Mike Berry, a 15-year-old sophomore at Delbarton School from Basking Ridge, is part of a band whose performance of an Allman Brothers classic won a recent "Battle of The Bands" competition against 200 other musicians from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The contest was held late this summer at The Highline Ballroom in New York City.
“Mike’s band blew the other kids off the stage,” said Tom Nadolski, who coached the band in preparation for the show. Mike performed a solo on keyboards. “He has a level of poise, grit, and talent that’s beyond impressive, and he and his bandmates were leagues above all the contenders.”
Mike and his fellow musicians are students at School of Rock Montclair, an afterschool music program. Along with taking private lessons each week, he’s also part of the school’s Performance Program that presents themed concerts at area rock clubs.
Berry and his bandmates began rehearsals for a Performance Program tribute to The Allman Brothers in May. The concerts were performed in August at Just Jake’s in Montclair and Mexicali Live in Teaneck. Audience response to the band’s shows was so positive, they were chosen to represent the school at the Highline competition against other School of Rock bands in the tri-state area.
“Mike’s band performed the classic Allman’s song ‘One Way Out,’" said Nadolski, who is the music director at School of Rock Montclair. “They were competing against amazing young musicians from Manhattan, Chatham, Princeton, Randolph, Tenafly, Farmingdale and more—and our guys came out victorious."
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