Oval Portrait
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Oval Portrait

Wayne, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Wayne, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Band Alternative




"Young musicians come together to benefit local Red Cross"

Rock through the day and into the evening Saturday at the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey’s Original Rock n’ Red Music Festival at Vasa Park in the Budd Lake section of Mount Olive.
Nineteen local bands and three acoustic singer-songwriters will take the stage to raise funds for local services provided by American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey.
“The nice thing about this fundraiser is that the money raised will stay right here in our community,” said Karen Winlund, youth services coordinator for the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey. “You hear a lot about what’s going on in Japan and the Midwest, but we have also local disasters happening right here in New Jersey.”
For the past four years, the American Red Cross Youth Council has teamed up with Anthony Vitale, director of The Original Music School in the Cedar Knolls section of Hanover, to host a battle of the bands event. This year, the fundraiser has blossomed into an all-day music festival.
“We like the idea of nurturing musicians, as opposed to making it a competition,” Vitale said.
Several of Vitale’s former and current students from The Original Music School will be taking the stage.
This year’s performers include middle and high school students and, for the first time, college students have been invited to participate. The day’s lineup is organized by age, with the oldest bands playing in the evening.
To participate in the festival, all musicians are required to fundraise for the Red Cross by selling tickets.
“The kids are looking for an opportunity to play their music in a venue other than their high school gymnasium. This is something we can do for them, and in turn, it’s a way for youth to help the Red Cross. It’s a win-win,” Winlund said.
“Having to sell tickets encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, and teaches the kids the importance of doing something for someone else,” said Vitale, who was responsible for recruiting the talent for the festival.

This year’s performers at Rock n’ Red include: Two2One from Rockaway, Stealth (Hackettstown), The Shambles (Long Valley section of Washington), 2eighty7 (Towaco section of Montville), Seeking the Seeker (Dumont), Oval Portrait and Ruby Roses (Wayne), Relatives, Lucidity, Running Late and Kaleigh Young (Madison); 53 Shadows (Randolph), Ridiculous (West Orange), Smiling’s My Favorite (Roselle), The Ascension and TRE (Milford), Blue Soul and Transcend (Denville), Such is Life (Mendham), With All Due Respect (East Hanover), Ashley Lai (Whippany section of Hanover) and Kyle Maples (Bernardsville).
“It’s definitely going to be an eclectic mix of music. We’ll have everything from country to funk to hard rock, and the bands themselves are still experimenting to find their voice,” Vitale said. “The kids write really fun, original music — people are always surprised by how entertained they are.”
After their performance, the musicians will be available to meet fans and sign CDs. Vitale is producing a compilation CD, including one song from each band that will be available for $10; a portion of the proceeds will benefit Red Cross.
“We look forward to this event every year. It’s a lot of fun to see the kids performing onstage, and they really have so much talent,” Winlund says. “It’s exciting — one of them could be the next big thing. You just never know.”
In addition to the music, a variety of vendors, refreshments and children’s activities will be available for participants to enjoy.
“It’s really not a rock fest. It’s truly a family event,” Winlund said. - Daily Record

"Oval Portrait set to release debut CD"

Oval Portrait set to release debut CD
Oval Portrait — Mike Womack on bass, Nick Taormina on guitar and Chris Curcio on drums — will soon release their first original CD. The band has been playing the local scene, building its fan base.
WAYNE — Creativity abounds in Wayne, where three young men have formed an original band, and are recording, playing concerts, and on the road to a possible career in rock-n-roll.
The band, called Oval Portrait, consists of Mike Womack on bass, Nick Taormina on guitar and Chris Curcio on drums. The band is managed by Michelle Womack, Mike's mother.
Oval Portrait already has one song produced, and is currently at work on a full-length CD. They have played shows at Dingbatz in Clifton, the Meat Locker in Montclair, and at the Paramus VFW hall on a bill with several other bands. And, at an average of 16, they have combined this work with their schoolwork as high school students.
According to Michelle Womack, these are "three good boys, just enjoying their teen years in a different way than other teenagers. They have a talent and a passion for music, and I want to see them take this talent and passion as far as it will go. Someone had to step up for them, as they are not yet of the legal age to do it themselves. I wanted to be the one to do that for them."
Michelle Womack has become the band's manager, offering such services as designing T-shirts to be sold at concerts, and sitting with a copyright attorney to be sure the band's rights are protected.
"I needed to learn about copyright laws, to make sure that no one will steal the boys' music or words," she said.
While Michelle Womack handles the legal end of things, for the boys in the band, it's all about the music.
Mike Womack saw the movie "School of Rock" when he was 11, and that was all it took for him to realize that a music career was in his future.
"I love to write my own songs," he said. "I just can't 'feel' covers. I can connect much more to the stuff I write. I can write whatever it is I am feeling at the moment."
Taormina started playing guitar about two years ago, and Curcio began his drum career about six years ago. The boys met through school and mutual friends, and hit it off quickly. While Womack writes most of the music, all band members contribute.
"Mike starts a song, and we just all sort of contribute our own thing to it," Taormina said.
"He (Mike) plays something, and we just all catch on to it," Curcio added. "It makes for a great mix."
Look for the band's CD to come out in late November. - NorthJersey.com Wayne Today


Kidnapped and Crucified
What You See
Cold World
Lost Then Found
Breath With Me
Locked Out



Oval Portrait has been around since August 2009. In February 2010 they released their EP "Nothing Special" which is on many online music stores. The band has made huge leaps since that first practice in singer Mike Womack’s garage. Members have changed since then but the feel that can only come from Oval Portrait has only gotten better. After a few slow months the band was given some fresh air in late December 2010 with the arrival of bassist Ethan Bertrand and drummer Matt Brigliadoro. Mike, Matt, and Ethan are always working on new material and are working on their new album right now. The three of them together bring a tight rock and alternative sound to the table. This is Oval Portrait...