St Thomas More College, Sunnybank Students Win National Title in Rock Band Competition
A group of seven Year 8 and Year 9 music students at St Thomas More College, Sunnybank (STMC) have been named Best Junior Band in the nationwide contemporary music event, RockFest.
The annual RockFest competition is open to schools from all over Australia and its mission is to provide high school students with the opportunity to perform live contemporary music in front of their peers. Performances are judged on their pitch and tuning, tempo, audience appeal, expression, and working together as a band.
The winning performance was the group's rendition of Dreams by Van Halen which saw the school win a D'addario Australia Drum Kit and a Fender Bass amplifier valued at $3,000.
Formed in 2019, the group consists of two keyboard players, two electric guitar players, a bass guitar player, drummer, and lead singer. The group's piece was directed by College Band Director, Mr Steve Williamson.
Vocalist and Year 8 student Miss Zoe Dickman shared the band's reaction when they were named the winners: “the whole band was ecstatic about the win; it was an awesome surprise. We're stunned with the result and I still can't really believe it, it's so surreal. I remember when we first found out, we were all running around and yelling out of our minds with joy."
Further Miss Dickman reflected on her long-held aspiration to play music: “as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to play music."
“I'd meddled a little in bands before, but I had a wish to be a part of something real. When I came to STMC in Year 7 and heard about the Junior Rock Band, I instantly knew it was for me.
“Junior Rock Band is such a fun experience, mostly because I get the opportunity to experiment on writing, improvising, and rehearsing different kinds of music with like-minded and creative musicians," Zoe said.
STMC Instrumental Music Program Leader Mrs Catherine Doversand said the band has amazing talent displayed at their live performances this year and is keen to see what they do next year.
“We look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future with plans for songwriting and production."
“Even in this COVID year, the group was able to perform live at the College Presentation Evening and at the Year 12 Graduation outdoor event, where it was very well received," Mrs Doversand said.
The RockFest finals event is usually hosted live in Melbourne, however, this year the competition was adapted to allow bands to participate online and winners were announced via a live stream event on YouTube.
IMAGE CAPTION (above): L-R Zoe Dickman, Austin Franklin, Daniel Bannon, Thomas Buckley, Isaac Bannon, Lennon Madgwick, and Aiden Blair.