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Student bands compete to open for Cornstock 

MOORHEAD – Campus Events Commission (CEC) is hosting a battle of the bands on Thursday, Feb. 29. The winner of this competition will be the student opener for Cornstock in April.  

Cornstock is a ‘70s inspired concert hosted annually by CEC, named in reference to the Woodstock festival that took place in 1969. The first Cornstock was held in 1989 and is known for bringing big-name musicians to campus. The battle of the bands provides an opportunity for student talent to open for the professional headliner and opener each year.  

Applications were open to any student talent who wanted to enter and were closed on Feb. 16.  Each act gets a 15-minute set to showcase their skills before live voting at the end of the event. Students who attend battle of the bands will vote via a QR code and the winner will be announced that night, according to sophomore Lily Medved-Charpentier, the CEC member in charge of the event. 

“We want as much of a student voice as we possibly can because we want to make sure that the person they want to perform at Cornstock performs at Cornstock. We take a lot of consideration into who they want for the headliner and for the professional opener, but I think that it’s just as important for the student opener to be selected by other students,” Medved-Charpentier said.  

CEC invited last year’s Cornstock opener, Ghouls, to open for the battle of the bands event as a guest rather than a competitor. After their time in the spotlight, they’ve decided it’s time to pass the torch.  

“We’ve done our time and it’s an experience that other people deserve to experience,” said singer and guitarist for Ghouls, senior Mya Lysne. 

Last year, Ghouls competed against Los Chinos, a night Ghouls members senior Mitchell Lejcher and graduate Cary Armagost describe as “really fun and really hype.” The crowd gave “lots and lots of love,” Lysne said, which ultimately led to the group winning the competition. 

“(Performing at Cornstock) feels like the closest thing you can get to being a famous pop star celebrity… You get a lot of stuff at Cornstock that you don’t get otherwise as a local band.” Lysne said. 

Ghouls will look a bit different at battle of the bands, as they will be down two members to teacher conferences. Only three members will be present, but Lysne, Lejcher and Armagost still anticipate a fun night and look forward to seeing the other bands perform.  

Lead singer for Raining in Paradise, senior Izzy Johnson, is excited for her first battle of the bands performance. The band has been performing and recording since they started in April of 2022, but has not had the chance to do battle of the bands until now, Johnson said. This year, they will be back on stage after a few other performances on campus this school year.  

“We have a chance to gain a bigger audience before we hit summer and get to play out in the local area,” Johnson said.  

Raining in Paradise will be performing covers of classics that they have made their own, along with originals as part of their set, Johnson said. 

Students can attend battle of the bands free of charge on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Centrum. Students who want to vote must attend the event in-person. 

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