Battle of the Bands (BOB), ISM’s biggest student-led fundraiser event of the year, happened virtually last Saturday on February 27. This event not only showcased our fellow bearcats’ musical talents, but also brought together the whole school community to raise funds for a good cause.
The event was the first ever virtual BOB. Although the performances weren’t live, BOB was still able to attract more than 150 audience members on their youtube livestream, with everyone being supportive through the live chat and social media. As for food, BOB was also able to continue offering a similar experience by coordinating with the vendors to prepare delivery options.
When asked about the most challenging part about organizing virtual BOB, one of the executive directors, Gabie, said “Since many of the companies we usually contact didn’t have as much income due to quarantine, it was especially hard for us to gather sponsors. This made it more difficult for us to raise money for our service partners, which is always one of BOB’s main goals. To overcome this, we put a larger focus on our merchandise sales, coordinated with vendors, and included a way for people to donate, even if the event was online! With the support of the ISM community, we were able to raise more money for our service partners than we anticipated, and we are so grateful!”
The winner of the band category was Black Tears, consisting of seniors Christian, Jack, Caden, and Nabil. It was their fourth and last time performing at BOB. Black Tear’s guitarist Christian said “I feel grateful looking back on all the experiences that I’ve had with my band. Win or lose, I know that I’ve had a lot of fun over the years.” When asked about the future of Black Tears, he gave a touching answer: “Black tears will never break up, even as the universe reaches its inevitable heat death, Black Tears will persist. Black tears has been here long before the advent of humanity, and it will be here long after we are all gone.”
In addition to the original vocalist and band categories, BOB introduced a new category this year: digital music. The audience choice winner for the digital music category, Minkyu, said, “I think the ‘originality’ of digital music is what makes it really special; my music is from no one else but me.” He then continued, “As a person dreaming to be a professional music producer, it was a really good opportunity for me to actually test my skills and also identify what my strengths are. I hope this section can be sustained over time for people like me.”
Despite BOB being online, it was extremely successful. Let’s give a round of applause to the BOB executive directors, committee members, and the student performers who all worked hard to foster a sense of unity among the ISM community, as well as aiding our wider Filipino community!