Young mu­sos rock the stage


Wakatipu High School stu­dent Sofia Machray sang her way to­ward the na­tion­wide Smoke­free­rock­quest fi­nals when she won the solo duo Cen­tral Otago ti­tle in Wanaka on Sat­ur­day.

It was her third year par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event. De­spite Machray’s re­gional MAINZ Mu­si­cian­ship Award, Peo­ple’s Choice and solo duo artist awards, she was sur­prised to win as there was ‘‘so much tal­ent’’ in the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘Every­body’s orig­i­nal songs are so good. I don’t know why the judges chose me.

‘‘Maybe my act was a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent com­pared to the oth­ers. Peo­ple tell me that my voice is quite unique,’’ she said.

The win­ning song Tears of War res­onated with the au­di­ence, Machray thought.

‘‘The crowd was very, very quiet through­out. Ev­ery­one’s at­ten­tion was on me. It was nice to have that.’’

Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege singer Dy­lan Rim­mer was se­cond in the Cen­tral Otago heats’ solo per­for­mances. He was also el­i­gi­ble for se­lec­tion as a na­tional fi­nal­ist and will have to sub­mit 15 min­utes of his best ma­te­rial.

Sat­ur­day’s event dou­bled as heats for the band en­trants for the first time as there were so many Cen­tral Otago en­tires.

The 12 bands se­lected to go on to the Cen­tral Otago fi­nal were: Wakatipu High School’s Quen­cha, Cheery Moon, Haven and Murphy’s Law; Mt As­pir­ing Col­lege’s Just An Oc­tave Higher, Duct Tape Fix, L8, Not Yet Rated, Short­worm, Ceil­ing and Strato­sphere and Cromwell Col­lege band The Usual Strangers.

The fi­nals will be held at Queen­stown Me­mo­rial Cen­tre on 1 July at 7pm. Tick­ets are avail­able from eventfinda for $20.

Founder and di­rec­tor Glenn Com­mon said the level of heats per­for­mances went up every year.

‘‘The 12 bands go­ing on to the fi­nals need to prac­tise hard, craft their set, get their sup­port­ers ral­lied and make good use of net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and so­cial me­dia to pro­mote them­selves and their achieve­ments.’’

Top re­gional bands, so­los and duos will sub­mit video footage for se­lec­tion to play off at the Smoke­free Paci­fica Beats na­tional fi­nal on Septem­ber 1 in Auck­land, and Smoke­free­rock­quest fi­nal the day af­ter.

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