Garage Band Festival provides platform for young musicians to showcase their talents

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The lineup included bands like "JEFF’S BODY," "Deadringer," and "Flight,". Photos by Dean Bechard.

Clackamas Community College hosted its annual Garage Band Festival on Friday, April 21, showcasing some of the best up-and-coming musical talents in the region. The festival, held at the Clackamas Repertory Theatre on CCC’s Oregon City campus, featured a diverse lineup of bands performing genres ranging from heavy metal to indie rock.

The festival highlighted the talent of younger local musicians, ranging from middle schoolers to high schoolers wanting to pursue music. The artists brought their A-game with their music skills that afternoon and left the theater with confidence and a boost of motivation.

“Seeing great bands, like what flight was playing, just makes me want to play even better,” said Jack, senior guitarist attending Lincoln High School.

“When we started the Music Performance & Technology program, I thought that we should have some sort of a festival and help find a way to bring high school kids here to get helpful feedback on their music that they’re probably not getting at school,” said Kathleen Hollingsworth, the festival’s organizer and vocal music instructor. “I thought it’d be cool to have a festival where you can come bring original music or play covers of songs and get some helpful feedback. Then, they can compete for free studio time and scholarships.”

The festival began at 3 p.m. and continued until 6 p.m. with each band taking the stage to perform one song from the band’s choice. The lineup included bands like “JEFF’S BODY,” “Deadringer,” and “Flight,” who rocked the stage with their high-energy performances.

In addition to the music, the festival had teachers and judges who provided the young artists with constructive criticism.

“This is the most supportive environment and I love the criticism. That’s so important to this whole experience,” said Eli, the bass player for JEFF’S BODY and a recent graduate from Lincoln High School. “Everyone’s here to try their best and to have people who are making professional music recognize our dreams.” The festival provided an opportunity for the students to come together and enjoy each other’s performances while learning new and informative perspectives on their music from a new set of eyes.

“The students have a really good future coming because they’re really talented. They’re really nice to hear and I was so impressed by all of them. They’re gonna go places!” said Ami Collofello, CCC’s administrative assistant, talking about how the event was spectacular. Attendees were raving about the performances and the energy the students brought to the stage. It truly was a testament to the thriving music scene in the new and upcoming generations, and the importance of supporting young musicians in their pursuit of their musical dreams.

Dean Bechard