High-School Band Ergo We Play Competes for National Teen Band Award

The local high-school alt-rock band Ergo We Play has already outstripped most of its peers simply by staying together long enough to write and record two songs. The band has an even bigger opportunity next month, when Ergo We Play faces off against seven other high-school bands from across the country in the finals of the School Jam U.S.A. contest.

The band—guitarist/keyboardist/singer Alex Zimmermann, bassist Sam Travis, and drummer Tommy Blackburn, who attend Farragut and Rhea County high schools—beat out more than 100 other teen groups in the contest's online first round, based on public voting and input from industry experts. On Jan. 21, all the finalists will perform at the NAMM Trade Show in Anaheim, Calif. The winners receive $5,000 for their school's music program.

"Now that we have made it to the finals our goal is to simply give the audience the best show we can—just play our best, that's it," the band says collectively in a press release. "The higher we place, the more prize money we will win to help expand our school's non-traditional open mic night program, to give a voice, venue and forum to undiscovered talent. To make it this far is a dream come true. We are blessed to be on this journey."