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Battle of the School Bands

FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS, NT Music School has presented the Battle of the School Bands. This annual competition gives musicians from Northern Territory schools the chance to share the stage with some big names in music at the annual BASSINTHEGRASS Music Festival, set to be held later in the year.

There are a range of categories including Band, Soloist/Duo, Best Song, Encouragement Award, Best Bio Video and the People’s Choice Award. Past winners include the likes of Fat Pigeon, Stevie Jean and Juice, and competition this year is fierce, with record applications from regional areas including seven entrants from Alice Springs and eight from Katherine.

Recent developments have meant the live performance format has been changed, but NT Music School’s Regional and Remote Programs Manager Rhiannon Cook, also a musician, says it’s still an important opportunity for students.

“Ensuring the competition goes ahead is important, as it still gives these students the chance to have a platform they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” she says.

“We’ve had to adapt the competition this year due to unforseen circumstances, but, as the only competition of its kind in the NT, it will still be going ahead in a different format. Instead of live heats, we’re allowing entrants to film a video and send it in as their entry. But it’s not a polished music video as such – it should be done in one full clip, so it’s a more accurate representation of what a live gig might be like.

"Judges won’t be paying attention to things like video quality – we don’t want anyone disadvantaged by not having good video equipment.”

At the time of printing this magazine, the NT Music School hadn’t come to a conclusion on how the live final will roll out, which is normally a showcase of all finalists performing to a crowd at Darwin Railway Club. But there’s talk the finalists will get to film a higher quality video – with assistance from the pros in Alice Springs, Katherine, Nhulunbuy and Darwin – that will be uploaded to the school’s YouTube channel.

“We’re still not sure how the final will play out, but keep an eye on our website for further details. We know that this is an incredibly hard time for the events and arts industry, and we really feel for our techies, performers and event organisers. We may not be able to support them in the same way as normal, but we can still get involved!”

Battle of the School Bands


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