The Resistance, a neo-classic style alternative/hard rock quartet from the Waterville area, took the honors of “Best Young Band in the State of Maine” in Reindeer Records’ statewide Off-Ramp: Exit 27 high school band competition.

In a press release, The Reindeer Group provided the back-story.

Since last November, The Resistance was one of three bands that faced unique music industry-based tasks that were evaluated for certain criteria by various panels of judges. The tasks included Songwriting (this year’s theme was “Second Chances”), The Recording Studio Experience, Marketing, Live Event Production and Music Video Production.

The Resistance represented Maine Central Institute, Erskine Academy, Warsaw Middle School and Edward Little High School and featured Sierra Carey on lead vocals, Jerad Smith on lead and rhythm guitar, Jessica Smith on drums and Patrick Buzza on bass.

“The Resistance did consistently well on all the tasks,” said Off-Ramp Executive Producer and Reindeer Group President Louis Philippe. “Not only are the musicians talented, but the band leadership is very defined, their goals and passion are very clear, and they embrace challenge and responsibility in a role-model way…that’s a recipe for success,” Philippe added.

“When we first saw this band in last year’s competition, they were a soft-spoken shy band from up North that was right out of the box for the first time. Today, they proved they are serious about their music and professionally-focused with a tremendous attitude. Plus, they’re great kids, they truly deserved to win,” Philippe noted.

The results were announced Sunday in a video broadcast on Reindeer’s website, reindeergroup.org which also includes music and videos from all of this year’s participants and critique sessions for fans who were following the bands on their journeys.

Other contenders included Last Man In Space from Mount Blue High School and Saint Monday from South Portland High School (which had been recently disqualified).

In addition to the title, The Resistance won some cash, as did some of the other participating musicians. “Rather than give one winning band a huge lump sum, we reconfigured the prize money to reward all the bands for their commitment, hard work, and superb effort,” explained Philippe.

The Off-Ramp is designed to raise money and awareness for RAMP (Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program) and the larger goal to create, produce and implement an accredited music curriculum for Maine’s Alternative Education outlets. More info can be found on Reindeer’s website.

Early registration for next year’s competition, The Off-Ramp: Exit 28, will begin in August-but it’s never too early for potentially interested bands to sign up.