They may be young but they know how to rock – this year’s Bay of Plenty contestants took the stage on Wednesday (Aug 29) in this year’s regional Rockshop Bandquest, the nationwide music contest for intermediate and primary students.
Bandquest is in its eighth year as a talent feeder for Smokefreerockquest, and in the Bay of Plenty attracted 14 keen bands who competed at Otumoetai College.
Event organizer Matt Ealand says the performances from this age group mix sophistication with a lack of self-consciousness, enhanced by the supportive framework of Bandquest.
“They’ve been watching TV and YouTube, they’re aware of what established musicians are doing and they want to emulate them,” he said. “Rockshop Bandquest is a confidence builder that lifts their game musically, and they tend to take that with them to high school, with proven benefits socially and academically.”
The Bay of Plenty results are:
First place winning $400 credit with The Rockshop for their school: Revolution Radio, Mount Maunganui Intermediate
Second place winning $200 credit with The Rockshop for their school: Output, Tauranga Intermediate
Third place winning $100 credit with The Rockshop for their school: GreVouS, Greerton Village School
Best original song winning $100 cash for their school: Good Morning Good Night, Mount Maunganui Intermediate
Best Vocalists: Feedback, Mokoia Intermediate
Musicianship award: Flynn Cranston, Audioquake, Katikati College
Rockstar Styles award: The Sherbert Lemons, Matamata Intermediate
‘Killer’ guitarist award: Michael Van Lieshot, Output, Tauranga Intermediate
Rock-solid bassist award: Cody Henry, Beautiful Nightmare, Mount Maunganui Intermediate
Rocking drummer award: Hunter Ross, Purple Tornadoes, Otumoetai Intermediate
Best keyboardist award: Maea Wikohika and Pearani Input, Tauranga Intermediate
Rockshop spokesman, Hamish Jackson, says for many of the kids Rockshop Bandquest is the biggest musical moment of their lives.
“It’s great for us to be part of that, “ he says. “Bandquest provides a unique opportunity to kids at this age, it’s all about participation and giving it a go. The kids definitely throw themselves into it and the results have been amazing.”
This year over 215 bands have entered Rockshop Bandquest, performing in events from run August 20 to September 3, with four events in Auckland, two in Hamilton, one in Tauranga, Gisborne, Hawke Bay (combined with Showquest), Wellington, Nelson, three events in Christchurch, and one in Dunedin. There is an on-line national final with results announced on September 20.