Taieri College pupils rock at competition

With a third of the acts in this year's Otago regional final of the Smokefreerockquest coming from Taieri College, it is no surprise pupils picked up an award or two.

Singer Haze Harrington (17) was runner-up in the solo/duo category, and band the 3rd Degree won the Apra Lyric Award for its song Momma Tears during the regional final at Sammy's, in Dunedin.

Haze said it was a memorable performance and he enjoyed displaying his musicianship on stage.

More than 300 people filled Sammy's to watch the best 12 bands and soloists from the region compete.

Haze won musical gear and now has the opportunity to gain selection for the national final at Auckland's Q Theatre in September.

Band category winners the Chandeliers (Otago Boys' High School), runners-up the Darbies (King's High School), and solo/duo category winner Isabelle Mullan (Kaikorai Valley College) are also in the running to be selected for the national final.

Two bands and two solo/duo acts from each of the 24 regional finals will send in video footage for selection for six bands and three solo/duos to play off in the national final.

Smokefreerockquest founder Glenn Common said the Otago finalists would have to work hard to make the most of the opportunity.

''It's a process that demands creativity and musical ability, as well as learning to work together as a group and developing the organisational skills they'll need if they're going to make it on the Kiwi music scene,'' Mr Common said.

Other Taieri College bands the Elements and the Flat Passengers (made up of pupils from Taieri College and Logan Park High School) did not feature in the awards, but they vowed to return next year.

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