When six Kowhai Intermediate School students were called to a special school assembly, they had no idea they were being presented with a national award.
Reuben Hudson, Sam Perry, Jonathon Parris, Jonathan Burkin, David Harris and Sam Dalton make up the band DNA, which recently won the Juice TV My School Band Rocks competition.
To make the presentation a surprise, associate principal Louise Broad staged an assembly as a cover.
“I made them stand and sit and sing the national anthem about three times. Their mums and dads were hiding down the back, they had been sworn to secrecy.”
The group say they were shocked to be named the winners.
“We were talking about pulling our socks up and respecting people and then the camera crews rocked in and said: ‘You guys have won’,” says Sam Dalton.
DNA beat more than 100 entrants for the top prize, including Auckland Grammar and Kapiti College.
“They did extremely well,” says Mrs Broad.
Drummer David says the band entered last year hoping to win but didn’t make it, so they wrote a new song called Faces, made a video clip and tried again.
He wrote the music and the boys’ guitar teacher also helped them out.
Sam Dalton’s mother works for TV3 so she helped them get their video clip filmed and edited.
Five of the band members have been playing together for three years and singer Sam joined this year.
He was recently voted best vocalist in the intermediate schools’ Battle of the Bands competition.
DNA will play in the final of the event next Wednesday.
Their prize from the Juice TV competition includes a professional recording of their song, $3000 of musical equipment for the school and a $5000 Music Works voucher for them.
Jump for joy: From left: DNA band members Sam Perry, Jonathan Burkin, Sam Dalton, David Harris, Jonathon Parris and Reuben Hudson.