Thornton Students Win Maine Student Band Competition

Each year musician Jeff Shaw runs a one week rock camp in Portland for teens in the are ages 11-18 over the summer. There were about 12 people there, and junior Zoé and her sister Ève who is a freshman loved the experience and were newly motivated to start a band.

Want to Hear the Yard Sail Sound? Check them out on Soundcloud.

They met Emma Ivy, a sophomore at Chevrus, Skyler Cummings and Esmé Howland who are both seniors at Casco Bay shortly after at the ensemble program hosted by the Maine Academy of Modern Music. At first the women who each have unique styles, had to work to find a style that would suit them all. The first song that clicked for them was Sweet Jane by Velvet Underground which has a rock indie feel.

They formed a band called My Name’s Not Scott, which has since evolved into Yard Sail. That was five years ago and the group has been doing gigs, writing music and honing in on their style.

This past weekend, the group participated in the MAMM Slam, a competition with a huge reward. The winning band earns: $1000 to spend as they like, and a $16,000 yearly scholarship to MECCA for every band member, and time in The Studio. Yard Sail, has been able to record a couple of songs there before but is really excited to return to record more of their music.

Mikayla Gallows, also a TA student competed as a solo act and added diversity to the event with her folk stylings.

In the end the winner was YARD SAIL! Leaving two Thornton Students beyond happy.

“We put the most effort into that performance and when they handed out the prizes to individuals, they all went to another band and we were expecting them to win. We were trying to reassure ourselves by saying ‘It’s OK, we did our best.’ Then they called our name as the winning band and I cried. It meant so much to us because we put so much effort into it and this is our last year together. This changes everything. If we hadn’t won, we would have had the Old Port Festival and said goodbye, now we have lots more gigs lined up and are going to end our time together with a happy ending!”

Zoé and her sister plan to take classes at MECCA while they are finishing high school, but for now everyone is happy to enjoy riding the wave of this amazing win this summer.

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