Band leads clean sweep for WHS

Whanganui Chronicle - - News - By Zaryd Wil­son

"The au­di­ence gave us lots of en­ergy to play our best."

It was a big night out for Whanganui High School (WHS) at the re­gional fi­nal of the Smoke­free­rock­quest with the school sweep­ing all but two plac­ings and awards.

There was no stage fright for The Rem­nant, who won the band cat­e­gory at the Opera House in their first live per­for­mance. They led a clean sweep for WHS.

Gui­tarist and vo­cali s t Wiremu Ro­gan said the win came as a shock to him and band mem­bers Tokara¯rangi Poa, Cy­press Kani-Hur­inui, Josh Waitai and Ch­ester Nevil.

“It was our first time play­ing live, and we were re­ally out­side of our com­fort zones play­ing in front of a big crowd like that.

“We had prac­tised lots, we were re­ally com­mit­ted and we all played as a team — our vo­cals and har­monies were re­ally good.

“The au­di­ence was re­ally sup­port­ing us and gave us lots of en­ergy to play our best.”

Ran­gi­tikei Col­lege duo Corby and Tia (Tia Wright and Te Ko­pi­ona Ratana) won the solo/ duo section with Whanganui High School’s Maia ( Maia Falkner) in sec­ond place.

Run­ner-up in the band cat­e­gory was Whanganui High School’s prog r ock band Pan­theon (Dan Good­win, Kahu Mill er, Daniel Hu­bers and Se­bas­tian Al­cayaga) with White Guys and Caleb com­plet­ing an all-WHS podium.

Smoke­free­rock­quest founder and di­rec­tor Glenn Com­mon, who was in Whanganui for the re­gional fi­nal, said more bands than ever were reach­ing the standard re­quired from na­tional fi­nal­ists.

“This means that real ded­i­ca­tion is re­quired to achieve the stand­out qual­ity that the judges will be look­ing for,” he said.

“They have to cap­ture 15 min­utes of their orig­i­nal ma­te­rial on video for se­lec­tion as na­tional fi­nal­ists.

“It’s a process that de­mands creativity and mu­si­cal abil­ity, be­ing able to work to­gether as a group and hav­ing good or­gan­i­sa­tional skills. What sep­a­rates them out is per­se­ver­ance — in­dus­try suc­cess sel­dom hap­pens overnight.”

The four acts win mu­si­cal gear from NZ Rock­shop and the op­por­tu­nity to gain se­lec­tion for the na­tional fi­nal in Septem­ber.

The top re­gional bands and solo/duos sub­mit footage for se­lec­tion as fi­nal­ists to play off at t he Smoke­free­rock­quest na­tional fi­nal on Satur­day, Septem­ber 22, in Auck­land.

The Rem­nant won this year’s re­gional Smoke­free­rock­quest fi­nal at the Opera House on Satur­day night.

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