Meet Alterity, Eva Claire and the Pigz, three of Denver's most interesting high school bands

The 3rd Annual Bringing Back the Arts music competition is this Sunday, March 16, at the Bluebird Theater. Admission is free. The competition is part of First Lady of Denver Mary Louise Lee's Bringing Back the Arts initiative, designed to bring greater attention to local artists and to encourage the creative endeavors of Denver's youth.

It features ten high school bands -- finalists among the many that submitted songs to a panel of talent buyers and musicians. The finalists are Alterity, Coasta the Messenger, Mia B, The Social System, Lutes and Shatters, Abraham Lincoln High School Choir, Eva Claire, Reborn, Picture Perfit Quintet and The Pigz. They represent a broad spectrum of musical genres and will compete for three cash prizes.

We had a chance to speak with three of the finalists about their music, where each has played beyond anything like a school talent contest and their inspirations. If the level of sincerity, care for craft and sense of humor we encountered is any indication, Denver's next generation of musicians is already giving us something worth seeking out.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.