A musical rite of passage - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
Bleeding Star | Issue 221

Bleeding Star

Hon Paul Goldsmith and Bleeding Star | Issue 221

Hon Paul Goldsmith and Bleeding Star

A musical rite of passage by Madelaine Empson

Now in its 37th year, Smokefreerockquest gives youth from across the motu the opportunity to perform original music live in a professional setting in venues stretching from Northland to Southland. Run in conjunction with Smokefree Tangata Beats, which celebrates the rich cultural tapestry of New Zealand and the South Pacific, it is a rite of passage for our young musicians.

General manager Matt Ealand says the programmes run by Rockquest Promotions Group (RQP) have a positive impact far beyond the event day for all participants.

“The young people performing on our stage are going through a really significant chapter of discovery in their lives, one that will play a big part in shaping their future. These programmes are an important stepping stone for many musicians, where they learn through experience what it means to produce their own original creations and see them through to the end. Their experience is much more than just the performance on the day.”

Held on the 25th of May, the Wellington heats were blazing with beats and offered up 30 bands, solos, and duos who gave it their all. The winning acts moving forward to compete for a place in the national finals through video submissions, determined at the regional heat, are… drumroll please!

Smokefreerockquest 1st place solo-duo: Greer Castle from Wellington Girls’ College; Smokefreerockquest 2nd place solo-duo: Nyj from Mana College; Smokefree Tangata Beats regional 1st place band: FETU from Bishop Viard College; Smokefree Tangata Beats regional 2nd place band: Samuel Tongia & The Disciples from St Patrick’s College; and the Rockshop Best Use of Electronic Assistance: Bad Advice from Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.

From the heats, judges selected 12 bands to advance to the Wellington Regional Final on the 8th of June at Sacred Heart College from 7pm. Come and cheer on Medsin from Rongotai College; Frograts from Wellington Girls’ College, Aotea College, Queen Margaret College, and Wellington College; Ecstasy from Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre; The Boy Boilers from Hutt Valley High School and Naenae College; Apollo from Scots College; The Michaels from Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre; The Side Characters from Wellington College, Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre, Tawa College; The JayJs from St Catherine’s College (Kilbirnie), Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre; Dude, We’re Screwed from Hutt Valley High School; MUNKIEZ from Heretaunga College, Scots College, Upper Hutt College; Dragon Scales from Ōtaki College, Paraparaumu College, Rathkeale College; and Marmablade from Wellington High School and Com Ed Centre.

Pictured here is the Pōneke band Bleeding Star: Jude Savage, Carlos Bellamy, Otis Hill, and Kindekel Banda-Moyes, who placed second nationally last year. In the second image, Hon Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage, is presenting Bleeding Star with the award and shaking the hand of Otis Hill, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

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« Issue 221, June 4, 2024