Girl’s High duo tops Rock­quest

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS - By EBELE EZEPUE

Fruit Juice Pa­rade Band clinched first place at the Manawatu¯ Smoke­free­rock­quest fi­nal at the Globe Theatre on Fri­day night.

The Palmer­ston North Girl’s High School duo, drum­mer Tharushi Bowatte and vo­cal­ist and gui­tarist Shan­nen Peter­son, said they were ex­cited but sad know­ing this was their last Smoke­free­rock­quest.

Tharushi said they had mixed feel­ings while per­form­ing on stage.

“We were ex­cited and also sad, but ul­ti­mately it was a great time with my close friend Shan­nen. We are con­fi­dent to­gether, have a good stage pres­ence and are com­fort­able com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the au­di­ence. Our songs are unique and true to us and I think every­one can en­gage with peo­ple who are be­ing them­selves.”

Fruit Juice Pa­rade won the re­gional fi­nal in 2017.

Smoke­free­rock­quest founder and direc­tor Glenn Com­mon (MNZM) is also re­tir­ing from the job that has launched mu­si­cal suc­cesses over its 30-year his­tory.

“Thirty years has been a rea­son­able stint,” Glenn said. He had worked with his suc­ces­sors to con­tinue the plat­form for youth to per­form live in a pro­fes­sional set­ting.

He was also con­fi­dent that Tharushi and Shan­nen would even­tu­ally be work­ing for Smoke­free­rock­quest in the fu­ture.

“Smoke­free is a start for mu­si­cians. It gives them the im­pe­tus to con­tinue with their mu­sic.”

Smoke­free has been supporting young Ki­wis to show­case their pas­sion for mu­sic for close to three decades. It also pro­vides the plat­form to show the ben­e­fits of a smoke­free life­style as New Zealand heads to­wards the goal of Smoke­free 2025.

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