Music worth fighting over

  • Contributed

    The West Side Four band rehearses. From left are Kanale Vegas-Vienna, Wailana Kahea, Peyton Siliado and Brennan Kato.

  • Contributed

    Next Generation is a band from Hanalei School, including, from left, Gwyneth Adams, Halia Laney-Tinder, Rumi Way, Isadora Luz and Jacob Turner.

  • Contributed

    The Guns and Coconuts band includes, from left, Darla Squire, Ella McCann, Sophia Stedman, Shayden Mandel and Max Zimmerman. They will perform in Saturday’s Battle of the Bands at Kauai Christian Fellowship in Poipu.

Have you heard of the bands “Guns and Coconuts,” “Next Generation” or “The Three Roses?”

They are three of the eight youth bands that will be battling for island supremacy in the second “Battle of the Bands” at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Kauai Christian Fellowship Koloa campus, 2731 Ala Kinoiki.

The “battle” is the culminating musical event from this year’s Adopt-a-Band program, which is an after-school partnership between Aloha Angels and Bandwagon Music Center.

Bands from Hanalei, Kilauea and Wilcox schools will battle in the elementary-school division. Bands from Chiefess Kamakahelei, Waimea Canyon and Kapaa schools will battle for supremacy in the middle-school division.

Three veteran bands from the Bandwagon Music Center program, Stonehenge, The Dream Team and the Bandwagon All-Stars, will perform in the pre-show which begins at 4:30 p.m. Food and beverages will be for sale. Admission to Battle of the Bands is $5.

“We’ve learned a lot in the first two years of this program,” said Jeremy Hartshorn of Bandwagon Music Center. “It’s simply amazing to see the kids come out of their shells, experience the energy of the music, and then they’re all about it.”

Hartshorn and his wife Julie Hartshorn began the program seven years ago as a mobile unit, and moved into their Kukui Grove Center space last year with the support of mall management. They also established an outpost in Kilauea this year.

Aloha Angels is a local nonprofit that has provided supplies for teachers, field trips for kids, and after-school mentoring clubs since 2014.

Most of the 50-plus classes supported by Aloha Angels’ Adopt an After-School Program have a focus on mentoring, and allow no more than 12 students in a club. The Adopt-a-Band program is limited to five students per band, and is for students in fourth through eighth grades.

Adopt-a-Band provides an opportunity for the students to learn guitar, bass, drums and keyboards from professional instructors, and gives each child access to studios, instruments and recording equipment at the center. The students are transported by the Bandwagon bus from school for their weekly band rehearsals.

“Kids are surrounded with high-quality music mentors who work to give them tools of expression and voice,” said Julie Hartshorn. “Our goal is to empower Kauai’s kids to be confident, adaptable, and gain the ability to work well with others regardless of age and artistic skill level. The lessons in teamwork provide inspiration to the kids and mentors alike.”


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