Youngsters rock into national final
They may be young but they know how to rock – this year’s Waikato contestants took the stage over two nights in Hamilton in this year’s regional Rockshop Bandquest, the nationwide music contest for intermediate and primary students.
Bandquest is in its eighth year as a talent feeder for Smokefreerockquest, and in the Waikato region attracted 24 keen bands who competed at the Clarence St Theatre.
Event organiser Matt Ealand says the performances from this age group mix sophistication with a lack of selfconsciousness, enhanced by the supportive framework of Bandquest.
“They’ve been watching TV and YouTube, they’re aware of what established musicians are doing and they want to emulate them,” he said.
“Rockshop Bandquest is a confidence builder that lifts their game musically, and they tend to take that with them to high school, with proven benefits socially and academically.”
Rockshop Bandquest is for bands of three to 10 members, from intermediate or primary schools, who play a short set of covers or original songs, with a focus on performance skills.
■ Results from August 27:
First, winning $400 credit with The Rockshop, Extra Crispy, Berkley Normal Middle School, Second, $200 credit, Last Resort, Morrinsville Intermediate. Third, $100 credit, Boneless Skeleton, Marian Catholic School. Best vocalists: InstaJAM, Glen Massey (three vocalists). Musicianship, Charlie, lead guitarist, Boneless Skeleton. Rockstar Styles, Before I Forget, Morrinsville Intermediate.‘ Killer’ guitarist, Broden Miller, InstaJAM. Rocksolid bassist, Hunter Adams, Switch, Berkley Normal Middle School. Rocking drummer, Mercedes Mouranga, Extra Crispy. Best keyboardist, Hyun Jun Yoo, Switch.
■ Results from August 28:
First, Black Badger, Southwell School. Second, H-Town 8ighty, Melville Intermediate. Third, Deck Chair, Te Awamutu Intermediate. Best original song, Under the Bridge, Hamilton West School. Best Vocalists, H-Town 8ighty. Musicianship, Ravi Jatania (trumpet) FairPlay, Fairfield Intermediate School. Rockstar Styles, L.A.W, Highlands Intermediate. ‘Killer’ guitarist Matthew Chanwai, Black Badger, Southwell School. Rock-solid bassist, Asher Downing, Twentyfour 7, Fairfield Intermediate School. Rocking drummer, Matthew Clouston, House of Judah, Hamilton Christian School. Best keyboardist, Brooke Bainbridge, 5 Melodies, Te Pahu School.
Rockshop spokesman Hamish Jackson says for many of the kids Rockshop Bandquest is the biggest musical moment of their lives.
“It’s great for us to be part of that, “he says.
There is an online national final with results announced on September 20.
Extra Crispy, from Hamilton’s Berkley Normal Middle School rocked into the national final.
Black Badger from Southwell School in Hamilton made it to the Rockshop Bandquest national final. Band member Matthew Chanwai (third from left) also won the ‘Killer’ guitarist award.