REINDEER’S OFF-RAMP COMPETITION: The Mid-Term Report Card

February 2, 2011


In November, Reindeer Records launched its all-new statewide high school rock band competition called The Off-Ramp: Exit 26 with a Showcase Event at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

The Off-Ramp is Reindeer’s successor to its popular Rock-Off competition that served thousands of high school musicians in hundred of bands and spawned several high-profile careers in its 25-year history.

This year’s competition features nine young original high school bands from across the state who are on the six-month Off-Ramp journey that comprises some innovative music industry tasks.  The bands are not only hoping to win the coveted title of “Best Young Band in the State of Maine” plus $1,000 per bandmember, but are also helping establish Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program  (R.A.M.P.) and efforts to create a music industry-based curriculum for Maine’s Alternative Education students.

This year’s bands include:  BEWARE OF PEDESTRIANS – Gorham HS, Scarborough HS; CROSSED OUT – Gorham HS; MIDNITE HAZE – Telstar Middle/HS;  PHANTOM COMPANION – Falmouth HS, Waynflete; STUCK IN NEUTRAL – Boothbay Region HS; THE MODEST PROPOSAL – Freeport HS; THE RESISTANCE – Erskine Academy, Maine Central Institute, Warsaw Middle School; THE STUDY OF WUMBO – Scarborough HS, Kennebunk HS; WHERE’S ROBERT? – Mt. Ararat HS, Morse HS, Brunswick HS.

According to Executive Producer Louis Philippe, the bands are tackling their tasks with impressive success.  “I’m amazed at the level of proclivity and professionalism these young bands have exhibited so far.  I truly expected that we’d lose a band or two because of the expectations this competition brings, but each of the bands has shown commitment and passion—not to mention extraordinary talent.”

The first task the bands faced was to write a song entitled “I Scream At Walls” to capture the youth experience.  “The songwriting skills by some of these kids are brilliant,” said Philippe.  “Every one of their interpretations has incredible potential.”

Their next task was to record the song and document their recording studio experience.  “These bands have beautifully integrated video documentation into their list of industry skills…some of these productions are ready for prime time reality t.v.,” the Producer stated.

For their third task, the bands are challenged with learning all they can about digital distribution and the process of marketing their songs online.  Reindeer has uploaded all the bands’ versions of “I Scream At Walls” on cdBaby.com, the leading online digital distribution site which makes each song available to a worldwide audience for streaming and/or downloading.

The general public is invited to support their favorite bands, as well as the cause for Alternative Education, by visiting www.cdBaby.com and searching for “I Scream At Walls” or the band name.  The results of this task will comprise the largest portion of a band’s overall Marketing scores.

As the bands victoriously and proudly fly by the half-way point of the competition, they look forward to two more tasks:  Live Event Production and Music Video Production.

In the next couple of months, three teams of three bands each will have to work together to produce a live show to benefit a youth organization.

TEAM NORTH—Stuck In Neutral, The Resistance and Phantom Companion, with Xander Nelson as Project Manager— will produce a show to benefit The Shaw House in Bangor.

TEAM CENTRAL—Midnite Haze, The Modest Proposal and Where’s Robert?, with Angus MacDonald as Project Manager—will produce a show to benefit New Beginnings Teen Shelter in Lewiston.

TEAM SOUTH—Beware of Pedestrians, Crossed Out and The Study Of Wumbo, with Alex Verrill as Project Manager—will produce a show to benefit Mission Possible Teen Center in Westbrook.

The Off-Ramp culminates on Saturday, May 7th with a Red-Carpet Finale and Results Show at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

In the meantime, the world can follow all the bands on their Off-Ramp journey thanks to Media Partner Current Publishing.  Watch their videos, hear their songs, vote, and stay up to date with each task by logging on to keepMEcurrent.com and click The Off-Ramp: Exit 26 icon.

FMI, contact Reindeer at 207/857-9002.

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