November 14, 2011


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Despite an apparent short supply of bands this year, three talented young bands—from Farmington, South Portland and the Waterville area— will be featured in The Off-Ramp, Reindeer Record’s annual statewide competition for high school rock bands.

LAST MAN IN SPACE from Mt. Blue HS, SAINT MONDAY from South Portland HS, and THE RESISTANCE , representing  Edward Little HS, Erskine Academy, Maine Central Institute and Warsaw Middle School, will be featured in THE OFF-RAMP:Exit 27—marking Reindeer’s 27th year of producing events for high school bands.

After producing the popular Rock-Off events since 1983, Reindeer created The Off-Ramp in conjunction with its efforts to create a music curriculum for Maine’s Alternative Education students.

Described as “The Rock-Off” meets “The Apprentice,” The Off-Ramp is a six-month competition filled with music industry challenges designed to provide music education, industry experience, media exposure, networking opportunity and lots of chances to develop many skills.

“It’s very much like a music course in itself, combined with a reality show, and definitely a learning experience the bands will never forget,” said Louis Philippe, Off-Ramp’s Executive Producer.

Beginning in December, each band will face five tasks:  Songwriting, The Recording Studio Experience, Marketing, Live Event Production and Music Video Production.  The event culminates in May with a live concert and results show at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

Friends, fans and family will be able to follow each band on their journey at the website of Media Sponsor Current Publishing,

While the enthusiasm is running high with all three participating bands, Philippe reported that the response to this year’s event was low.

“At first I thought maybe our competition was too hard, or for some reason we just were not reaching bands, but after hearing from several high school band directors from around the state, a different picture was emerging,” Philippe said.

According to the record label president, band directors confirmed a shortage of high school bands for several reasons, including:  conflicts with year-round sports commitments; lack of money to buy instruments and amps; lack of parental/adult encouragement; lack of knowledge and determination required to form a band; an overwhelming challenge by electronic games, online activities and social media; less venues for high school bands to play; and the popularity of dj’s.

“On one hand, it’s a sad state of affairs for high school musicians,” Philippe noted.  “On the other hand, it makes me very thankful to have the opportunity to work with three excellent, dedicated and focused bands.”

With only three bands in this year’s event, Philippe looks forward to “super-sizing” the benefits and exposure for this year’s musicians, with more video infusion and interactive website fun.

Reindeer Group Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  For more information about The Off-Ramp and the R.A.M.P. (Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program) curriculum, email, call 857-9002, or visit



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