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The Group Synapse Wins MusicFest 2010

Crisp, well-constructed and tightly presented original songs featuring strong individual performance skills led Central Catholic high school students Alex McDougall, Max Pinder, Zac Rego and Istvan Varga-Roman of the group Synapse to first place in the 19th Annual MusicFest competition at Portland Music Company Saturday evening April 24, 2010. Synapse captured the 125 audience members from their first chords and received a very loud and energetic applause. As first place winners, the group will receive a $750 Fender Guitar and an eight-hour studio recording session courtesy of Backline Recording.

Playing an energetic blend of soul, funk, ska and jazz, second place winner Fadora Project (a 10-member band from Valley Catholic), won a $300 Gift certificate courtesy of the Portland Music Company and Portland Rose Festival Foundation, plus six hours studio time at Backline Recording. Performing with his brother Cooper, Saxon Stites from the Portland Waldorf School impressed with short set of well written original ballads, taking third place with a $200 Portland Music Company gift certificate and four hours of studio time at Backline Recording. All three winners also receive an invitation to play a featured performance at the Portland Rose Festival’s Waterfront Village, May 28 through June 13.

This year’s finals featured seven bands and a duo from around the Portland area (including Vancouver and Philomath). The overall talent level was impressive, and each finalist group received a merchandise-filled backpack stuffed with guitar strings, straps, drums sticks, and other music supplies for performing at this free competition. Prizes were provided by Fender Music Instruments, Portland Music Company, the Portland Rose Festival Foundation, Backline Recording and much other music equipment companies. With five locations, the Portland Music Company is Portland’s largest locally owned music store. Portland Music Company has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Portland Rose Festival’s MusicFest and young musicians for many years.

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