Kingston, South Kitsap contend in Battle of Bands

The battle is on, and two local high schools are in it.

We’re talking of course about the annual Schools of the Rock – Battle of the Bands marching band competition, hosted by KZOK 95.7 KJR and The Bob Rivers Show.

Kingston High School and South Kitsap High School marching bands are competing for a $10,500 grand prize, along with 18 other marching bands from Washington, Oregon and Colorado.

Online voting for video entries ends Friday.

Neither South nor Kingston is a newcomer to the competition, which has been held since the 2007-08 school year.

The South Kitsap High School Marching Machine has participated from the start. Last year, they took the grand prize with their rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love.”

The Kingston Buccaneers Marching Band placed in their first year, earning the 2009-10 “No School Left Behind Award” – third place and $2,500 – for their performance of “Radar Love” by Gold Earring. That year South Kitsap also participated by submitting a video, even as the band prepared to perform in the 2010 New Year’s Day Rose Parade.

The 2010-11 contest saw a deluge of local talent, with not only South Kitsap and Kingston, but also the Bainbridge High School Marching Band and North Mason High School Marching Band – no winners alas.

There are 20 contestants this year. Besides the grand, second and third place awards for overall performance, there are prizes for best video and for the schools that earn the most online votes in their division.

Kingston, in the smaller Division 2, is doing better than most with 2,100 votes, but the school to beat in that division is Chief Sealth, with 3,400. South Kitsap, in Division 3, is a contender with 2,400 votes, but supporters will have to get out the vote between now and end of the day Friday for them to beat Lake Stevens, with 3,600.

Scroll down or visit the Battle of the Band’s website to see and hear Kingston’s rendition of “Carry on My Wayward Son” by Kansas and South Kitsap’s “In the Stone” by Earth Wind & Fire.

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