Can­ter­bury schools of rock bat­tle it out

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR LO­CAL NEWS - MONIQUE STEELE

‘‘It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll’’ – and stu­dents of the school of rock gave it their best shot.

Mu­si­cal chil­dren rocked out around the city last week for Rock­shop Bandquest, the na­tion­wide mu­sic com­pe­ti­tion for pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate school pupils.

Pupils sang, strummed and strut­ted their stuff, per­form­ing a short set of cov­ers or orig­i­nal songs at three con­cert evenings around the city.

The com­pe­ti­tion, now in its seventh year, is a younger ver­sion of the sec­ondary school level Smoke­free Rock­quest com­pe­ti­tion.

The first time on stage in front of an au­di­ence for many, nearly 40 bands from Can­ter­bury schools put their best foot for­ward.

Tem­ple­ton Pri­mary School’s 4 Way Fury came away with first place and a $400 Rock­shop voucher for their set of the Foo Fight­ers’ Ever­long and Goldfin­ger’s 99 Red Bal­loons at St Mar­garet’s Col­lege on Tues­day.

Lead singer and bassist Blake English, 10, also won the male vo­cal­ist award. The year six stu­dent was ‘‘pretty stoked’’ with the dou­ble win.

Hav­ing al­ready per­formed at Bandquest last year and at the Rolle­ston Fire­works evening, Blake said he en­joyed per­form­ing.

‘‘I had but­ter­flies in my stom­ach then I started get­ting a lit­tle bit more con­fi­dent,’’ he said.

Af­ter learn­ing ukulele, then onto gui­tar, English only started tak­ing bass gui­tar lessons around six months ago.

‘‘This year they re­ally stepped it up a level,’’ said Blake’s proud mum, Marie.

With their eyes on the $3000 na­tional win­ner prize, Blake’s band 4 Way Fury and Can­ter­bury’s two other placeget­ters, Christchurch South In­ter­me­di­ate’s Manaja and Chis­nall­wood In­ter­me­di­ate School’s Class Dis­rup­tion, will now video their per- for­mance and send it in for the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

Bandquest founder and di­rec­tor Glenn Com­mon said the com­pe­ti­tion fos­tered young tal­ent in a some­times scary, but sup­port­ive, en­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘We can see how this en­cour­age­ment helps stu­dents to progress mu­si­cally, with all the ben­e­fits that brings in high school, both so­cially and academi- cally.’’

Rock­shop spokesman Hamish Jack­son said the prizes could make a real dif­fer­ence to a school mu­sic depart­ment.

‘‘Gear in school mu­sic de­part­ments could just about al­ways be bet­ter and we make sure the credit vouch­ers go a long way,’’ he said.

The win­ning band will be an­nounced on Septem­ber 20.

Tem­ple­ton Pri­mary School’s 4 Way Fury won first place at the Rock­shop Bandquest com­pe­ti­tion on Tues­day evening.

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