May 2003
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Random Acts of Music
By Stephen T., Grade 12, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

The latest musical success out of Fredericton High School is Random Andy, and their romantic rock is now officially sweeping Atlantic Canada.

Rock band Random Andy is made up of five grade 12 students, who all gathered randomly when Andrew R., the band's bassist, decided he wanted to form a band to enter into Fredericton High's Battle of the Bands competition in November, 2002. He jammed with keyboard player Pat B. and vocalist Matt L. for several months, and the threesome eventually recruited drummer Colin S. and guitarist Eli B.

After only a few short practices, Random Andy took the stage in FHS's packed Tom Morrison Theater. The soft, sentimental touch of the group's pop rock irritated those people craving a harder, rockier style of music, but they did receive ample cheers and a standing ovation from most audience members. Despite the mixed reaction of the crowd, they impressed judges and grabbed first prize honors for their set. Their first place finish earned them $150.00 in prize money, and qualified them to enter the Atlantic Canadian Battle for the Bands in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

"Achieving the status of the best band in Fredericton High was all that we ever set out to accomplish. We never had any plans beyond that, so the trip to Yarmouth was just a big bonus for us," said Colin S.

In Yarmouth, bands representing all of the Atlantic Provinces began playing at about 2 p.m. Each of the 20 bands in attendance performed a 20 minute set. The day long showcase of young musicians put all musical genres on display, from hard punk to wuss rock – the radio friendly, melancholy, borderline campy style of music mastered by Random Andy. In the end, despite the number of competitors and their strong showings, Random Andy again prevailed, claiming the title of best high school band in Atlantic Canada and receiving a prize of $300.

"It's an honor to be recognized on an Atlantic level. We love making music, and to know that there are many people who appreciate what we do is definitely satisfying," Andy R. said.

While the band members say that they are quite pleased with the prize money and first place rankings, they insist that simply participating in events with so many enthusiastic, experimental and eager young people is the most enjoyable and inspirational experience of all.

"Interacting with other passionate musicians allows us to keep our music heart-felt and innovative. I love being a part of this band because we get to draw a lot of knowledge and excitement from the other teen bands we meet," Eli B. said.

Mr. Richard Hull, an FHS English teacher and student council advisor, recently acknowledged their success during a recent school assembly. After some flattering words from Mr. Hull, the band received yet another standing ovation from their peers. With an array of original, softhearted tunes, and a string of victories to their name, the members of Random Andy continue to prove that there is an audience for wuss rock.


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