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Young Women's Fashion Retailer maurices Announces Music Partnership With Grammy Award Winning Rock Band Evanescence, as Voting Opens for maurices "Hometown Sound" Nationwide Band Search

More Than 800 Bands Compete for Chance to Shoot a Music Video in Los Angeles and to Perform at a Daytime Showcase During South by Southwest 2012 (January 09, 2012)

DULUTH, MN -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/12 -- Voting has opened for the more than 800 bands vying for votes in maurices (NASDAQ: ASNA) "Hometown Sound" nationwide band search. The leading hometown specialty store and fashion authority developed the search in partnership with PlayNetwork and Sonicbids. Building on momentum from last year's contest, which featured 525 bands who received more than 63,000 votes and wide-spread social media attention, maurices today announces chart-topping rock band Evanescence has joined the search as another Partner Artist.

Along with hot global electro soul posters Graffiti6, Evanescence music will be featured in maurices stores during the competition. The Partner Artists will also promote "Hometown Sound" to their fans, while offering advice to the contestants in "Behind the Scenes" interviews available on the band search contest microsite. "I remember at the beginning of my career feeling like it was a fight and I had a lot to prove," said Amy Lee, front-woman of Evanescence. "If there's ever any message, it's just to be yourself."

Lisa Bartlett, maurices assistant vice president of marketing, says this is an amazing opportunity for the hundreds of talented bands who have entered the contest: "During last year's competition, we saw communities and artists' hometowns rallying for their friends and family members, which was incredibly inspiring. This year, the number of bands competing is up 55 percent, and we can't wait to see which bands make it to the next round."

From today through January 23, 2012, fans can vote for their favorite bands through maurices' Facebook page or the, narrowing the field to the top 50 musical ensembles. From these 50 bands, a group of panelists, including select Partner Artists, will select four finalists.

From February 6 through March 4, 2012, final voting will take place as the four bands will have their music featured in maurices stores, on the contest microsite, and throughout maurices' social media network. The public will be able to cast their vote by scanning a QR (Quick Response) code in stores or online. The band receiving the most votes will win maurices "Hometown Sound."

The grand prize winner will receive a trip to Los Angeles to shoot a music video with PlayNetwork. They'll also receive gifts from maurices, as well as the opportunity to perform at a maurices branded daytime showcase at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, in March 2012, with Graffiti6 and other select Partner Artists. All fans who vote will receive maurices coupons and will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of several maurices gift cards.

About maurices
, a division of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), is the leading hometown specialty store and authority for the savvy, fashion-conscious girl with a twenty-something attitude. Today, maurices operates 800 stores in 44 states. maurices stands for fashion, quality, value and customer service. Offering sizes 1-26 in select stores and online, our styles are inspired by the girl in everyone, in every size. For store information and to shop online, visit

About PlayNetwork
PlayNetwork produces unrivaled media experiences for brands worldwide. PlayNetwork programs include music, messaging, video, web radio artist promotions and events, A/V systems, advertising networks, and commercial XM Satellite Radio. PlayNetwork aims to deliver experiences with the truest level of customization and integration across every touch point -- in-store, online and on-device. Founded in 1996, PlayNetwork is currently playing for over 75,000 media subscribers in 70 countries, reaching over 23 million people every day. For more information, visit or

About Sonicbids
Sonicbids is the leading matchmaking site for bands and promoters. Since its launch in 2001, Sonicbids has become the standard for submitting music to events and opportunities around the globe, counting as partners thousands of prominent events and festivals in North America, Europe, and Australia. Today, the Company boasts a registered membership base of 325,000 bands from over 100 different countries, who use the site daily to connect with 25,000 music "promoters" -- ranging from some of the world's largest music festivals and music conferences, to clubs, coffee houses, cruise ships, colleges, advertising agencies, brand managers, podcasters, music supervisors and other people looking to book, license or broadcast music. In 2011, more than 95,000 "gigs" were booked through the site. Learn more at

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Media Contacts

Jessica Stauber on behalf of maurices
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Jessica Bass on behalf of PlayNetwork
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