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Two high school bands with members in Cuyahoga Falls and Twinsburg were among those selected to play in this year's Tri-C High School Rock Off.
The Rock Off is at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, 1100 E. 9th St. in Cleveland. The preliminary rounds started Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, and continue Feb. 11 and 18. Three bands from these four concerts will be selected to play in the Final Exam on Feb. 25.
3 Car Garage
This five-member band includes Tommy Muha, Guitar, 18, of Cuyahoga Falls; Ryan McGuinness, Bass, 18, of Cuyahoga Falls; Nick Kokensparger, Guitar, 17, of Twinsburg; Nicole Neiman, Singer, 17, of Copley; and Max Lyman, Drums, 18, of Cuyahoga Falls.
"We are a formation from Demarco/s School of Music that all played in different bands, and we came together to play the type of music and with a style unique to 3 Car Garage," said Lyman.
Lyman said he felt 3 Car Garage stood out because of its "combination of the skills and personalities of each of the band members."
We are happy to play together and think we have a unique sound of our own," he said.
Lyman said the band was influenced by classic rock bands such as The Black Keys, Blue Oyster Cult and Cream, "but we incorporate a modern twist to our sound and presentation."
Lyman said that he, McGuiness and Kokensparger had all played at the Rock Off in the past, in different bands.
This four-member band includes brothers Ryan, 18, and Jared McGuiness, 16, Woodridge High School students, on bass and drums respectively, Dominick Merlitti, 18, a senior at Archbishop Hoban on guitar, and Maddy Slimak, 18, a senior at Woodridge High School, on vocals and keyboard.
"We've been together as a band for about three years," said Ryan McGuiness. "My brother, Jared, is the drummer for the group. We've been playing in one band or another for about 3 years prior the formation of this version of No Expectations. Maddy, our lead singer and keyboardist, goes to the same school as us, and we met our guitarist Dominic through our music school."
McGuiness said that No Expectations played "high-energy rock and roll." They have played at the Rock Off on two other occasions.
"We've had some really good performances, but we have never moved onto the Final Exam," Ryan McGuiness said.
All of the prize money is compliments of the local School of Rock franchise. The winning band will receive $1,000 cash and $250 for their respective high school music program. The winning band will also receive a $1,000 gift card compliments of Guitar Center. Each of the bands or solo performers that move on to The Final Exam will receive a $25 gift card compliments of Guitar Center. Second place will receive $250 cash and $100 for their respective high school music program and Third place will receive $100 cash.
The winning band will win an appearance at 2017 Live Nation Vans Warped Tour at Blossom Music Center in July. As part of the Grand Prize, GRABBIT also is offering a 1-year endorsement for the winning band.
For details on tickets and the performance schedule, visit www.rockhall.com/high-school-rock online.