Mountstock 2018... to be bigger and better
Mount St. Mary Academy’s Mountstock will be a little different than previous years. The teen bands will battle it out this fall at the event’s 10-year anniversary, and it will be much larger this time around.
“This year, the competition is outside,” said John Hathaway, the director of music at Mount St. Mary Academy. “There will be a stage, professional sound equipment and professional lighting.”
He added that food trucks will also be available along with opportunities for the academy’s teams to win prizes during karaoke.
Mountstock is a competition for teenage garage bands held at Mount St. Mary’s.
“Kids today never got to experience [Woodstock],” he said. “The only thing they know is what they read about it, so we’re trying to have Mountstock be like their Woodstock.”
DeSantis said it made sense for the two of them to take over because they both have experience as performers.
Hathaway said there will be five professional judges, instead of basing the top band off applause from the audience, as in past years.
Auditions will be open to any Western New York band with three to eight members and whose members are between the ages of 13 and 19.
The bands also will have a chance to play at the Town Ballroom, said Hathaway, who noted that the top band will have the opportunity to play at both the Town Ballroom and another nightclub. “It’s not a chance kids get every day, and that’s the kind of exposure these young bands are looking for,” he said.
Maddie Hammar, a junior at the academy, said her band, Lake Paradigm, won the competition last year.
Hammar, a member of the school’s band program, said Mountstock is a great way to meet other local bands and show friends what they’re capable of.
As a band member, she and other student band officers are involved in the planning process.
“This year, we’re really trying to step it up,” Hammar said. “We’re trying to get the community more involved and offer more food and good prizes.”
The event will be run by band officers to help teach them leadership skills, according to Hathaway.
DeSantis added that it benefits the students to learn about how to plan and manage an event.
“We have a talented team of band officers,” he said. “The benefit is that kids will learn the business end of a rock show. I wish I had that when I was younger.”
DeSantis said there will be prizes for the bands. Some of the prizes include a drum set, an hour of recording time in a studio and professional sound equipment.
Each band is allotted 20 minutes to play and 10 minutes to set up and tear down their sets.
Bands can be disqualified if foul language, inappropriate topics or distasteful behavior is used.
“This is a family-friendly event,” Hathaway emphasized.
The money will benefit the music program at Mount St. Mary’s, as the program has to raise funds for itself, according to Hathaway.
He said the students involved in the academy’s music program have several fundraising events between the start of August and the beginning of October.
Hathaway said there’s still a lot to plan before September when the academy begins its academic year.
He added that he wants to keep Mountstock as a bigger event in years to come.
DeSantis and Hathaway are hoping for about 2,500 people to come to this year’s event.
There will be security, and the event will take place behind the academy in the lot behind the school, which will be fenced off, according to Hathaway.
Interested bands must submit an application by Sept. 15.
Auditions will be held in mid-to-late September, according to DeSantis.
Mountstock will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at 3756 Delaware Ave. There will be an admission fee.
To register a band, call 689-1100.