Music school alum returns with band for benefit

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Ocean Park Standoff includes Samantha Ronson, Ethan Thompson and Pete Nappi. The band will perform in Whitefish on July 25 as a fundraiser for North Valley Music School. (Photo courtesy Kerry Henderson)

Musician and singer Ethan Thompson will return to Whitefish, as part of the band Ocean Park Standoff later this month in a benefit concert for the music school where he began.

North Valley Music School will hold the third annual Montana Music Event on Wednesday, July 25 at 7 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center downtown. Along with songs from their latest album, the national touring, alt-pop band will perform their breakout single “Good News,” a song that reached 16 million Spotify streams within a year.

Classically trained vocalist and folk singer-songwriter Thompson, producer, drummer, and hip-hop head Pete Nappi and UK-born multi-instrumentalist, lyricist, and world-renowned DJ Samantha Ronson make up Ocean Park Standoff.

Thompson got his first break when he won a Folgers Coffee jingle contest in 2010. A few years later while living in Boston, he auditioned for the popular reality singing talent show “American Idol,” appearing on the show in 2014.

The trio first joined forces as Ocean Park Standoff in 2016.

Following the success of their hit “Good News” Elvis Duran handpicked the band as his “iHeart Artist of the Month” followed by a “Today Show” performance. They also appeared on late-night television for the first time on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” Between headlining numerous dates, they opened for Third Eye Blind and Silversun Pickups on a 2017 summer shed tour. They’ve also continued to write and release a string of singles.

General admission tickets for the Montana Music Event are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and can be purchased online at www.northvalleymusicschool.org or by calling 406-862-8074. Plan to arrive early, as seating will be limited to allow for an open dance floor. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

During the concert, NVMS will be drawing a winner for its annual guitar raffle, where one lucky winner will win a Montana-made Gibson J-45. Only 100 tickets will be sold and tickets can be purchased by calling the school.

The Montana Music Event was established in 2016. Proceeds from the Montana Music Event benefit North Valley Music School and help support music education in the Flathead Valley. The event is sponsored by Charles Schwab & Co.

Founded in 1997, the nonprofit North Valley Music School’s mission is to enrich the community through music education, appreciation, and performance. The school provides scholarships for students and collaborates with other nonprofit organizations including: Glacier Symphony and Chorale, Whitefish School District, Flathead Valley Community College, and Ravenwood Outdoor Learning Center. NVMS is a community-based, intergenerational music school that provides music education opportunities for 400 students annually through private lessons, group classes, summer camps and workshops.

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