Disney Stars Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks to Host SchoolJam USA Finals at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney, January 15

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) today announced that up-and-coming Disney stars Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks will participate in the second annual SchoolJam USA, where the nation’s top 10 teen bands will perform for the title of the nation’s best teen band on Saturday, January 15. SchoolJam USA is a national program that rewards aspiring teen music makers, between the ages of 13 and 19, and their respective school music programs with music funding and prizes, as well as the opportunity to perform live before the public and a panel of music industry professionals. This year’s event will take place at the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., during the weekend of the popular NAMM Show, the largest musical instruments and products trade show in the world.

Mendler (Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie”) and Hicks (Disney XD’s “Zeke and Luther”), co-stars of Disney Channel’s forthcoming original movie, “Lemonade Mouth,” will emcee the live battle of the teen bands. The highly-anticipated Disney film “Lemonade Mouth” is based on the book by Mark Peter Hughes and tells the story of five high school students who meet in detention and realize that they are destined to make music. They ultimately form a band that becomes a champion for students sidelined by the high school elite.

An expert judges panel, including five leading music industry veterans, Michael Blakeslee (MENC); Steve Dobo (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum); Stan Freese (Disney); Kevin Lyman (Vans Warped Tour); and Menzie Pittman (Contemporary Music Center) will preside over the competition and select one band as the “Best Teen Band in the USA.”  In addition to the championship title, the winning band will receive a grand-prize trip to perform at the original SchoolJam festival in Frankfurt, Germany, a private music video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Bus, $1,000 towards the purchase of new music gear, and an additional $5,000 in funding for their school music program. The remaining finalists will receive money to purchase new gear as well as funding for their respective school music programs.

The SchoolJam USA top 10 band finalists, including two wild card* picks, are (in alphabetical order):

  • Clearly from Negligence (Fairport, N.Y.)*
  • Schmillion (Austin, Texas)
  • Dangerous Daze (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • The Freefall (Fountain Valley, Calif.)
  • Orpheus (De Pere, Wis.)
  • The Jessica Prouty Band (Marblehead, Mass.)*
  • Peligro  (Gahanna, Ohio)
  • Uprising (Raceland, La.)
  • Rooftop Manor (Port Washington, N.Y.)
  • VIA (Salt Lake City, Utah)

The top 10 finalist bands in the 2010-2011 SchoolJam USA competition have contributed one of their favorite original songs to create a compilation CD. All proceeds from the album will be used to support and promote music education programs through NAMM. To download the album and support national music education programs, visit https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/schooljamusa.

This year, NAMM hosted the first-ever national Student Field Reporter contest for SchoolJam USA, aiming to engage non-musician students and highlight the various career options within the music industry. Winners Evan Deitzler (Lebanon, Pa.) and Brittany Schreiber (St. James, N.Y.) will attend the finals event and interview the top 10 finalist bands, judges and celebrity guests as official SchoolJam USA Field Reporters.

NAMM-supported research shows that music education is vital for children and teens to reach their full academic and social potential, and benefits children and teens in a variety of ways, including:

  • Teens see music as their “social glue” and as a bridge for building acceptance and tolerance for people of different ages and cultural backgrounds
  • Music-making helps teens release or control emotions, cope with difficult situations, and teaches self discipline
  • Making music provides teens with freedom to be themselves; to be different
  • Teens associate playing music with music literacy, listening skills, motor ability, eye-hand coordination and heightened intellectual capabilities
  • Music provides opportunities in school for engagement as performers, composers and intelligent listeners

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