen Battle of the Bands.

Coming up with a band name has been their biggest challenge so far.

"That is the hardest thing," Hornor said. "We've been practicing a lot and (the performance aspect) comes pretty natural for us, so we know we will do just fine."

Members of the teen bands need to be between the ages of 13 and 19, and they have between May 1 to 11 to register. Each band must be prepared with a three-song set to play on Saturday, May 19, at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.

Hornor and his band members practice in his basement where they have a band room set up.

"Our house is the jamming house," said Kyle's mother, Tori. "We just shut the door downstairs because they are loud. They write their own stuff too, which is pretty impressive."

Paulie Anderson has been a judge in the Battle of the Bands for the past three years and will participate again this year. When rating the bands, the thing he looks for is their stage presence.

"It's more about the performance than how musically talented they are," he said. "They are always so jazzed to get up on stage. Some look a little nervous but by the end of the set, they look more comfortable."

The bands get to see the judging sheets after their performance to know what they can improve on.

"For me, it's about how tight and how original they are," Anderson said. "To me the idea of a good show is one that's entertaining."

The event is substance-free and has security guards to keep the crowds in check.

Tony Counts will be the emcee again this year and Kurt Martinson will be the new sound engineer for the event.

"I think the fact that they get to play with a professional sound system is a little overwhelming, and they get to feel what its like to be a touring band," Anderson said. "They get to do the sound check and they set up and break down, and they get the chance to see what it is like to do it for real."

The Battle of the Bands is one of many programs the City of Steamboat Springs Teen Programs puts on throughout the year to offer a safe, affordable and substance-free activity.

"We are giving the teens an opportunity to get on stage and test their skills," said Brooke Lightner, recreation coordinator for Teen Programs for the City of Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department. "It's become a fun, community event at this point."

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