By Marlene, Bill, and Susan from Andes Works!

There’s nothing a community can’t do if a community of people are willing to work together. The upcoming Andes ‘Battle of the Bands’ is a fine example of people from different towns with different lives, yet a shared spirit, coming together to help each other.

The idea to produce a Battle of the Bands was Andes Fire Chief Joe Berghammer’s, who wanted young people to have their own event this summer. Joe remembered a battle of the bands put on in Oneonta as being creative, fun and a very positive experience for families. Joe asked a few people from Andes Works! if we’d help to make this happen. After a challenging process of trying to find bands and volunteers, we felt we’d come to an insurmountable impasse: people were already strapped with community responsibilities and didn’t have time for another summer event.

We were about to draw straws to determine which one of us would be giving Joe this disappointing news when a big break came through! Terry Doyle at WIOX Radio in Roxbury showed an interest in what we were trying to do and provided the names of bands that fit the criteria.

Then everything started to flow. An Andes Works! member designed a great flyer for us. The MARK Project jumped in to help cover expenses so the event could be free for everyone. WIOX agreed to broadcast live and the Margaretville Telephone Company agreed to provide a WiFi boost to make that happen. Wow! And as the intimidation of monitoring sound equipment began to feel a lot like the challenge of a farmer having to time the baler and fix the knotter,  Kevin Prior called to say his firm, Kevin Prior Carpentry, would underwrite professional sound equipment, a drum kit, and an engineer for the event. Wow – Wow!

Picture13The result of this amazing collaborative effort is a competitive musical event for our youth that will be broadcast live on WIOX radio. The Andes ‘Battle of the Bands’ will be held at the Andes outdoor fire pavilion on Tremperskill Road, at 2 pm on July 14th. Admission is free. BBQ & drinks available.

As this copy is being written the following bands will be performing: Avid Rox from Walton; P2 from Stamford; Muttonchop5 from Cooperstown; Nuclear Fusion from Stamford; Hello, Seattle from Oneonta; and Atlas Arrows from Binghamton.

What words of gratitude could ever complement the outpouring of support received from so many people? We think one of the band members expressed it best, “Thank you for this opportunity! I LOVE playing music but there’s no chance for young people here and because of this I haven’t played in a year. Thank YOU! Thank ALL OF YOU for doing this!”

The last thought we want to leave you with is that this event would never be possible without the care, the concern and the dedication of the Andes Fire Department – Thank ALL OF YOU,  too!