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.