Sunday Best are hoping for a third appearance at the Smokefreerockquest national final after emerging top band for the Waikato region.
The Year 13 trio from St Peter's School in Cambridge impressed on the stage of Clarence Street Theatre on Friday night in the regional final.
They have already made two appearances at national finals.
"We have progressed as a band and the way we approach our songs," bass player Jesse Austin said.
"This year we were pretty relaxed as we knew it was our last regional final and we weren't taking it too seriously."
Charlie Verberne, (vocals), Chris Milson (drums) and Austin know what lies ahead of them if they want to make it through to the national final again this year. "A lot of hard work and practice, but we'll do what we know and what feels safe for us," Austin said.
Sunday Best also won awards for lyrics and the best song.
Second place in the band category and People's Choice award winner was All Of A Kind.
Members Conor White (vocals), James Te Whare (guitar), Antonio Clair (bass), John Keith (keyboard) and Tarewa Walker (drums) hail from from Putaruru College and the Correspondence School.
The solo/duo section was taken out by the "soulful" Solomon Crook, performing as Solomon. The St Peter's School, Cambridge, student said he wrote about situations and events that had happened to him.
"I feel I put a different vibe on stage to others and really connect with what I am playing."
He is the first person in his family to really play music but hopes to take his passion further.
Another St Peter's School student, Elliott Harris, was second in the solo/duo section.
The four acts win musical gear from associate sponsors NZ Rockshops, and the opportunity to be selected for the national final at Auckland's Q Theatre on September 27.
Founder and director Glenn Common said the Waikato finalists would have to work hard to make the most of the opportunity.
"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."
RESULTS Band Award First: Sunday Best, St Peter's School, Cambridge Second: All Of A Kind, Putaruru College/Correspondence School Third: Kids, Waikato Diocesan School For Girls Solo/Duo Award: First: Solomon Crook, St Peter's School, Cambridge Second: Elliott Harris, St Peter's School, Cambridge OTHER AWARDS APRA Lyric Award Jesse Austin of Sunday Best, St Peter's School, Cambridge Lowdown Best Song Sunday Best, St Peter's School, Cambridge Mainz Musicianship Award Cullen Taylor of The Shift, Hamilton Boys' High School Smokefree Award For Women's Musicianship Tessa Whale of The Drunken Sailors, St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton People's Choice All Of A Kind, Putaruru College/Correspondence School
- Waikato Times