Young musicians rock the house
A testament to the strong history of musical talent in Canterbury, this weekend the region boasted two nights of regional finals of Smokefreerockquest.
At the Jack Mann Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday night, our teens gave it their all in front of their peers, watched by an army of supporters including friends and family members.
Shake Your Extremities from Cashmere High School won the band category and Two Odd Friends from Hagley Community College emerged victorious in the solo/duo category on Saturday while on Sunday the band winners were AashaWillandCullen from Shirley Boys' High School and Sammi Foote, of Riccarton High School won the solo/duo category.
The year 13 students in Shake Your Extremities are Claudia Jardine (vocals), Liam Kelly (keyboard), Peter Scriven (bass) and newcomer to the group Tom Bagnall on drums.
Jardine described their sound as ''melody enthusiast'' and their energy stole the show.
"We are all energetic people, we're drama students so we don't mind getting out there and shaking our hair around," she says.
"Our look was a bit different too in teeshirts we'd bought from Savemart and then written our band name across them with cutouts from a tablecloth. We look like The Wiggles when they were teenagers."
Jardine also won the APRA Lyric Writer's Award, an award she won at national level last year.
Two Odd Friends are Grace Jones and Kenzie Middleton from Hagley Community College. Kenzie says the friends met at Rangiora High School five years ago and feel their shared interest in music made them destined to get together.
Their name came from a dream Jones had of them winning Smokefreerockquest as Two Odd Friends.
"People ask us to describe our music but we're not any one genre so we just trance hippe hypnotic sort of music," Middleton says.
"Our songs reflect our different perspective on life."
Sunday night's winning band was AashaWillandCullen from Shirley Boys' High School, with solo/duo first place going to Sammi Foote from Riccarton High School. Foote also won the APRA Lyric Award for It Was Never You.
AashaWilland Cullen are Aasha Mallard (banjo), Will McGillivray (acoustic guitar and kick drum) and Cullen Kiesanowski (double bass).
The year 11 students have all played music since year 8, but formed a band only a year ago. McGillivray puts their success down to their distinctive sound.
"Our genre is possibly alt-folk and there were no other bands playing our kind of music so that maybe helped us," he said.
Foote says she has always been surrounded by musical instruments and everyone in her family plays something. She describes her musical style as a mix of acoustic, folk, pop and soul, but it's her voice that she believes, made her stand out for the judges.
"They thought my performance was funky and tight, and people often comment that I have quite a unique voice, so I guess that may have contributed too."
Second place in the band category on Saturday night went to Infinity Edge, made up of Peter Robertson (llead guitar) from Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti), VarunaYoganathan (drums) from Breens Intermediate, Anand Yoganathan (rhythm guitar) and Luke O'Neill (bass) both from Papanui High School.
Joe Coughlin from Burnside High School placed second in the solo/duo category.
The second placed band on Sunday night was The Haze from Christchurch Boys' High School and St Andrew's College, made up of Cameron Champion (bass), Chris Nolan (drums), Sam Boyles (lead guitar) and Max Earnshaw (vocals).
Second place in this year's new solo/duo category went to CJ and Mim from Hagley Community College.
These eight acts win musical gear from associate sponsors NZ Rockshops, and the opportunity to gain selection for the national final in Auckland on Saturday, September 28.
Founder and director Glenn Common said from here on the Canterbury finalists would have to work hard and draw on their creativity to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.
"They now send in videos of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final," he said. "This process demands creativity and musical ability, as well as learning to work together as a group and developing the organisation skills they'll need if they're going to make it on the Kiwi music scene."
Saturday night winners:
Band 1st place: Shake Your Extremities, Cashmere High School
Solo/Duo 1st place: Two Odd Friends, Hagley Community College
Band 2nd place: Infinity Edge, Papanui High School, Breens Intermediate, Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti
Solo/Duo 2nd place: Joe Coughlan, Burnside High School
Band 3rd Place: Secularity, Hagley Community College
Smokefree Award For Women's Musicianship: Ashy Batchelor from 16 Seconds, St Margaret's College
APRA Lyric Award: Claudia Jardine for the Creator's Waltz
Lowdown Best Song: Jacob Morris & the Innovators, Christchurch Boys' High School
The Mainz Musicianship Award: Jacob Morris, Christchurch Boys' High School
Skinny Mobile People's Choice: 16 Seconds from St Margaret's Coll, St Thomas College of Canterbury,
Burnside High School and Christchurch South Intermediate
Sunday night winners:
Band 1st place: AashaWillandCullen, Shirley Boys' High School
Solo/Duo 1st place and APRA Lyric Award: Sammi Foote, Riccarton High School for It Was Never You
Band 2nd place: The Haze, Christchurch Boys' HS, St Andrew's College
Solo/Duo 2nd place: CJ and Mim, Hagley Community College
Band 3rd place and Skinny Mobile People's Choice: Aftershock, Sumner School, Christchurch Boys' HS, Christ's College
Smokefree Award For Women's Musicianship: Olivia Chirnside, the drummer from Pure Innocence, Lincoln High School
Lowdown Best Song: Chunk Of Serious, Kaiapoi High School
The Mainz Musicianship Award: Ezra Wood