“I think they have realised that there isn’t anything better than being in a band; that music is a wondrous, powerful thing.” – Dan O’Connor, Music teacher
Hexagon Dream. The Blockheads. Moon Children. The Intimidators.
Just a few of the nine ACG Sunderland bands competing at this month’s Battle of the Bands – a record for the school.
The school competition, set up nine years ago is designed to give young aspiring musicians a chance to perform. Bands can perform originals or cover songs by other established artists.
“It’s called Battle of the Bands, but it’s more a celebration of modern music,” explained ACG Sunderland Music teacher Daniel O’Connor. “It’s all about the thrill of playing live on stage to a large audience.”
The school’s longest-running band is Moon Children who have also competed in RockQuest over the last few years and are set to play in the Auckland Finals this weekend.
“It’s always a wonderful time being able to perform on a proper stage, in front of a large audience of music goers like ourselves,” Erin said. “It also gives the band an incentive to work towards something. It acts as a motivation tool to get original songs finished and polished.”
Mr O’Connor said students discovering the power of music and being inspired by other bands might explain the record number of participants this year.
“I think they have realised that there isn’t anything better than being in a band; that music is a wondrous, powerful thing; that it’s really enjoyable to work with your friends to create something you love. A lot of it has to do with students being inspired by bands that they’ve seen in the past getting up on stage and then going; ‘I want to do that too!’”
He said being in a band brought many benefits other than musical skills – learning to work closely with others, sharing and negotiating ideas, and what discipline, focus and commitment is all about.
Creating your own songs is also a great way to really understand how music works.
“It’s exciting seeing students having the determination to work hard on something. It takes real courage to get up in front of your peers and perform. When a band is playing really well and the audience is responding – that’s truly a magical thing. I’ll never get tired of seeing that happen.”
Battle of the Bands takes place on 29 June, 1-3pm