Porirua schoolboy Jonte Tapurau wins Battle of Bands drum-off

Last updated 10:09 13/11/2012
Kris Dando

WHAT A HIT: Jonte Tapurau says he prefers to play ‘‘anything but rock [music]’’. The Omega set pictured is his to keep after winning a drum-off at the Battle of the Bands.

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The boy can play.

Jonte Tapurau's performance on the drums at a recent regional Battle of the Bands for primary and intermediate schools was a real head- turner, even though he will modestly tell you that there were other excellent drummers competing too.

The Postgate School 12 year old has been banging the skins for more than four years, starting out at Porirua Elim Christian Centre.

He has become a consistent performer at Postgate, taking part in productions and other music- related endeavours.

But he wasn't keen to enter the drum-off at the Battle of the Bands in Lower Hutt, said deputy principal Ron Morrissey.

"We [school band Blu-Print] did well in terms of popularity but we didn't place.

"When they announced a drum-off I said to Jonte that he had to enter, it would be a lot of fun, but he said 'no, no' and I left it at that.

"The judges basically said 'tell that drummer of yours to take part' and he reluctantly did. He was awesome."

Jonte was one of the last of the 13 entrants to take to the stage, with one minute to show off his range of skills.

His medley won him first place by a single point and won him an Omega drum kit set for Postgate, which the school decided to give to him.

"I just love playing, I got into it through church and have a really good tutor," Jonte said.

"I had a set at home when I was little but I played it so much my parents got sick of me banging on it.

"I play at home now when no-one's around, then just pack it up behind the couch."

He says said there was a lot of "yelling and screaming" from his excited bandmates when he was declared the winner of the drum battle.

He paid tribute to them for helping him become a better player.

Postgate School was not the only local winner at the competition, with Brandon Intermediate winning the best original song award.

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