CARLSBAD, Calif., Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), has announced the top eight qualifying bands in the third annual SchoolJam USA competition. The bands were chosen by a combination of public votes and a panel of music professionals. A national program that rewards both aspiring teen musicians and their respective school music programs, SchoolJam USA features the best amateur teen bands between the ages of 13 and 19.
On Jan. 21, during the weekend of the world-famous NAMM Show, the finalist bands will take center stage at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., and perform live in front of a panel of professional judges and hundreds of fans for the chance to take the title of "Best Teen Band in the USA." The winning band will walk away with the grand prize trip of a lifetime to perform at the original SchoolJam festival in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as a private music video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Bus, $1,000 toward the purchase of new gear and $5,000 for their school music programs. The remaining finalists will also receive money to purchase new gear, as well as funding for their respective school music programs. Music from the finalist bands can be viewed by visiting www.schooljamusa.com.
The 2012 SchoolJam USA finalists are (in alphabetical order):
The SchoolJam USA program continues to grow exponentially with this year's contestants hailing from more than 100 U.S. cities, including Raleigh, N.C., Chicago and Wahiawa, Hawaii. Additionally, the number of bands that entered the SchoolJam USA competition spiked by nearly 85 percent from 2010 with the online voting period drawing in more than 25,000 voters and a record-breaking 1.5 million pageviews to the website during the month of November.
"NAMM strongly supports teens' passion to play music and keep music education programs alive in their schools," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. "The SchoolJam USA program is dedicated to providing students across the country with an outlet to express themselves, the encouragement to pursue making music and a platform to showcase their musical talents."
SchoolJam 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.
The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM is the sponsor of the Wanna Play? campaign, a public awareness initiative designed to get more people connected with the proven benefits of playing music. For more information about Wanna Play, please visit www.wannaplaymusic.com. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org.
SOURCE National Association of Music Merchants