NEW YORK, Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock and roll bands featuring employees from eight FORTUNE 500 companies have advanced to the finals of the 11th annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands. The eight qualifying bands will take the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio on Oct. 1, and have the opportunity to earn the title of 'Best Corporate Band.' Proceeds from the performance will benefit the Rock Hall's educational activities.
The Battle of the Corporate Bands is held each year to salute the best amateur, company-sponsored bands, and is presented by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), FORTUNE magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The goal of the national competition is to promote the benefits of making music, which have been shown to increase employee morale and improve productivity in the workplace. The program is a partnership with FORTUNE Magazine, NAMM, and the Rock Hall, and is sponsored by JBL by Harmon and Gibson Guitars.
"This generation continues to redefine what is appropriate adult behavior—while I cannot picture my parents getting up on stage and rocking out, my kids sure can, they've seen it," said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. "The finalists in the 11th annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands inspire us all to never give up on music, passion and what really matters!"
More than 25 bands from throughout the United States entered this year's competition. Eighteen bands then were chosen to participate in three semifinal regional competitions, and a panel of judges then selected the eight finalists who will compete in the live battle of the bands competition. The finalists are:
"The Slim Jim Blues Ensemble" from ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG) – Omaha, Neb.
The Slim Jim Blues Ensemble is a ten-piece band comprising employees from the ConAgra Foods Information Technology (IT) division. The group prides itself on its eclectic musical abilities ranging from Funk to Classic Rock to Old Style Blues and contemporary sounds. For the past 10 years, the band has performed throughout the Omaha area, raising more than $150,000 for local charitable organizations.
"American (PI)" from Ernst & Young – Seacaucus, N.J.
American (PI) are full-time employees in Ernst & Young's Advisory Services Performance Improvement (PI) practice. The group utilized their day-job analytical and consultant skills to identify potential band members based on talent, instrument needs, musical preferences and availability. Using conference calls and flow charts to organize the group—since the 12 members are located in separate spots around the country—the rock band was formed in December 2010, and had its debut gig this past February.
"Life Size" from GE Healthcare Life Sciences (NYSE: GE) – Wauconda, Ill.
Life Size was born two years ago when the sales leader for GE's Research Science division wanted to canvass talented musicians from the North American Life Sciences team. The band members hail from Chicago, Boston and the company's plant headquarters in New Jersey, with technology and their love of playing music bringing them together. It took nearly 400 emails between the six band members to finalize their set list.
"The Toys" from Mattel (NYSE: MAT) – El Segundo, Calif.
The Toys are a motley crew of musicians, dreamers and hard rockers formed more than a decade ago by Mattel employees and hobbyist musicians Ned Ward, Tim Kilpin and Paul Fish. The Toys were born out of a combined passion for music and the instruments that shape it. Since The Toys' formation, the group has played several venues throughout Southern California and has become the ultimate corporate jam-band for celebrating fun, family and Rock N' Roll!
"Kash is King" from Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) – Panama City, Panama
Kash is King represents the Latin American sector of Procter & Gamble with its rock sounds. Originally formed in Venezuela, where the company's Latin America headquarters was previously based, the band regularly performs at P&G parties and events throughout the year.
"The Messengers" from Progressive (NYSE: PGR) – Cleveland, Ohio
Named for Progressive's well-known "The Messenger" advertising campaign, The Messengers originally formed in 2005 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Progressive's website launch. The band practices bi-weekly and is always on the lookout for new material.
"Rewired" from Resource Interactive – Columbus, Ohio
Columbus-based Rewired was formed last fall when bassist and lead vocalist Matt Coen joined the company from Nashville. Coen wanted to form a band as a way to increase morale among colleagues. The band holds weekly concerts in the company's on-campus bar.
"Metalibuxx" from Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX) – Seattle, Wash.
Hailing from Starbucks' headquarters in Seattle, Washington, Metalibuxx unabashedly pays homage to the metal gods, channeling the sounds of hard rock and heavy metal. The five-person band began with guitarist Brian Braden and rhythm guitarist Paul Worsham's love for playing music and heavy metal. The group regularly performs shows for charities within the Seattle area, most recently playing at a relief fundraiser to benefit the victims of the New Zealand and Japan earthquakes.
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion international musical instruments and products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit www.namm.org or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).
About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit www.rockhall.com.
FORTUNE is a global leader in business journalism with a worldwide circulation of more than one million and a readership of nearly five million, with major franchises including the FORTUNE 500 and the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For. FORTUNE Live Media extends the brand's mission into live settings, hosting a wide range of annual conferences, including the FORTUNE Global Forum. FORTUNE magazine's online home is CNNMoney.com, the most visited and utilized business destination website.
Scott Robertson, APR – NAMM
Marketing Communications | Phone: 760-438-8007, ext. 102
Margaret Thresher – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Public Relations | Phone: 216-515-1215
SOURCE National Association of Music Merchants