Those Who Excel nominees lauded for contributions to District 161

Through the Flood members, from left, Kendall 
Carter, Emily Koditek, Charlotte McManus and 
Jonny Van Til.
(Photos by Eric Crump/
H-F Chronicle)

What does friendship sound like? 

It can be a bit loud. 

  Keyboardist Charlotte 
  McManus is the youngest 
  and smallest member of 
  the group. She says people 
  sometimes are dubious 
  when she says she’s with 
  the band — until she starts 
  to play.

Everyone at the Homewood Art & Garden Fair from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, will find out more when local teen band Through the Flood takes the stage.

The core of the band came together in the summer of 2013 when they participated in the summer rock band camp hosted at Melody Mart music store in Homewood and coordinated by Seth Whitson, who serves as the band’s manager.

  Bass player Emily Koditek 
  made her debut as the 
  band’s lead singer during 
  a gig at House of Blues in 

The rock band camp focuses less on teaching how to play music and more on teaching how to play as a band. 

Unlike many teen bands, which can be somewhat transient, Through the Flood members stuck together after the camp was over. Original members are Kendall Carter, 15, guitar/bass/vocals, of Flossmoor; Josh Heffron, 16, guitar/bass; Emily Koditek, 17, vocals/bass of Thornton; and Charlotte McManus, 13, vocals/keyboard of Homewood. They have been joined by Jonny Van Til, 19, drums, of Highland, Ind.; and Maya Lopez, 14, guest singer.

“We liked each other enough to just stay,” Koditek said. “I like spending time with these guys. We get along really well.”

In addition to friendship, they found in each other a common denominator that often drives success: They love to play. The band rehearses every Saturday and some Wednesday evenings. 

“We don’t even call it work,” Carter said.

“It’s a lot of fun every week,” Koditek said.

  From left, guitarist Kendall 
  Carter, Jonny Van Til and 
  Charlotte McManus.

The time they put in is starting to pay off, too. The band has gotten a number of gigs, not only in the South Suburbs but in Chicago, too. They have played in bars, at block parties and at local festivals. They have performed at Mama and Me Pizzeria in Homewood.

Band members are proudest of being invited to play at House of Blues in Chicago — twice.

The first House of Blues show was June 14, 2015. The young band members were nervous to play in the popular venue, but they rose to the occasion.

“No one passed out,” Koditek noted.

The second House of Blues show was in December 2015. Koditek really had to rise to the occasion that night. It was her first gig as the band’s lead singer.

“That was so scary,” she said. “But the crowd was really great.”

Experiences like that have helped the teens mature as artists, they said. 

“When we started, we would stand in one spot and only look at our parents,” Koditek said. “We’ve definitely learned to interact with the crowds a bit more. I think we’re fun to watch.”
The band sound ranges from classic rock and heavy metal to alternative. 

Carter’s heros are the guitar icons of the 1960s and 1970s — Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Stevie Ray Vaughn among them. He said Heffron is a big Led Zeppelin fan, and as a result, the band covers a number of Led Zeppelin favorites, plus songs by Metallica and Megadeth.

Koditek and McManus bring the alternative flavor to the band. Their influences include Fallout Boy and Blink 182. 

“I think we’re a good mix of classic and alternative,” Koditek said.

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