Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

D.C. Bands Compete for Capital Title


On Friday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m., Georgetown University will host a music competition called Capital Clash, featuring bands from Georgetown, American and George Washington Universities. Conveniently located in Gaston Hall, this new event is open to students from all three universities as well as members of the surrounding community.

The idea for Capital Clash came from Battle of the Voices, held last year in Gaston, where six schools participated in a singing competition similar to “American Idol.” The students who planned Battle of the Voices wanted to provide a forum for talented students, which inspired Capital Clash. This particular event will host a panel of judges from different parts of the D.C. music scene. Each of the three participating universities will be represented by two bands that will battle for the title of best band.

The groups Tigers are Bad for Horses and The Ripples will represent Georgetown at Capital Clash. George Washington University will be represented by Bencoolen and Junyr of Purplex Crew, and American University will be represented by Kaeli Patchen and Boon.

The event is sponsored in part by the Georgetown Program Board, and it is a means of exposing Georgetown students to local artists. GPB originally held auditions in October for the Georgetown bands. Afterward, videos of the applicants’ auditions were posted, and students were given the opportunity to vote for their favorites. In addition to the publicity gained from the competition, GPB is offering a prize specifically to the Georgetown competitors: the Georgetown winner will have the opportunity to open for the Spring Kickoff Concert.

The Ripples are a post-modern band, heavily influenced by ’60s pop music. The Ripples’ members are Tyler Pierce (COL ’15), Will Heuser (COL ’15), Anthony Albanese (COL ’16), Ben Suarez (COL ’14) and Zach Fore. They said they are looking forward to the opportunity to play with bands from George Washington and American.

“We love the D.C. music scene, and are actively trying to learn and grow within it, and so hearing other groups from other colleges in the city will be a great opportunity to see what’s making waves out there,” Heuser said.

The Ripples see Capital Clash as an opportunity to see what other local groups are doing and also show off their work to people in and beyond the Georgetown community. In particular, they are excited for the high-stakes nature of the competition.

“[This] is an event we’d never pass up; it’s a chance to put our best against the best that other new, young groups are putting out and see how it all shakes out. We live for that, for the chance to get up on a stage and seize the moment right from the first note,” Heuser said.

The Ripples have two studio albums, although their latest album, “The Ripples,” will not be released until Feb. 24. Their latest single, “The Jive,” was released Feb. 17.

Tigers are Bad for Horses will also be representing Georgetown. The electronic indie pop band, consisting of Mary Ellen Funke (SFS ’15) and Lyell Evans (COL ‘13), is excited to be a part of the inaugural Capital Clash alongside The Ripples.

“It is always fun to be able to play music with other student bands, and it is exciting to be a part of the first-ever year of Capital Clash. It seems like a great way to connect the music communities of all the D.C. schools. We’ve worked really hard to grow the music scene at Georgetown, so it’s just fun to see that being fostered,” Funke said.

The duo performed at the Kickback music festival in the fall and look forward to playing alongside other local bands in an event that brings together groups from across the D.C. music scene.

The competition will be judged by an impressive panel of individuals from different parts of the D.C. music community. GPB Concert co-chairs Andrew Minkovitz (SFS ’17) and Kevin Phelan (MSB ’16) contacted members of the 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Grammy U and the Sweetlife Festival, all of whom were very interested in judging the competition.
The coordinators of Capital Clash have high hopes for the event.

“We are hoping anyone and everyone comes out to the event. Whether you are in it to support Georgetown in a competition against AU and GW, or because you want to hear great acts perform live, the event should cater to a wide range of musical interests,” Phelan said.

By showcasing some of the very talented musical groups that exist in and around Georgetown, Capital Clash will bring attention to them as well as the larger musical community in the District.

“Hopefully this will start a better dialogue between the three schools for future events, especially pertaining to music and arts,” Phelan said. Students attending Capital Clash will be sure to hear some great music from six local, talented, and up-and-coming bands.

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