Bandquest to show off young Nelson talent

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They’re young, talented and ready to play their music live on stage – over 170 young school bands are lined up for this year’s Rockshop Bandquest, the nationwide music contest for intermediate and primary students.

Bandquest is in its fifth year as the younger sibling of Smokefreerockquest, and the level of talent just keeps on rising.

Founder and director Glenn Common says Rockshop Bandquest is a vehicle to spotlight this talent, with 12 events this year in towns from Dunedin to Auckland, and an online contest for bands from other regions.

“Rockshop Bandquest gives young bands a chance to shine in a stage setting with professional sound mix and lighting – for most it will be their first time with this kind of set up,” he said. “More importantly we are giving the kids an experience that extends them and that puts them under the pressure that comes with playing live. They get a taste of what musical performance is all about, and we hope that encourages them to stick with it and to gain all the benefits music brings to education.”

Rockshop Bandquest Nelson is on Saturday 22 August, 7pm start, at the Theatre Royal, tickets are $10 plus booking fee from the theatre or from ticket direct.

Rockshop Bandquest is for bands of two or more members, from intermediate or primary schools, who will play a short set of covers or original songs. There is an award for the best original song to encourage bands to write their own material, but the focus is on performance skills.

Rockshop donates prize vouchers to the winners’ schools, and spokesman, Hamish Jackson, says Bandquest is a great event for the nationwide chain to support.

“Many countries are seeing a drop in kids learning instruments but Bandquest is bucking this trend,” he says. “The more we can get kids playing music through events like Bandquest, the better it is for the artistic health of New Zealand music.”

There will be mentoring sessions from successful Smokefreerockquest bands in the afternoon of the regional events.

Video footage of the finalists will be displayed from September 18 in an online national final at bandquest.co.nz. The announcement of national winners and other awards will be made on September 23.

The bands that have entered Rockshop Bandquest in Nelson are:

Tahunanui Tunes, Tahunanui School

Fret 24, Broadgreen Intermediate

Charged, Nelson College Prep School

To be named, Nelson College for Girls Prep

Blended Musicality, Broadgreen Intermediate

Central Station, Nelson Central School

Central Beat, Nelson Central School

Band 1, Nelson Intermediate

Band 2, Nelson Intermediate