On Friday, March 24, Marist’s chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, the national band sorority, will host a Battle of the Bands to showcase the musical talent of Marist students.  Despite the name of the event, not all performers will be bands; the performers are divided into two categories.  The “Band” category includes larger, more traditional bands, including Marist’s Jazz Foxes.  The “Non-Band” or “Acoustic” category consists mostly of soloists and duets accompanied by instrumentalists.


Senior Lauren Suran, the treasurer of Tau Beta Sigma, organized the event.  “This is a program that I’ve thought about for a couple years now,” she said, explaining that Tau Beta Sigma works to promote music, especially women in the music industry.  “Instead of doing some traditional band concert or choir concert, I wanted to do something a little different.”  Suran used to perform in a Battle of the Bands at her high school, and she decided that holding an event like this on campus would provide a great opportunity to showcase Marist’s musicians.   

The performers signed up with Suran before spring break, the only requirement being that each act sell a certain amount of tickets—five tickets for non-band acts, and ten tickets for larger bands. Each ticket they sell guarantees them a vote in the competition.  Each act will perform a twelve-minute set, or about three songs, and there will be six total acts.  After the performances are over, audience members will have the option of buying more votes for their favorite act in each of the categories.  The winning act in both categories will win a free recording session with Marist Band alum Mike Cullen, who conducts a pep band in the Lakeland Center School District.

Tau Beta Sigma’s incoming secretary, sophomore Jessica Bosak, is happy about the exposure that the event will bring to rock bands at Marist and that the event is not limited to members of the music department.  “Anyone can really perform, which is awesome,” she said.  Suran agrees: the event provides an outlet for “a different part of the music community on campus that doesn’t normally…get that opportunity to perform.”  Suran herself is performing at the event as part of two acts; she’ll play bass guitar in her own band, Spacebone, and accompany senior McKenzie Cloutier on acoustic guitar.

Suran promises that the emcees, Tau Beta Sigma juniors Toni Cotignola and Lynnie Marina, won’t disappoint, and Bosak guarantees that it will be an evening of “great music at a low cost.”  This is Marist’s first Battle of the Bands, but Bosak hopes that more will follow.  “We’re hoping it can be an annual thing if it does well,” she said.

The battle will begin on Friday, March 24, at 7 pm in the Nelly Goletti Theatre.  Tickets are $7 at the door or $5 if ordered from a performer beforehand.  “Votes” will cost $1 for one, $5 for ten, and $10 for an arm’s length.  The event will also have its own geotag on Snapchat, which will be available in the student center from Wednesday through Friday.


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