South Charlotte

These teens are ready to rock

The band Method is one of six local high school bands competing in the second annual Rachel Giblin Battle of the Bands event at the Morrison Family YMCA in Ballantyne Saturday.

The event is a fundraiser to support a scholarship in Giblin's memory at Charlotte Country Day School and the Morrison Family YMCA, which includes the Rachel Giblin Teen Center.

Rachel of Charlotte, died in 2006 at age 15 while riding her bike to the beach to raise money for multiple sclerosis. Her friends at Charlotte Country Day - where Rachel was a freshman - created the Battle of the Bands last year in her memory. Rachel was also an active member of the Morrison Family YMCA.

I am "so pleased that they are continuing this event," said Becky Giblin, Rachel's mom. "It's very heartwarming that these kids - those who knew her and didn't - are using their time and talents for the greater good. Rachel would be very pleased that young people are coming together to have fun and raise money for the community in her honor."

Battle of the Bands, under the supervision of a YMCA advisor, is organized by teens from high schools across south Charlotte.

Amanda Kennedy, 17, is a senior at Ardrey Kell High School and is president of the Leader's Club at the Y. The future Appalachian State freshman explained how the Leader's Club assigned responsibilities, noting that subcommittees handle marketing and promotion, event sponsorship and band line-up.

Kennedy's committee is in charge of event logistics and volunteer coordination the night of the event. As the event approaches, they meet every week to make sure the Battle will be a success.

While Kennedy didn't know Rachel she said, "This event is for a good cause. (Rachel) was full of life. I like the people we get to meet on the committee and it's cool to see people enjoy the music."

Because the YMCA's Leader's Club and Teen Center includes kids from different high schools, finding local youth bands from across south Charlotte to participate was easy, said Kennedy.

Each band will play a 14-minute song set, which includes three cover songs and one original composition.

Patrick Rogers, 17, a junior at Myers Park High and guitar player for Method said the band is practicing twice a week and thinking about their set list. Their original composition is mostly written and inspired from their everyday life at school, and one of their planned cover songs is "Santeria" by the band Sublime.

Patrick and bandmates drummer Trey Howie, Myers Park High School; lead vocalist Scott Jenkins, Covenant Day School; and bass guitarist Mike Lackey, Myers Park High School, are excited about the gig. "I think we have a good shot. We've been sounding pretty good. I'm just excited to be playing," he said.

This is Method's first gig in front of strangers. Previously, they've played at friends' parties.

After all the bands play, the audience will vote. Extra votes, to stuff the ballot box and raise extra money, will be sold at the event for an additional $1 each. The teenager-staffed sponsorship committee secures the prizes, which last year included gift certificates to local restaurants and Guitar Center as well as a Nintendo Xbox.

The second annual Rachel Giblin Battle of the Bands is at 8:30 p.m. June 4 at the Morrison Family YMCA, 9405 Bryant Farms Road. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 each at the door and the first 25 people will get a free Battle of the Bands T-shirt. Refreshments will be for sale as well.