By Elizabeth Cheney
It’s the time of year for battles at Corban. First it was the men of PVG, then the men of Davidson. And now, it’s time to bring out the bands.
Corban’s first-ever Battle of the Bands will be on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Psalm Center, during the weekend of Corban Experience.
Until that time, though, the bands are practicing in anticipation of their debut.
Natalie Grove is in one such band, and so far, she says she’s been enjoying preparing for the competition.
“I love playing with [my band], and it’s been fun the whole time,” she said.
Grove said she initiated the group because she “thought it would be a great experience to grow and stretch myself because starting a band is definitely something I’d never done before. It also sounded like a great opportunity to get to know some people better and play some fun music.”
Originally, the group included Jordan Keck and Lindsay West, but it grew as Keck recruited more people.
“I wanted to make a band, and at Mr. Van Gilder I talked to Jordan and asked if he wanted to be in my band,” band member Justin White said.
“I said no, because I was already in a band, and then turned it around on him and asked him if he wanted to be in my band,” Keck said.
At first, White said that he was a little worried about the expectations of Grove, the bandleader.
“I thought I was going to come in and just get squashed by this really strict lady,” White said, laughing. “But then this angel came and let me in the band.”
White then recruited Kyle Anthony, who does vocals for the group.
Belleque joined the group on the day of their first rehearsal. “I was in the computer lab, and I got this call – ‘Are you coming to band rehearsal?’” Belleque said. “So I showed up to rehearsal, and here I am.”
The band is rounded out by bass-player Tyler Keck, Jordan’s brother.
The process of getting on the list to perform was a simple task of going to ASB and signing up for an audition spot. Once the band members auditioned, they didn’t have to wait long for ASB to tell them that, yes, they were in.
Since then, they have put in a challenging 6 hours of rehearsal.
“Everyone has different class schedules, work, Awana, Bible study, sports practice and a whole lot of other things going on, which made things hard to work out,” Grove said.
While scheduling practices has been challenging, other aspects of putting a band together have come naturally, Grove said.
Their first task was to pick a band name. “We named the band Manticello (Man-to-Cello) in honor of a friend who died a few years ago,” Belleque said. “He was a cello player, and so we decided that when he died, he went to the great cello in the sky.”
After picking their name, they had to decide what to play. White already had already penned an original piece, but the band needed a second song. During an early rehearsal, Jordan was messing around with a beat on the drums, and West recognized that it was from a movie she liked. They ended up having a movie night to watch the movie because the whole band hadn’t seen it, and the song became the second piece.
“When we tried to get together to watch [the] movie, the movie room we reserved had been taken over,” Grove said. “All the movie rooms on campus were taken so we crashed my friend’s apartment off campus and took over for the evening.”
With the main elements in place, there is nothing left to do but practice and wait. The band members are looking forward to many things, though.
“I’m especially excited to get to perform with my band most of all,” Grove said.
“I’m looking forward to the audience reaction to our second song,” Jordan said.
White is also looking forward to the transition. “It’s like putting Grape Nuts with apple juice,” he said. “Not a combination you’re expecting.”
Whatever the case may be, it’s shaping up to be a wild night – so for those who plan to attend, bring your dancing shoes and be ready for a fearsome battle.