Rain doesn’t dampen Clash of the Tritons

The band is playing on the stage.
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© Chuck Kirman/VC Star
Sam Shoemaker, from left, performs with brothers Nate and Gabe of the Shoemaker Brothers, winners of the Clash of the Tritons Friday at Pacifica High School. Four bands performed to raise money for BASC Foundation. © Chuck Kirman/VC Star
Although Friday night’s rain was blamed for the smaller than anticipated turnout for the battle of the bands competition, dubbed Clash of the Tritons, at Pacifica High School’s Performing Arts Center, it didn’t dampen the spirits or enthusiasm of some 60 student volunteers or event organizer Joni Papay.

“This concert personifies what the Cascade Project is all about,” said Papay, founder of The Cascade Project. “We’re pairing local area professionals with students to produce fundraising events for community nonprofits and charitable organizations. The students get real-world experience doing a job they may be interested in pursuing after graduation; the professionals get to observe potential employees in action and both groups get the satisfaction of helping raise money for an organization that is making a difference in their community. It’s a win-win-win all the way around.”

In the case of Cascade Project’s Clash of the Tritons event, the students hailed from Oxnard’s Pacifica High School; the professionals included event planner Kelly Clark Leonard of Events of the Season, videographer Luke Sommer of Whisperstone Communications, photographer Jessica Lewis and Scofield Catering, among others; and the nonprofit beneficiary was the Bridging All Students’ Choices, BASC, Foundation.

Founded by Pacifica High School teacher and counselor Mark Fargo, the BASC Foundation was started “to support those students who want to continue their education and have the desire to gain the tools and skills necessary to pursue their dreams, but don’t have the stellar academics or financial means required in today’s competitive college environment.”

Among the Pacifica High School student volunteers, who spent a week gaining valuable experience and insight into professions ranging from catering and photography to security and set design, were Aurora Cervantz and Jazmin Jaime.

“I thought it would be fun to help out and I always wanted to try event work,” Aurora said.

Jazmin, a junior, said “Mr. McFadyen, my teacher, told me about this opportunity. He’s in one of the bands performing. I’d also heard of the BASC Foundation and the scholarships and I’m definitely planning on going to college after I graduate.”

Although the electric banjo-fronted 50 Sticks of Dynamite was the odds on favorite going into the competition — the band is comprised of Pacifica High School teachers Mark “Whitey” Wingland, Ian McFadyen, Jeff Reilly and Michael Dominguez — Ventura’s techno-band Zow and the heavy metal sounds of Notorious Saints also impressed the small but vocal audience. But it was the powerful harmonies and unique sound of the four Shoemaker Brothers that stole the show, earning the band victory and bragging rights at the inaugural Clash of the Tritons fundraiser.

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