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Verona Rocks!


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There was only one question to ask at the end of Verona’s first teen band competition on Saturday night–When can we do this again?

For nearly four hours, high school musicians from Verona slammed down rap, rock and metal for a packed house in the first “Cops & Rockers” show. Organized as a contest and benefit by the Verona Music Parents Association and the Verona PBA Local#72 and sponsored by Rocktec Music, “Cops & Rockers” had the audience jumping, jamming– and cheering for more.

The evening’s winning band was Fusion, which featured Andrew Capuano, Ryan Yeates, Nick Celfo, Steve Wynen and Austin Williams. The latter two were light years away from their last turns on a Verona stage, in “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Seussical” respectively. Fusion won a day in Verona’s Cat eyeZ Studios, where owner Bob Agosto will help them record a professional CD, a prize valued at approximately $1,000.

The performances were kicked off by Angmar, a black metal group led by Conor Lawless and featuring Brian Fong on lead guitar, Tyler Butkovsky on rhythm guitar and Adam Davenport on drums. Their energy could have powered most of the sound equipment on stage and set the tone for the evening. Feedback, which had debut performance at last year’s Verona Talent Night, was back on stage with Joe Cordasco, Giancarlo Cordasco, Ned Denton and Kyle Thomas. Leo’s Arrow, a band composed of Patrick Sullivan, Mike Bartell, Matt Bartell and Torsten Kolind and fronted by a dynamic Evan Yee, laid down some serious rap. Isaac Rubins, Dom Gagliano, Sean McGinley and Mike Basil took to the stage as Where Eagles Dare and soared with a solid cover of The Clash’s Guns of Brixton. Canberk Oguz, rapping again as Son of Sochi, put out a heartfelt message about teens and drugs. The stage even had room for two outside bands, the Formatters from Wayne, and Pinata Roadkill from Cedar Grove.

When the “Cops” band finally got on stage, they poked some fun at being musicians in law enforcement, playing both Jailhouse Rock and I Fought The Law. Sgt. Dan Greco rocked on guitar and retired Sgt. Marty Santuoso looked to be having way too much fun at the drum set. The two were joined by VHS alumni Pat Filoso on bass guitar and vocalist Gerard DiNola. The officers and their specially deputized band mates also had the best light effects of the evening, which we hope were not borrowed from an active police car.

We’ve got videos from all the bands on our YouTube page. Fred Goode captured the evening in photos. Kudos to all the cops and rockers, as well as Rocktec owner Rich Ciricillo for making the evening a success.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]



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