Local bands Bitter Class and The Never Less received accolades at the weekend's Rockquest 2014, held at Timaru's Theatre Royal.
Top honours went to Oamaru six-piece band Kudos, this year's regional winners. Kudos is made up of students from St Kevin's College, Waitaki Boys' High School and home school.
Second place in the band category went to Bitter Class, from Craighead and Geraldine High, with guitarist Ruby Fraser winning the Smokefree Award for Women's Musicianship. The lineup is completed by Johanna Zonnevylle (bass and backing vocals), Charlotte Fraser (lead vocals) and Kelsey Scott (drums).
First place in the solo/duo category went to acoustic two-piece The Never Less, from Roncalli College. Best friends Kate Esler (guitar and vocals) and Aidan Clark (vocals) have been playing together since they met two years ago during a school assignment.
"We had to write a song together and have been best friends ever since," Esler said.
"We now have about six songs and are recording an album later this year," Clark said.
The duo battled it out against six others in their category to win first prize. Silent Salvation, from Ashburton College, placed second. The four acts have the opportunity to gain selection for the national final at Auckland's Q Theatre on September 27.
Rockquest founder and director Glenn Common said from here on the Timaru finalists would have to work hard to make the most of the opportunity the event offered.
"They now send in video footage of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final," he said. "It's a process that 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."
Band 1st: Kudos, St Kevin's College, Waitaki Boys' HS, Home School Band 2nd: Bitter Class, Craighead Diocesan School, Geraldine HS Band 3rd: Royal July, Timaru Boys' High School, Timaru Girls' High School. Solo/Duo 1st: The Never Less, Roncalli College Solo/Duo 2nd: Silent Salvation, Ashburton College Lyric Award: Harry Finlayson from Pseudo Sane, Geraldine High School. Best Song: Evidence, Home School. The Musicianship Award with the opportunity to be selected for the $4500 Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand Scholarship, announced at the national final: Ryan Li from Act of Chaos, Roncalli College. Award For Women's Musicianship: Ruby Fraser from Bitter Class, Craighead Diocesan School. People's Choice voted by text: Kudos, St Kevin's College, Waitaki Boys' High School, Home School.
- The Timaru Herald