Steamboat Springs High School senior Connor Birch, left, and junior Carlo Gavatorta rehearse Wednesday in preparation for the seventh annual Teen Battle of the Bands at 9 p.m. Friday at The Steamboat Grand. Admission is $5.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs High School senior Connor Birch, left, and junior Carlo Gavatorta rehearse Wednesday in preparation for the seventh annual Teen Battle of the Bands at 9 p.m. Friday at The Steamboat Grand. Admission is $5.

Steamboat's Teen Battle of the Bands is Friday

7th annual event starts at 9 p.m. at The Steamboat Grand

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Bonjour Mom band members, from left, Carlo Gavatorta, Will Peddie, Noah Pfaff and Connor Hagerty rehearse Wednesday for Teen Battle of the Bands.

If you go

What: Seventh annual Teen Battle of the Bands

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: The Steamboat Grand ballroom, 2300 Mount Werner Circle

Cost: $5 at the door

— Conner Haggerty said his band, Bonjour Mom, formed less than a month ago specifically to perform at Friday’s Teen Battle of the Bands.

The band, which features five Steamboat Springs High School students, is preparing a three-song set that combines rap, electronica and rock.

Haggerty, who played drums last year for The Westons, said Bonjour Mom isn’t approaching Battle of the Bands with the expectation that it’ll win. Instead, they’re just going to play some music and see what happens.

“It’s just a really fun experience,” he said. “Even if you don’t win, it’s a fun experience to get on stage with your friends and play.”

Bonjour Mom will compete against five other teen bands. They are: Beyond the Wreckage, of Craig; a.sightunseen, of Keystone; Basically Sound, of Steamboat; Peace Unknown, of Steamboat; and last year’s winner, Knock On Wood, of Steamboat.

The show starts at 9 p.m. in the ballroom at The Steamboat Grand. Doors open at 8 p.m., and tickets are $5.

Brooke Lightner, teen programs coordinator for the city of Steamboat Springs’ Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department, said the event started seven years ago to provide a venue for young musicians to showcase their talents.

Lightner said Battle of the Bands is advertised throughout the winter and bands are encouraged to practice. They are required to have a three-song set and an encore, if they win. They’re judged on originality, musicianship, sound, lyrics and appearance.

There’s no cost for the bands to register, Lightner said. The ticket fees help cover the cost to put on the show. And she said the event wouldn’t happen without help from the community.

“It’s amazing how much support we’ve garnered form the music faction of our town,” she said. “They just come out to help in every way possible between judging, managing the stage, the sound. It’s great.”

Local musician David Har­­lan will volunteer Friday for his fourth Battle of the Bands. For the second consecutive year, he’ll be one of five judges.

After 14 years of performing, Harlan said he enjoys seeing young people experience playing in a performance environment.

“It’s their opportunity to play with a professional sound system, professional crew, to play on stage in an environment that’s well attended,” he said. “For some of them, it’s the first time playing in front of people. It’s nice to see them come out of their shells, usually after the first song.”

Lightner said Battle of the Bands typically draws 300 to 400 people. She encouraged everyone to come see the area’s young musicians perform.

“They get to be a rock star for the night,” she said.

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