Uneek all round in contest
An eight piece pop-rock band is flying the flag for intermediate schools in a nationwide music competition.
Tonight Waikowhai Intermediate School band Uneek will compete at the Auckland final of Smokefree Pacifica Beats.
The competition stemmed from the Smokefree Rockquest and typically involves high school students. Uneek is the only intermediate school group to reach the Auckland finals.
‘‘From what we saw at the auditions the competition is going to be hard,’’ singer Isla Mayo says.
The group has been together for only a few months but is getting used to success, last week becoming one of only two intermediate aged bands to play at the Rockquest Auckland Central finals.
The band is made up of three singers, two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a keyboardist.
Both competitions require groups to write their own songs.
Uneek’s creations are a collaborative effort with their band tutor Matthew Nanai, an ex-student of the school now studying music at university.
‘‘They’re something unique – that’s why we’re called Uneek,’’ Isla says of their tunes.
The band didn’t make it to the next stage of Rockquest but got a taste of what it was like to perform in front of a large audience.
Teacher Roz Tuitama says the experience was a ‘‘rude awakening’’ for the group.
‘‘They’re only 12 and 13 years old and they’re competing against 17-year-olds. We’re very proud.’’
Rockquest founder and direc- tor Glenn Common says it is quite an achievement for the year 8 students to have reached that stage in the competition.
There is an annual event for intermediate school students called Smokefree Band Quest for covers but those writing original pieces are encouraged to enter the Rockquest, he says.
Intermediate rocks: Young stars, from left, Dhruv Gupte, Jacqueline De Pont, Sam Gibbons, Leonardo Fo’ou, Flynn McLennan, Amelia Siamomua, Martha Johansson, and Isla Mayo make up the band Uneek.