Speaking of South Kitsap Music

From Barview Idol to South Kitsap High School band, local musicians are setting their sights high.

If you read today’s story on Port Orchard’s version of American Idol, hosted by Bayview Deli & Java, you’ll have seen that even the judges were surprised by the caliber of talent coming out of our little burg.

“It’s great talent,” said Bobby Inocente, a local musician with a Motown background. “You’ll really hear some good singers, some really good artists. A couple of them, I feel, are ready for a recording contract. They’re really that good.”

One of the contestants, Christine Neuland, who scored the most points out of a group of five last Tuesday, actually plans to try out for American Idol in July. If she makes the cut, she would be part of the show to air in 2011. Neuland, who got her start singing at Port Orchard United Methodist Church, is featured with the other contestants on the following video.

The finale of the Bayview Idol contest is at 6 p.m. Tuesday (tomorrow) at Bayview Java, 1213 Bay St., Port Orchard, (360) 874-7615.

In other South Kitsap music news, South Kitsap High School Band is getting ready to go to Pasadena to perform in the Rose Parade. They recently received a visit from a top Rose Bowl official.

If you follow the band, you may have wondered what ever happened in the KZOK Battle of the Bands, in which SK High was entered for the second year in a row for the second. Last year, they were not among the top 10. This year, the top 10 were selected on the basis on online voting, and SKHS kicked booty.

With loyal SK fans stuffing the ballot box (you could vote up to 10 times a day from the same phone), the Wolves swept the popular vote. They earned more than 50,000 votes according to Director Gary Grams, nearly 10,000 more than the next place band. I confirmed with KZOK that they were first in online votes. But alas, the top three bands were determined in February by a panel of judges, including Blake Lewis of American Idol fame, who placed South Kitsap third. Liberty High School came in first.

While making third place out of more than 40 bands from around the state would seem to be quite coup, Grams and the band were, in a word, bummed, in large part because the first prize, $10,000, would have helped fill some gaps in their Rose Bowl fund-raising.

“Of course we were disappointed,” said Grams. “Our school and community noticed we had the most popular votes going into the finale. I think the judges voted based on the video.”

Call it sour grapes if you like, but if the Battle of the Bands were determined by the popular vote … Maybe Grams and Al Gore can have a beer some time.

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