Editor’s Cut: Local band in running for national competition

Caroline WallaceHolly Aker

From “Dancing with the Stars” to “American Idol,” millions of Americans regularly participate in call-in and online voting for entertainment competitions. Even if the competition itself seems trivial, having a stake in the outcome tends to make us far more interested.

But for those of you who tire of watching Mike “The Situation” do the tango, how about lending your vote to a good, old-fashioned local cause? Helping Austin teen band Schmillion win the SchoolJam USA songwriting competition.

The name Schmillion may roll off the tongue in a silly way, but the girls are serious about their music, playing a host of local shows at venues like The Mohawk, Emo’s and Antone’s and working on their upcoming debut album, after finishing their high school homework, of course.

The band was even honored with “Best Under 18 Band” award in the Austin Chronicle’s 2010 Reader’s Poll.

Now, they have been selected as semifinalists for the SchoolJam USA songwriting competition. Their current competition? 11 other bands from the central United States as well as semifinalists from other regions.

If they take the top slot, they stand to gain $5,000 for their school’s music program (the girls are divided among The McCallum Fine Arts Academy, The Liberal Arts and Science Academy and the Griffin School), $1,000 for new equipment and a trip to perform in Germany.

This round of voting runs through Nov. 30 and everyone is allowed one vote per day.

To hear Schmillion, and get the easy instructions on how to vote, visit their website.