Smokefree Rockquest at Kaipara College by Georgia Shivnan, Year 13 Student, Kaipara College

Kaipara College is undoubtedly home to a highly successful music department. On June 10th, eight bands from Kaipara College, composed of members in Years 10 to 13, competed in the annual Smokefree Rockquest regional heats. This is a nationwide music competition for bands and solo/duo competitors at an intermediate and high school level. Rockquest has a 34 year history, with New Zealand musical successes including Opshop, Brooke Fraser, and Bic Runga, all having roots in the competition.
Smokefree Rockquest is divided into four stages. First, all bands and solo/duo competitors are invited to compete in the regional heats. This year, heats for the North Shore region were held at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School in the Dorothy Winstone Centre – an amphitheatre-style auditorium boasting 795 seats and an impressive sound system. Kaipara College’s bands each performed live an original song of up to five minutes in length to a panel of judges and audience members. They were competing against 36 other bands from the North Shore area.
The top twelve bands from each region, as decided by judges, are invited to participate in the online regional finals. Four of Kaipara College’s eight bands have qualified for the 2022 regional finals, Haze of Youth, Rusty Van, Sonitus, and Zoned Out. These four bands had three weeks to record themselves performing an additional original song to submit to judges, alongside their live performance, for regional award consideration and the selection of bands to compete in the semi-finals.
The top two bands from each of the 22 regions are considered for the semi-finals, where the leading 30 acts (10 solo/duo competitors and 20 bands) in New Zealand will have the opportunity to perform three songs to a live audience. The top 10 acts from the semi-finals are then invited to the national finals, held in Auckland on September 24th, 2022.
Thousands of dollars worth of Rockshop equipment are awarded to place-getters in the regional and national finals, along with a professional studio recording session and mentoring for all semi-finalists.
All Kaipara College band members are enrolled in music classes at the school and have three classes a week to work on their songs. Students also attend Band Factory – an after-school music workshop where they can practise and meet other like-minded peers. In addition to this, bands collaborate outside of school to fine-tune their performances. Kaipara College students practise for upwards of seven and a half hours a week in preparation for Rockquest and other similar music competitions throughout the year.

Kaipara College band Sonitus performing at the Rockquest regional heats.

Comments are closed.