On Saturday, February 4th, eight high school bands/acts performed at MilkBoy Coffee in Ardmore in a teen music competition, "Battle of the Burbs." The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of the Coalition for Youth of Lower Merion and Narberth, MilkBoy and Harcum Music School were the co-sponsors. YAC is a consortium of 30 students from eight public and private high schools, including Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Barrack Hebrew Academy, Friends' Central, the Haverford School, Harriton, Lower Merion and Shipley.
The competition began at 7:00 pm. Admission at the door was $5.00.
Andy Blackman Hurwitz, an entertainment lawyer and founder of Ropeadope and Baby Loves Music record companies served as the emcee. Hurwitz is working with students at Lower Merion and Harriton High Schools to create a high school record label. The judges included “Schoolly D,” a hip-hop pioneer; Jamie Lokoff, a partner in Milkboy Coffee and Milkboy the Studio, and Pete Anderson, a recording executive.
“Our goal is to bring together teens from schools in the greater Main Line area through the common denominator of music, and to showcase youth talent ,” says Paula Singer, a Coalition for Youth member who advised the students organizing the show. “Our community partners, Milkboy and Harcum Music School, made it possible for the teens to produce a fantastic entertainment event.”
The finalists were chosen from 28 musical acts that auditioned in January from high schools including Lower Merion, Harriton, Baldwin, Barrack Hebrew Academy, Haverford School, Shipley, Merion Mercy, Kohelet Yeshiva, Radnor, Conestoga, Marple Newtown and Nueva Esperanza Academy.
The grand prize was five hours of recording time at MilkBoy the Studio and release of a single through ATR Records, a Lower Merion and Harriton student record label. Second prize was two hours of recording time, and third prize was a month of guitar lessons at Harcum Music School.
Mike Caroto, an instructor at Harcum Music School, who sponsors an “Open Mic” night at Milkboy on the first Wednesday of each month to give young musicians a venue to perform, says, “It is such a great experience to provide education and performance opportunities to the students. We're really excited to be a sponsor of this show.”
In conjunction with the concert, YAC students raised funds for Girls Rock Philly, a music and mentoring organization dedicated to empowering girls through music.
Generous donors to “Battle of the Burbs” included Milkboy the Studio, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Todd Marrone graphic artist, Custom Discount Apparel, Virgo III Ltd. , Lucky Girl, Summer Music Programs, and Main Line Trophies.
YAC was founded in 2009 in response to a survey of some 5,000 Main Line students that showed that youth felt very low support from the community outside their homes and schools. The Coalition for Youth of Lower Merion and Narberth is a partnership of community agencies, adults and young people working to create a safe and healthy environment for youth, and to reduce drug and alcohol use. For additional details, call 484-337-8731 or http://www.coalitionforyouthlmn.org/