Arlo Mac from Havelock North High School are on the path for musical success after taking first place in the 2019 Smokefree Rockquest. The national final was held at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland on September 14.
Representing the Hawkes Bay region with some impressively mature guitar rock, the band is Joe Ledword, Harry Mason, Thomas Grant and Benjamin Bush. The second-placed band was Haven from Wakatipu High School in central Otago, justifying what had been a challenging trip north for the Queenstown alt-rock trio, which notably features a singer/bassist in Ryan Connaghan.
Living up to its branding the seven finalist bands were dominated by rock (of almost all genres and decades), and the very evident return to popularity of the guitar.
Winners of the solo/duo category were There’s A Tuesday (Natalie Hutton and Minnie Robberds) from St Margaret’s College and Christchurch Girls’ High School, with Silika and Russell from Papatoetoe High School (Silika Isaia and Russell Sega) placing second ahead of North Shore brother and sister act Brody and Ben Glanfield.
The top bands and solo/duo finalists won over $20,000 worth of musical equipment along with valuable career-starting NZ On Air support packages. The full list of awards made at the Smokefree Rockquest 2019 national final was:
Separately, Manurewa High School (Manukau)
Silika Isaia, Silika and Russell, Papatoetoe High School (Manukau)
Sit Down In Front, Campion College, Gisborne Boys’ High School
Jaiyushka Pratap, Kaikorai Valley College (Otago)
Louie Campbell, Katikati College (Bay of Plenty)