Band Spotlight
February 27, 2013 • 02:56:24 p.m.

Get schooled on The University


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It’s a good thing their parents swapped phone numbers after a talent show about six years ago.

Both 18-year-old Ryan Lammers of Cary, a guitarist, and 17-year-old Dean Sinclair of McHenry, a drummer, had competed separately in the contest.

“You two should jam,” the judges told them.

They did, and discovered a mutual love of music and determination to take their band as far as they could go. With the addition of 19-year-old Cale Singleton of Cary and 18-year-old John Benedeck of McHenry about two years ago, the band eventually became The University.

Described as alternative, the band has performed at numerous festivals, including Fiesta Days in McHenry and the St. Helen Carnival in Chicago. The University won the Battle of the Bands at Heritage Fest in West Dundee, and will open for the headlining act at the festival this September.

On April 27, The University will perform as part of a music festival at McHenry West High School.

They’ve recorded an EP, “Red/Blue,” available through their Facebook page at

“We came up with a little comparison,” Lammers said. “We’re kind of like a cross between Walk the Moon, Coldplay, Counting Crows and Foo Fighters.”

In addition to originals, the band plays a variety of rock, alternative and indie covers from the 1970s through today. Singleton plays bass guitar and sings lead on most songs, while Benedeck plays keyboard. All four sing.

And all four have pursued music since a young age.

“I’ve been playing the pots and pans since birth, but I started taking lessons when I was six years old,” Sinclair said.

He’s a fan of bands from Sweden, such as The Royal Concept and In Flames.

Lammers began performing in second grade.

“I started listening to The Beatles and I was like, ‘I want to play guitar,’” he said. “I would love to keep going with this and the same with all of us. We all want to keep up with the music. It’s a part of us.”

“Hire us,” Sinclair added with a laugh. “We’re a group of good guys. We like to have fun, and the music we play is pretty fun.”

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