Battle of the School Bands is set to rock, roll and croon the night away as the best of the Territory's young musical talent come out to play.
Now in its eighth year, the annual competition is open to middle and senior students around the NT. Performers compete in school-based heats and this year more than 30 bands, duos and soloists have won a place at the final show down at Brown’s Mart Courtyard.
The stakes are high – winners get a date with the stage at the BASSINTHEGRASS music festival in May, performing to thousands. Since taking home the top prize last year, standout band Gaia from Darwin High School have played gigs around the Top End, recorded their first demo and received airtime on local and national radio stations including Triple J.
Local musician Dan Davies has been a judge for five years and says Darwin’s youth music scene has been exceptionally strong for a long time, thanks in large part to this comp and the work of the NT Music School who run it.
“It’s been amazing to see the quality of musicians who’ve come through this competition go on to do gigs as young adults and often form different acts with other musicians,” Davies said.
Davies reckons all young musicians who give it a go are rewarded.
“Even if they don't win or even get through their heat, there are usually cool aspects to the entrants' songwriting and performance that the judges will pick up on and hopefully help them to explore and develop further.”
He says ultimately music isn’t a competition.
“Working collaboratively with other musicians, supporting each other and hopefully absorbing some of the feedback that I and the other judges give them are much more important than that.”
Fri 21 Apr | 7pm | Brown's Mart Courtyard | Gold Coin Donation | ntms.net.au
Image: 2016 Winner, Gaia