They may be young but they know how to rock – this year’s Nelson contestants took the stage on Saturday night in the regional final of Rockshop Bandquest, the nationwide music contest for intermediate and primary students.
Bandquest is in its fifth year as the younger sibling of Smokefreerockquest, and in Nelson attracted nine keen young bands who competed at the Theatre Royal.
The competition is for bands of two or more members, from intermediate or primary schools, who play a short set of covers or original songs, with a focus on performance skills. Event coordinator Matt Ealand says this age group is increasingly sophisticated and self-motivated.
“Rather than just forming a band in their music class, they’re getting together with like-minded friends, they’re practicing outside of school time, using technology to record or promote themselves and showing a real awareness of what it takes to make it in the music industry.”
The awards made on Saturday night were:
First place winning $400 credit with The Rockshop for their school: Crowded, Nelson Intermediate
Second place winning $200 credit with The Rockshop for their school: Fret 24, Broadgreen Intermediate
Third place winning $100 credit with The Rockshop for their school: Central Station, Nelson Central School
Best original song winning $100 cash for their school: Central Station, Nelson Central School
Best original lyrics winning $50 cash for their school: Crowded, Nelson Intermediate
Best female vocalist: Paige Sofield, Central Station, Nelson Central School
Best male vocalist: Monty Dawson, Charged, Nelson College Prep School
Musicianship Award: Will Hartley, Crowded, Nelson Intermediate
Rockstar Styles award: Ngawai Tia, Crowded, Nelson Intermediate
‘Killer’ guitarist award: Jack Rollinson, Fret 24, Broadgreen Intermediate
Rock-solid bassist award: Kayla Burgess, Central Station, Nelson Central School
Rocking drummer award: Jayden Houghton from Charged, Nelson College Prep School
Best keyboardist award: Seren Holden, Central Beat, Nelson Central School
Rockshop spokesman, Hamish Jackson, says for most of the entrants Rockshop Bandquest is the biggest musical moment of their lives.
“Being part of that is great for us, “ he says. “Bandquest provides intermediate kids with a platform for live performance – it’s all about participation and giving it a go. The kids throw themselves into it and the results are pretty astounding.”