R/W Week 2016: Manual students kick off festivities with Ramstock

Ramstock, a student-body battle-of-the-bands competition, took place in Manual’s courtyard after school until 4:00 p.m. Monday kicking off Red/White Week.

The band that receives the most votes by the Manual student body will have the chance to play at Manual’s pep rally.

Mercedes Kephart (12, HSU), the president of Executive Council, Manual’s school-event planning club, helped to choose the Ramstock chair.

“I think it’s important because it brings us together as a community. It’s the first day that we all have an event to go to during Red/White Week that people seem to enjoy with live music and free food,” Kephart said.

Executive Council members began planning for the event about a month in advance, the chairperson for the Ramstock committee is Callie Nichols (11, MST).

“My role is to view the auditions, get the public relations people to get the word out, organize [what bands] go in what order, make sure we have all the materials we need, and really just connect everything together,” Nichols said.

Nichols also said that Ramstock holds importance in starting the week off positively.

“If Ramstock goes well, it just sets off the celebration mood,” said Nichols.

Executive Council advisor, Mr. Morris (Math) said, “I think Red/White Week is all about celebrating Manual and all the things we bring to the table. We are just really celebrating the culture and love for the school.”

Morris said that Ramstock is very unique to Manual and he would like to see other schools participate in something similar.

“I think Ramstock is just our big kickoff party. It’s a huge value to have an event that starts the week off with a bang and to start the week off where we’re gathered together hanging out, eating free food and listening to great bands perform” Morris said, “I think it has tremendous value, we definitely want to keep Ramstock apart of Red/White Week.”

The musical groups that participated in the musical event were Spaghetti Western, Millennials, Spur of the Moment, Safety in Numbers and Bad Racket.

Alex Thibodeau (12, MST), the lead guitarist for Spaghetti Western, said that Ramstock is a really fun opportunity for his band to participate in.

“We’re all in love with music. We’re combining our passion and love to inspire people to use their talents to let their ideas be heard and expressing themselves,” Thibodeau said. 

The Crimson Chords, Manual’s A capella group, sang pop songs between the acts.

“Ramstock means a lot to get some kids’ bands off their feet, to show off and show the school what they have to offer to people,” Morris said.

Three of Spaghetti Western’s members are students at Eastern High School but performed with Alex Thibodeau this year at Ramstock.

Eli O’Neal, a senior at Eastern, said that playing with his band at Ramstock was an exciting experience because of the distinct “student culture” at Manual.

“It was kind of cool seeing just the different culture that Manual has,” O’Neal said. “I feel like it’s a lot more open here.”

Many of the student viewers said that they enjoy how Ramstock provides a space for the school’s community.

“I like coming to listen to the music and to see how talented our students are,” Laree Shontee (12, HSU) said. “I also like hanging out with my friends and the community at Manual.”

Katie Watkins (10, HSU) said that Ramstock gives her an insight to what kids at Manual are doing outside of school.

Students are anticipating the week to come.

“We’re building up to beat the Bulldogs. A good Ramstock means a good rest of the week,” Nichols said.