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Teens pour souls into Indian Prairie Library music competition

Luke Tralmer and Ken Devane only got about a half-hour of practice in together beforehand, but it was enough for them to capture the solo/duo division of Indian Prairie Library’s second annual teen music contest.

Bringing out the New Age piece “Wind,” a song they performed together in a March talent competition, Tralmer performed masterfully on keyboards and Devane likewise on violin to be one of three award winners at the library’s The Sound competition Saturday night.

“We said we probably should practice,” Tralmer said, after earning the duo prize “We were able to practice Thursday for 30 or 40 minutes. And we practiced individually. We just have chemistry.”

They also both have years of experience in musical performance. Tralmer has been studying piano for 13 years, and Devane has been playing violin for 15 years. And now, they also have a $150 prize, courtesy of The Gift of Carl Foundation, which honors the memory of Carl Vuillaume, a Hinsdale South High School student and thespian who drowned in 2005 during a family vacation to Minnesota.

Tralmer, a senior at Hinsdale South, has a long history of teaching piano lessons in the area. Devane is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in computer science.

“Music gives me a sense of calm,” Devane said. “I love to play.”

Cloud Nine, a band comprised of four Lyons Township students, went from the fan favorite in last year’s inaugural competition to the judges’ favorite in the band category this year.

Kicking off the competition’s nine performances, Cloud Nine closed out its three-song set with a rousing rendition of Led Zepplin’s “Rock And Roll” that would have made Jimmy Page and Robert Plant proud.

Band members Jake and Luke Pallisard, Isaac Husemann and Matt Bonistalli used the benefit of being last year’s fan favorite to their advantage. Being able to go first, they were able to work with the sound engineer and take their time setting up, getting things just to their liking.

“We were very hopeful (about winning) after our performance,” Jake Pallisard said after earning the group trophy and a prize of $350 from The Gift of Carl.

The band, which performs songs by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello, The Clash and Bob Dylan, will perform at 5 p.m. Saturday at St. John of the Cross Fest in Western Springs.

“It was very cool,” Jake Pallisard said of performing before his peers.

Area resident Agne Giedraityte captured the prize as this year’s fan favorite with selections ranging from opera to Lithuanian folk songs.

It was the second consecutive year the event had to be moved indoors because of storms. Senior librarian Tyler Works said the library’s Teen Advisory Board came up with the battle of the bands idea and has spearheaded the event both years. He said the event continues to be a great outlet for performers and audience members.

“Teens get a chance to see their peers perform,” Works said. “They don’t get to see that too often. And performers get to entertain, showing what they can do. It gives them inspiration.”

Despite having an injured foot from an extreme trampolining accident, event co-host Jubiril Awe hobbled his way through his emcee duties. He even got moving when he and fellow co-host Christon Lenox joined the DC Players on stage for a rendition of “We Got the Funk.”

Lenox said he is thinking about going into comedy and the time in front of an audience gave him a chance to see if he is right for show business.

Isaac Husemann is not sure whether the music business is the route for him, even through he performed with both Cloud Nine and DC Players during The Sound.

“It has worked out,” he said, regarding being in two bands. “We practice at different times. I’ll see how it goes. It is a dangerous road. It is dangerous because you either make it professionally, have fun and play lots of music or you struggle and it’s hard.”

“But it would be a lot of fun,” he said.

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