Selwyn schools rock out at bandquest

MUSIC: West Melton School's Chicken Playground performing at Rockshop Bandquest last week. Pupil Islan McPherson was awarded 'Killer' guitarist. PHOTO: DAN KENDRICK.

They may be young but they know how to rock – Selwyn schools took the stage last week in this year’s Canterbury regional Rockshop Bandquest.

Rockshop Bandquest is a nationwide music contest for intermediate and primary students.

The competition is in its eighth year and in the Canterbury region attracted 46 bands who competed over three nights at St Margaret’s College.

Rolleston School’s Storm Breaker placed third in last Tuesday’s contest. West Melton School pupil Islan McPherson was awarded ‘Killer’ guitarist the same night.

Event organizer Matt Ealand said the performances from this age group mix sophistication with a lack of self-consciousness, enhanced by the supportive framework of Bandquest.

“They’ve been watching TV and YouTube, they’re aware of what established musicians are doing and they want to emulate them,” he said. “Rockshop Bandquest  is a confidence builder that lifts their game musically, and they tend to take that with them to high school, with proven benefits socially and academically.”

Rockshop spokesman Hamish Jackson said for many of the kids Rockshop Bandquest is the biggest musical moment of their lives.

“Bandquest provides a unique opportunity to kids at this age, it’s all about participation and giving it a go.  The kids definitely throw themselves into it and the results have been amazing,” he said.

This year more than 215 bands have entered Rockshop Bandquest, performing in events from August 20 up until Monday.

There is an online national final with results announced on September 20.