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Sophomore performs in MoCo talent competition

Sophomore+Matei+Fawzy+and+his+band%2C+The+f35%E2%80%99s%2C+perform+at+Montgomery+County%E2%80%99s+fourth+annual+Moco%E2%80%99s+Got+Talent+competition.+The+group+was+one+of+13+acts+to+perform+in+the+finale+at+The+Fillmore+Silver+Spring+May+21.+Photo+by+Evan+Beckley.+
Sophomore Matei Fawzy and his band, The f35’s, perform at Montgomery County’s fourth annual Moco’s Got Talent competition. The group was one of 13 acts to perform in the finale at The Fillmore Silver Spring May 21. Photo by Evan Beckley.

Sophomore Matei Fawzy and his band, The f35’s, perform at Montgomery County’s fourth annual Moco’s Got Talent competition. The group was one of 13 acts to perform in the finale at The Fillmore Silver Spring May 21. Photo by Evan Beckley.

Sophomore Matei Fawzy and his band, The f35’s, perform at Montgomery County’s fourth annual Moco’s Got Talent competition. The group was one of 13 acts to perform in the finale at The Fillmore Silver Spring May 21. Photo by Evan Beckley.

By Jessica Buxbaum

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The f35’s, a rock band led by sophomore Matei Fawzy, competed in the annual Moco’s Got Talent competition at The Fillmore Silver Spring May 21.

Other members of the band include guitarist Connor Maginnis, drummer Charlie Oakes and bassist Jared Edson. Maginnis and Oakes are sophomores at Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School and Edson is a freshman at Landon.

Fawzy has played lead guitar for the f35’s since the musicians formed the band nearly seven years ago. In that time, they have won four Battle of the Bands competitions outside of school and performed at The Fillmore and 9:30 Club through their music school, Bach to Rock.

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation created MCGT to promote and showcase student creativity and skill. The county holds five preliminary tryouts followed by a second audition for the top 25 contestants. Judging panels, made up of local arts professionals, then choose 13 acts to compete in the finale. The winning act receives free recording time in a professional studio and cash prizes.

Over 70 bands and solo performers auditioned this year and the f35’s were one of 13 acts to perform in the finale. Although the band didn’t win, the judges praised their performance and gave them constructive feedback.

“They said they really liked our stage presence and kind of our overall musicality and the fact that we write our own songs,” Edson said. “They also said we communicated well with each other on stage which comes from how long we’ve played together I think.”

Performing at The Fillmore made the experience extra special, band members said.

“We love playing big venues because of the big stage and the big crowds, so we decided why not try to get another gig there,” Fawzy said. “Playing at the Fillmore is just so cool because you’re playing on the same stage as artists like Lil Uzi Vert or Drake.”

Competing in the finale also help bands gain name recognition in the community. MCGT finalists often receive invitations to showcase their talent in events like the Burtonsville Day Parade and the Summer Concert Series, head of Montgomery County Youth Development Marhonda Williams said.

Fawzy and his band members said they hope to return to next year’s competition.

“We just loved the crowd’s reaction to our music,” Fawzy said. “It’s not really about the winning, more so it’s just the experience and performing on that great stage with the good vibes and energy around us, so we are definitely excited to do it again.”

1 Comment

One Response to “Sophomore performs in MoCo talent competition”

  1. Cami Corcoran on June 9th, 2017 11:01 am

    Brilliant story. Probably my number one favorite story of all time. I read this story everyday. It is the only spark of joy keeping my dim life going.
    Thank you for this.

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The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School
Sophomore performs in MoCo talent competition