If music is what feelings sound like, then our teens will have plenty of it to share come June, as some sense of normalcy finally seems within reach.
SANDRA BOOKMAN: Fun and exercise rolled all into one. The teens have missed out on a lot during the course of the last year. So one of the things, a Long Island tradition that's back, the "Battle of the Bands." Eyewitness News reporter, Long Island reporter Stacey Sager talked with some very excited teens who are anxious to get back on stage.
I was coming up.
STACEY SAGER: If music is what feelings sound like, then our teens will have plenty of it to share come June as some sense of normalcy finally seems within reach.
(SINGING) Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.
DAN STARK: It's the end of the school year, so it's like, all right, you know what, it's summer, let's have some fun.
STACEY SAGER: Now, rehearsal here at the Flanders Youth Center for En Fuego, one of several youth bands itching to get up on stage once again for the "Battle of the Bands." It's a summer evening beach event here in Hampton Bays that draws as many as 700 people. It was canceled last year because of the pandemic. But for this summer, it is back on for the 18th time.
[WATER WAVES ROARING]
There is perhaps no greater setting than this, the South Fork beaches of Suffolk County. This is Ponoquogue Beach, home to the event.
PETER STRECKER: So because it's outside, we have a pretty big parking lot, so people can socially distance. We're going to be encouraging mask-wearing still, and we're going to be complying with all the CDC and New York state guidelines.
STACEY SAGER: Those who live to perform can't wait to get their feet wet again. Many teens struggling to find a way to make music virtually during the pandemic.
NELLIE NICOLOVA: But I definitely say it's given me more time to practice, so I definitely say I've become a little bit better.
HUNTER MONTGOMERY: For me, I've been trying to write music, and so just trying to practice it. So it gets you into new things, but at the same time, you kind of run out of things.
STACEY SAGER: Luke Hefter, the youngest in the group, just eager to grow.
LUKE HEFTER: When you're up on the stage and you're playing, the nerves kind of go away, and you just play.
STACEY SAGER: To attend this year's event on June 11th, you need to register on the Town of Southhampton website. Many will be back, but for these teens, it can't come soon enough. In Hampton Bays, I'm Stacey Sager, Channel 7 Eyewitness News.