ANAHEIM, Calif., Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A crowd of hundreds gathered at the Downtown Disney District on Saturday to cheer on 10 teen bands from across the country as they battled for the national title of "Best Teen Band" at the second annual SchoolJam USA. Peligro from Gahanna, Ohio took home the first-place platinum record in the live competition presented by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) during the weekend of the music industry's celebrated NAMM Show.
Competing against nine other finalist bands, Peligro won SchoolJam USA's platinum album-shaped trophy and the coveted grand-prize trip to Europe in April, to perform at the 2011 SchoolJam Germany finals in Frankfurt, a private music video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Bus, and $1,000 towards the purchase of new band gear. Additionally, the band received $5,000 for their school music programs, and each of the other finalist bands were awarded with cash and other prizes for their bands and respective school music programs.
SchoolJam USA is a national program that rewards aspiring teen music makers, between the ages of 13 and 19, and their school music programs with funding and prizes, as well as the opportunity to perform live before the public and a panel of music industry professionals. Of the more than 150 eager bands that applied this year, 48 talented teen bands hailing from more than 20 U.S. cities made it to the semi-finals. More than 112,000 votes were cast during a four-week, open online voting period, narrowing down the top 10 finalist bands.
"NAMM is committed to ensuring that music education remains part of schools' core curriculum," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. "SchoolJam USA is one of the many creative and inspiring avenues that support teens by raising much needed funding for their school music programs."
Peligro was awarded the winning title by a panel of judges including: Michael Blakeslee from MENC (National Association for Music Education), Steve Dobo from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Stan Freese from Disney, Kevin Lyman from Vans Warped Tour, and Menzie Pittman from Contemporary Music Center. Celebrity emcees Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks, co-stars of Disney's forthcoming original movie "Lemonade Mouth" entertained the crowd between band performances.
Other awards presented at the SchoolJam USA finals included: second-place award to the Jessica Prouty Band from northeastern Mass., and third-place award to VIA from Salt Lake City. In addition, specific individuals and bands were recognized for their talents in the following "Best Of" categories:
- Best Bass: Jake Bills, VIA (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Best Percussion: Cam Pelkey, Jessica Prouty Band (Marblehead, Mass.)
- Best Guitar: John Suh, Peligro (Gahanna, Ohio)
- Best Horn: Orpheus (DePere, Wis.)
- Best Keyboard: Alec Jackson, VIA (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Best Vocals: Jessica Prouty, Jessica Prouty Band (Marblehead, Mass.)
Prizes for the "Best Of" awards were provided by NAMM Member Companies D'Addario & Company Inc, Evans Drum Heads, Grid 1 Audio, InTune Monthly, JamHub, Kelly Shu Company, Peavey Electronics, Phonic Corporation, Planet Waves, Takelessons.com, Yamaha, and the ZT Amplifiers. Additionally, a "Fan Favorite" award was given to the band Uprising from Raceland, La., which received more than 650 text message votes for that category during the live finals competition.
SchoolJam USA is an established music initiative, originally developed by MM MusikMedia Germany to promote popular and rock music in schools throughout Germany. The program has provided thousands of music-loving young adults with the opportunity to perform and network with their peers, increasing their love for playing music and encouraging them to become active musicians.
In the United States, NAMM has collaborated with MENC, Music For All and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to develop SchoolJam USA, following two successful years of SchoolJam Texas, produced by NAMM and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) in 2007 and 2008, in conjunction with the original SchoolJam in Germany.
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).
SOURCE National Association of Music Merchants