Halfway Home, Triple B-Funk and Noize From The Basement are among the bands selected to advance to the 2013 Final Exam in the Tri-C High School Rock Off.

The Final Exam will be Feb. 9 at the House of Blues in Cleveland, starting at 4 p.m.

"In all reality, all three of us were completely shocked," said Emily Gambone of Brimfield, lead singer and guitarist for Noize from the Basement. "We already counted ourselves out after the second band was announced, because we didn't think we were the last one. We were still smiling the next day."

Noize from the Basement had been scheduled to compete in the semi-finals last year but had to withdraw after their drummer Logan McNeal of Tallmadge was diagnosed with cancer.

"This was our second time performing in the Rock-Off, and it was just as fun as it was two years ago," Gambone said. "The workers and staff at the House of Blues were all very nice and made the bands feel welcome. Also, the bands we played with were very supportive and talented."

"The whole experience was amazing, meeting other kids who share the same interests as you and playing at a place like the House of Blues," added Holly Camp, the bassist for Noize from the Basement.

Austin Bianco, Aurora resident and guitarist for Triple B-Funk, said he and the other members of the band were excited to advance to the final round. Bianco also is the lead guitarist for Halfway Home, which also will be playing in the Final Exam.

"We have worked very hard to make it, and feel that our hard work has payed off," Bianco said. "Our plan is to come on stage, play an awesome and powerful set, go absolutely nuts, and blow everyone away. We are tightening up our set from the first round and are looking forward to playing."

Gambone said that once the finals were over, the band had another mission: to go to a studio to record its next album.

"We are very excited about this project and can't wait to start it," Gambone said.

Bianco said that Triple B-Funk planned to write more music, and had "some spring shows lined up already."

Ticket information

Final Exam tickets will be $10 and will be available only from the participating Rock Off bands. The event is open to all ages.

Visit www.kisscleveland.com/rockoff for show times and band information.

The winning band will receive $1,000 cash and $200 for their respective high school music program. Second place will receive $250 cash and $100 for their respective high school music program and third place will receive $150 cash.

The winning band will receive the opportunity to open up for a Live Nation or House of Blues Concert and an appearance on Tri-C's cable television program Crooked River Groove and perform a 45-minute concert in front of a studio audience while being professionally videotaped and recorded. In addition, the band will be featured on the three-time Emmy Award-winning program Words & Music, with an interview and unplugged performance. Both shows are produced by Cuyahoga Community College's Smart TV, with support from the Recording Arts & Technology Program.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438