The Northland Age
‘Battle’ strikes a chord with teens
Fifth year for rock competition in the Turner Centre
The Turner Centre in Kerikeri is set to be rocked by an impressive evening of youth bands next month. The Battle of the Teen Bands, a competition hosted by charity organisation Be Free Youth, is back for the fifth year running.
The audience will be able to vote for their favourite band in the event, to be held on Friday, November 4, in the People’s Choice award, lending some Eurovision-style fun to the night.
“The competition gets better every year, with more prizes to reward the bands who put so much work into their performances,” said Claire Gordon, programme facilitator for Be Free Youth and the event’s organiser.
“We’re always blown away by the standards set by these young people from all over our region, and it’s a pleasure to give them a much-deserved place on the stage to show the community, whanau and friends what they’re capable of.”
Judging first, second and third place, and a whole raft of “Bests” this year, will be local rock star from California and founder of Music Marketing Manifesto, John Oszajca, with Turner Centre manager and musician from the band T-Bone, Gerry Paul. They’ll be joined by ex-Be Free Youth student and mentor Bella Mason, who has performed in countless venues around the Bay of Islands and now studies music in Wellington.
The backing of the community is a big part of Battle
of the Teen Bands, with prizes awarded by local businesses and individuals who support the kaupapa of Be Free Youth. The free programme that forms the foundation of the competition provides weekly music and life skills mentoring to kids aged 12 to 18. The sessions see the youth work in bands, building on their natural love of music to increase self-confidence and resilience, while learning coping strategies, positive communication, empathy and negotiation skills in an environment where they create a supportive network of friends.
Battle of the Teen Bands enables the organisation to share the passion for music, and the stage, with other youth and music programmes in the region and Far North schools. And it’s a big stage.
“We’re grateful to have the generous support of the Turner Centre every year, enabling
us to take over the John Dalton Auditorium and give the kids a huge experience with professional sound and lighting,” said Gordon.
Last year, nine bands entered Battle of the Teen Bands. Kaitaia band Kals Collective, took first place, with Be Free Youth band, Metaphorical , in second place and young Kerikeri band Under Pressure taking third place and People’s Choice Award.
Band entries will be open until all places are filled. Check out the rules and fill out an entry form online through the Be Free website — befreeplaymusic.wordpress. com
If you would like to donate a prize, contact Claire at email@example.com
Tickets: Adult — $10, student — $5, are now on sale at the Turner Centre Box Office and through iTicket. Under-5s — free.