Tuesday, March 11, 2008 • Teen organizes Battle of the Bands for senior project

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, March 11, 2008 edition of the Lassen County Times.

To give people something to do and because of her love for music, Lassen High School senior Amber White organized a Battle of the Bands held Friday, Feb. 29, at Jensen Hall.

White said Jensen Hall was packed and estimates more than 100 people were in attendance including several LHS teachers.  The music featured rock bands and one metal band.

She said people were happy to have an event like Battle of the Bands and some of the band members even came up and thanked her for the opportunity.

First place, determined by voting, went to Wasted Youth, who won 12 hours in a recording studio, a donation from Dinky Music Recording Studios in Corona, Calif.

The event was White’s senior project, required of all LHS seniors. Students find a topic they want to pursue, develop a proposal, find a mentor knowledgeable in the field in which the student is doing the project and put together a portfolio.

Some students chose their subject of study because they are personally interested in learning about a particular topic, while other students chose a topic because it is a career of interest.

White said she chose to do a Battle of the Bands for her senior project because she has always loved music and after living in Lassen County for three years, she is aware there isn’t a lot for people to do here.

She said something like a Battle of the Bands is really fun for everyone.

White began putting together the paperwork for donations and organizing planning meetings in November. In January, she began to hold the planning meetings and received her donations in February. White said she was able to get enough donations to pay for the event and enough for a down payment and insurance to host another concert.

She said she received a lot of help from the bands participating in the event. White said the band members were excited and advertised the event, making flyers and posters and distributing them around school.

White found the bands for the event by talking with her friends who are in bands and posting a sign in the band room at LHS.

When she graduates, White said she wants to become a musician. She plays a variety of different music on the guitar, including jazz, rock and classical, knows the violin and is learning to play the drums.

By organizing the Battle of the Bands, White said she was able to help the bands set up for the event, giving her more knowledge about band venues.

The Battle of the Bands is definitely something White said she would like to do again.

The senior project is the culminating activity of the students’ education.

In order for students to pass the senior English requirement and graduate from LHS, they must pass the four components of the senior project: paper, project, portfolio and presentation. White said she did her essay on how different music affects the brain and needs to complete her portfolio.

When students complete a senior project, they should be able to be lifelong learners and problem solvers and be able to exhibit skills represented by Lassen High School’s Expected Schoolwide Learning Results.

In May, the students do an oral presentation before a panel of judges .

They give a 6-to-10-minute speech addressing all the elements on an evaluation form. The students speech must include an effective attention grabber, a clear thesis, explain the connection between the project and the paper, clearly state what they learned while doing the project and have an effective conclusion.

After each speech, the panel asks questions and then gives the student feedback, but is not allowed to tell the student if he or she passed or failed.