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Portland's Monarques take third in radio band competition

Prairie Home Companion Battle of the Bands features local musicians
by: Courtesy photo, Portland band The Monarques competed on the Prairie Home Companion Battle of the Bands.

Portland's seven-piece band The Monarques placed third in Saturday's Prairie Home Companion Battle of the Bands.

The band featuring Oh Captain, My Captain guitarist Joshua Spacek was one of five bands competing for the title. Also in the band that performs early rock 'n' roll-style music are Jon Preston (guitar), Lee Ellis (keyboards), Richard Bennett (bass), Corey Ciresi (drums), Christine Busacca (percussion) and Talia Gordon (percussion).

The Brooklyn, N.Y., swing band April Smith and the Great Picture Show won the competition's coveted Silver Water Tower trophy.

More than 700 bands from across the nation auditioned to be part of the annual Prairie Home Companion contest.

The show from Newark, N.J., featured bands from Kansas, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.