Winter Park Teen Battle of the Bands winners to play Sunday |

Winter Park Teen Battle of the Bands winners to play Sunday

As the summer winds down and band members head for other avenues, the Neighborhood Heroes thought they had played their final performance last Saturday at the High Altitude Teen Battle of the Bands and Boards.

But they were pleasantly surprised to be invited to open for a special show at Shipwreck Landing North this Sunday. The band tied with local band Fat Amber for first place last weekend in the Battle of the Bands chellenge at Hideaway Park.

The Heroes will open for an impromptu mini encore of last weekend’s Fraser Valley FunkFest, organized by Larry Norman, director for the Grand County Center 4 Excellence.

Heroes vocalist and rhythm guitar player Daniel Rondeau’s musical career began when he taught himself on an electric drum set, started playing guitar and was writing his own music by age 16. His dad, who had a huge impact on his music, has been helping him write a couple new songs they started about a week ago. One of them, which Rondeau says may be a little “risky” at this point, he hopes to have the band learn to play Sunday.

The shared Battle win with Fat Amber was “one of the first positive things that’s happened to the band in its existence,” Rondeau said. He said Fat Amber has also been working hard. He hopes the Battle was “a great encouragement” for them, and that the Neighborhood Heroes would “love to play a concert with them sometime.”

At presstime, Norman was waiting to hear if Fat Amber could play the Sunday show.

Although the Heroes have had such a short existence, starting out at the Rocky Mountain Roastery in Fraser at the end of last year, Rondeau thought the Battle performance might have been the Neighborhood Heroes’ last. Rondeau is leaving shortly for music school at the Willand School of Worship in Denver. While there, he’ll learn from a generally broad music program covering subjects like musicianship, theory, business and performance. Meanwhile, drummer Simon Nicol starts his senior year at Middle Park High School, Luke Henderson (piano, synthesizer and lead guitar) is set to hang out in the Fraser Valley, hoping to play a lot more in the area; and bassist Ben Jeewtt will return to Iowa to help run a music venue.

The animated frontman’s biggest inspiration “for all musical pursuits in my life are based on God and that’s how it’s ever going to go anywhere,” he said. He sees playing with other people, especially those he knows, “as an opportunity to share a story or experience with anyone,” he said. “Also, it’s just plain good fun.”

As part of their Battle prize, the Neighborhood Heroes won studio time with Mickey Sandora of band 3rd Time Lucky and Kinney Creek Studio. He also said he’s been talking to the some of the guys from Hunker Down, one of his favorite local bands, about the Neighborhood Heroes opening for them.

For the collective Sunday concert, they will be opening for local guitar player, Tim Connelly, and lyricist Nectaflow and up-and-coming local DJ Winter “Freeze” Gray will flow in some raps and a cappella grooves.

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