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Talented young musos keep rocking

Mia Aitchison, winner of Saturday’s regional solo-duo category at Smokefree Rockquest. PHOTO/ SUPPLIED

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Wairarapa was ready to rock as the regional Smokefree Rockquest’s offering of talent impressed judges on Saturday night.

Rock trio Signs of Life took out the top spot at the event held at the Carterton Events Centre.

The year 11 group from Wairarapa College consists of singer and guitarist Thorin Williams, drummer Cully Lockyer, and bassist Luke Bird.

Williams said plenty of effort and preparation went into the weekend’s performance, and it was nice to have his group’s hard work recognised.

“I think we had great stage presence and we were really tight.

“I was really excited to see that we had got everyone down to the front of the stage moshing.”

Second place in the band category went to guitar trio She – also from Wairarapa College.

The Tangata Beats Award went to Fresh Noiz from Makoura College, who impressed judges with their use of Maori and Pacifica elements in a contemporary musical setting.

The group will now enter the selection process for the national finals of Smokefree Tangata Beats.

Mia Aitchison from St Matthew’s Collegiate won the solo-duo category, with second place going to Xavier Oh from Wairarapa College.

Smokefree Rockquest founder and director Glenn Common said more bands than ever before were reaching the high standard required of national finalists.

“This means that real dedication is required to achieve the ‘stand out quality’ that the judges will be looking for.”

The top regional performers are required to submit a 15-minute video of original material for selection as national finalists.

“It’s a process that demands creativity and musical ability, being able to work together as a group and having good organisational skills,” Common said.

“What separates them out is perseverance – industry success seldom happens overnight.”

The Tangata Beats finals will be held in Auckland on September 21, with the Rockquest finals the day after.

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