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Battle of the Bands

Regional Original Music Competition

Welcome to Arts of the Albemarle's inaugural Battle of the Bands! On January 28, 2023, eight musical acts will be competing for a $500 prize and the chance to record a single with Viking Sound Studios in Elizabeth City. 


January 28, 2023, at Arts of the Albemarle in the McGuire Theater, 8-11 PM

The Acts:

Tears of Olympus

Will Riley

Picture That

The Bee Keepers

Space Walkers

Teia Elaine

Brian Krites

The Ramble

How it Works:

A panel of four judges will be scoring the acts throughout the night, paying attention to four categories: Stage presence, Songwriting, Musicianship, and Cohesiveness/overall experience. When the deliberation period commences, each judge will submit their vote for the winning act.


Audience voting will open after all acts have performed—to be announced by the MC of the evening. The audience acts as a fifth judge to help determine the winner. At the time of the performance, the audience should FILL OUT THE VOTING FORM AT THE LINK BELOW


*In the case of a tie, the numerical data will be considered from the audience votes and the judges' score sheets to help determine a final winner. 


Who's Who  


The Judges

Danny Tate's musical journey began under the direction of his mother, who served as his church's musical director for 25 years. He began studying piano at 5, and at the age of 7 he began playing drums for his church. At age 10 he started his violin studies with Dr. Bernard McWilliams, and at 13 auditioned for and was selected to several state ensembles, including the Triangle Youth Philharmonic. That same year he began playing with the band "EightFootStride" and toured Eastern North Carolina. At age 15 began directing music for the United Pentecostal Church of Jacksonville North Carolina, a position he held until highschool graduation. After attaining a B.A. in Music Education from Elizabeth City State University, he now produces and performs with several artists in the North Carolina and Hampton Roads areas. He also gives private music lessons to local students, and teaches music at Northside Elementary in Elizabeth City North Carolina.




Josh Cruz graduated at the top of his class from Full Sail University with a Bachelor's in Audio Production. Josh has worked in the audio industry in both live sound and commercial studio recording environments. As both intern and engineer, he has worked both with indie and major label clients in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.


Josh has created and produced multiple podcasts and singles for himself and others. Josh loves audio and believes it is a powerful tool to serve a community. His passion is to teach others about the limitless world of audio and to help everyone achieve their sound.


Fun Fact: Josh was born legally deaf!



Molly Miller is a local musician and native of Elizabeth City. Past acts include Holly and Molly, Jonny Alright and the Hotrod Mamas, The David Mayfield Parade, and Amelia’s Mechanics. As a bassist, guitarist, and vocalist, she performed all over the United States. Molly continues to write and record in her home town, and hosts Open Mic at Ghost Harbor.



A native of Portsmouth, VA, Juliet M. Boykins is currently the director of bands and the music education specialist for the Music and Visual Arts department at Elizabeth City State University. Her additional responsibilities include conducting the marching band, woodwind ensemble, and symphonic wind ensemble. Juliet also serves on the board of directors for the Arts of the Albemarle.


Juliet completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education from Norfolk State University, and she received a second master’s degree and a doctorate in education from Regent University in educational leadership and supervision. She has served as a music teacher and band director in schools throughout North Carolina and Virginia for the last 27 years and has also held positions as a guest conductor, a clinician for various music education programs, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and various music organizations.

The Musicians



Tears of Olympus is the band you need when you want the earth to quake, a**es to shake, and the walls to vibrate. A long history of 70's heavy metal muscle influences mixed with a love of blues, desert rock, funk, and hardcore punk rock for a unique blend of music that reaches deep down and makes you feel like a bad a** and want to groove with heavy Black Sabbath-inspired guitar riffs, deep growling bass lines complimented by thunderous in-the-pocket drums, topped with powerful, heartfelt vocals that incorporate cool storytelling.

Will Riley: I live by a simple sentence philosophy; as Bob Dylan sang it, "He not busy being born is busy dying."


Around four years ago, the great recordings of American Folk Music fell headfirst into my life when I needed them most. The levee broke and what poured through were rapids of musical history that taught me about life, love, and hate. The songs were the truth. And as it goes, some people lean into the truth and some people run so far away from it that you just might never see them again. Some people are perfectly fine with dying, but others aren’t ready until they’ve been born first. This music taught me how to be born before dying, and in turn, I feel compelled to share that with others.


I’ll leave you with the words and wisdom of the forefather of this tradition, Woody Guthrie. Woody put it simply, "A folksinger’s job is to comfort disturbed people and disturb comfortable people," and I certainly plan to do that the rest of my livelong life.

Picture That is a band dedicated to changing the music norms of today, by creating intuitive songs implementing a wide array of genres and styles. We believe that music is the language that everyone speaks, and it is one of the most powerful things in our world. It is with this foundation that we would like to present to the world, our diversified songs and the best performance we can give every time! 


The Bee Keepers are a husband and wife singer/songwriter duo based out of Coastal Virginia. Their music resembles traditional American folk with an alternative vibe.  Jake & Kelsie have been playing music together for years, and their individual music endeavors track back to childhood. Though they are comfortable playing in a variety of settings, they feel most at home playing their original tunes. In addition to performing, The Bee Keepers enjoy collaborating with other musicians on songwriting and live performances.  The Bee Keepers are proud to be part of the globally recognized Sofar Sounds Organization, as well as Big Daddy Booking Agency. Though they are based out of the Coastal Virginia Area, The Bee Keepers are a traveling group that can be heard anywhere on the east coast. Regardless of the setting or audience size, The Bee Keepers are passionate about connecting with others through their music!

Developed in Elizabeth City, Space Walkers is an alternative band of individuals looking to create music that resonates with people’s souls. The team is made up of Frontman Seth Luton, Drummer Evan Nowarah, and Bassist Zoe Ennis. Our sound is for the broken, for the damaged, for the healing. It doesn’t matter your walk of life, our goal is to create music that helps you feel seen and know you’re not alone.


Teia Elaine is a Neo-Soul singer/songwriter. Active in music for the past two years, she is currently the WRAL Voters Choice Award Winner for Best Local Music Artist and has also been nominated for a Carolina Music Award for Best Female R&B Artist.

Brian Krites is the lead singer and guitarist for the Elizabeth City-based band Greyside. He wants you to know that he hates writing bios for himself.


The Ramble is a 4-piece band out of the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Specializing in Blues, Rock, Funk, and Soulful melodies. Their repertoire varies from powerful original songs with extended improvised solos between the two guitar players; Bobby Soto, and Patrick Goller, to an Eclectic group of Deep track and well-known covers from bands like Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, to Incubus, the Grateful Dead, and everywhere in between. Recently re-joined by original Drummer Myles Wood, and new bassist John Beaumont they put out a style and sound that is just straight ENJOYABLE.

Also Performing this Evening...

Post-American Gothic: Experiential, experimental post-punk to make you feel things. Written by dreamers for the people who keep their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.


Named in homage to the painting by Grant Wood, Post-American Gothic is driven by the shared human experience of navigating life’s hardships, emotions, and relationships. Blending an unlikely amalgamation of influences from Paramore to musical theater classics, Tool to Hendrix, and Amy Winehouse to The Mars Volta, tonight, you’ll see the group featuring Pearl Fontaine performing vocals, Brandyn Napolitano on guitar, Brandon Dail on bass, and Luke Mayberry on drums. Find their album “Take Your Medicine” on all streaming platforms.

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