Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Bountiful High rocks out at Battle of the bands

Jan 30, 2023 01:01PM ● By Becky Ginos

Drummer Lachlan Mangum warms up while competitors and friends cheer him on for Bountiful High School’s Battle of the Bands. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

BOUNTIFUL–An auditorium full of high school students is anything but quiet but last week’s assembly at Bountiful High blew the roof off. Battle of the Bands has become a tradition at the school and for organizers David and Alexandra Sandberg it’s in their blood.
“We’ve been doing it for six years,” said Alexandra. “Our oldest son entered the Battle of the Bands eight years ago and a whole world was introduced to us. This displayed all that he loved and gave him a chance to perform in front of the school. It gave him a place to do that. We took over and never looked back. We just couldn’t let it go.”
It’s run through the PTA, said David. “They started the program 20 years ago.”
When the Sandbergs got involved they decided to bring it to the next level. “It’s been life changing,” said Alexandra. “We’ve seen so many little miracles. Most of these kids don’t do other things.This gives them a chance to shine. Many are going through really hard things. This is how they speak.”
They hold auditions in September, she said. “We had seven bands try out and only four can go through. Every single band was cheering on the others. Those four bands go onto region.”
There’s also an open mike where students perform original songs. “One of the girls sang her song and everyone was crying,” said Alexandra. “Our hearts were breaking. It was a song to her sister telling her how much they would miss her if she committed suicide. Some of them are going through a lot of hard stuff. It's through music they can express themselves.”
Bands have to play an original song and a cover song, said David. “The cover song has to be family friendly. It can’t talk about drugs or have foul language and nothing sexual. They learn to live by the rules. It’s a beautiful thing having rules, structure. It teaches them life skills.”
The Sandbergs have brought in some talented judges for the event. “We had Chance Thomas who is kind of the father of music for modern video games,” said David. “He did the music for the Avatar and Lord of the Rings games. He has an Oscar and several Grammys.”
“We’ve been trying to get him for the last six years,” said Alexandra. “This was the magical year that he said he could do it. We also had Madeline Page who was a contestant on the Voice. We’re excited that such professional judges could come. The kids were beside themselves.”
“Two of the other judges were past students,” said David. “After high school they got together and started a band called Acacia Ridge. They have 4 million followers. The kids all know them because the band is popular. They know how the kids feel because they were in their shoes 10 years ago.”
It gives the kids a chance to get out there and live their dream, said Alexandra. “They feel like a rock star for that day and they are.”
Life can be tough and sadly one student took his own life, she said. "At the funeral his mom said the greatest thing he ever experienced was Battle of the Bands.”
The bottom line is to make sure these kids know they are loved, said Alexandra. “That they know that they have self worth. We’re in the business of providing a safe place, a program where the kids can be lifted up and feel loved.”
They follow the kids’ lives after high school, she said. “We love these kids.They’re our kids. We’re two people who have a bunch of sons and daughters. It’s well worth the time we put into it.”
Region for the Battle of the Bands will be held March 4 at Bountiful High and Rock’n the Arts will be the night before featuring all of the bands that tried out but didn’t make it. Look for more information on the BHS website.