Mike Beezley once again came away as the People’s Choice Award winner and the $1,000 grand prize in the Cancer Care Fund of Kosciusko County’s fundraiser Battle of the Bands Etc. Beezley was last year’s People’s Choice Award winner in the Idol Nite competition which has been replaced by Battle of the Bands Etc.
The event was held this evening at the Warsaw Performing Arts Center at Warsaw High School.
Only this year, Beezley was part of a band titled United. The group hails from the Kosciusko County Lakes area and plays a wide range of rock, classic rock and alternative. They gained their name through having come from various musical backgrounds – rock bands, church praise teams and solo ventures – now united by their love of music and desire to share it with other music lovers.
Members of the band include Renea Skaggs, Micah Gibson, Scott Hardy, Matt Leatherman and Beezley.
“We’re just blown away,” stated Beezley after the presentation. The band hadn’t even thought of what they would do with the winnings.
United performed two choices during the competition a rendition of U2s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and Stevie Nicks’ “”Stop Dragin’ My Heart.”
Total proceeds from the nights event will not be known as online donations are still being accepted.
The Judge’s Choice, chosen by judges Greg Horton, Kelly Britton, Troy Akers and Brandon Keal, went to Plaxton & The Void. This group received a new electric guitar donated by Sweetwater Sounds, Fort Wayne. This band performed “Bitter and Frail” and “Winter Waltz.”
The band, with members Joel Squires, Joshua Jacoby, Dave McCall, Tom Wagoner and John Faulkner, is a group with an idea for a certain kind of sound.
Last year they won first place in StaceyPageOnline.com’s Kosciusko’s Got Talent contest and made a respectable showing in the Watzup Battle of the Bands in Fort Wayne. The group went back to songwriting and wrote five new songs for an upcoming EP.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without hearing from Dr. Musaberk Goksel, from the cancer center at Kosciusko Community Hospital and Adam and Megan Clemens who provided a testimony on what the fund has meant and did for them.
Other contestants for the evening included Sasha Beliles, Anna and Micah Gibson, The Matchsellers, Jade Pulsipher, Sarah Foreman and The F.L.Y. (Forever Living Young) Dance Crew from Lee Anne Stewart Dance School, coached by Amber Clark.
Last year’s Judge’s Choice winner Kylene Crabb performed several songs during the evening for the 150 plus in attendance.
Beliles, 25, has auditioned for Nashville Star, American Idol and the Voice. This was her third year singing for CCF.
The Gibson’s have been performing and playing music since both were in their teens, playing on worship teams at local churches and later in bands.
The Matchsellers are an alternative bluegrass duo formed in Leipzig, Germany. Member Andrew Morris, from the Warsaw area, and Julie Bates, Kansas City, met abroad. Since June the duo has been on the road performing music full time, touring through Europe and the United States.
Pulsipher, 18, is also a familiar face with CCF, competing for the second year. She has been singing since the age of 3.
The F.L.Y. Dance Crew is an energetic group that performs at local community events and gives dancers the opportunity to perform more often and provide upbeat entertainments. Members range in age from 12 to 17.