Battle of the Bands

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Riley Gaul, Olivia Bentley and Isaac Bruggemann are all Year 12 students from various schools across the Hastings area. The hardworking trio form part of a group of students who are busily organising an inter-school Battle of the Bands event, which will be hosted by St Columba Anglican School on May 7

Hi Riley, Olivia and Isaac. Introduce yourself to our readers, please: where do you go to school, and how did you become involved with the event?
I’m Riley, and I am in Year 12 at St Columba Anglican School. I became involved in the event through the Prefect position I have in my school’s Student Leadership Council. This position, as well as my interest in music, allowed me to become involved in the organisation of Battle of the Bands as a member of the hosting school.
I’m Olivia, and I am currently in Year 12 at St Joseph’s Regional College. I became involved in the event through my role as Captain at SJRC, in which myself and other members of my school’s Leadership Team volunteered to work in collaboration with St Columba and several other secondary schools from the Hastings area to organise the Battle of the Bands.
I’m Isaac, and I am also in Year 12, studying at Camden Haven High School. I became involved with the Battle of the Bands through my position as school captain, and along with my fellow captains at CHHS, we have collaborated closely with the other involved student leaders in the area in organising the event.

Explain the “Battle of the Bands” contest you’re involved with. How does it work?
Battle of the Bands is a competition between the schools in the Hastings region organised by the Combined Hastings School Leadership Council. Each of the schools submit two bands to participate in the competition and perform in front of an audience of students from across the region; therefore, breaking the barriers and creating open dialogue between the schools.
The competition is now an annual event, and the role of host will rotate through the schools. Last year, St Joseph’s Regional College hosted the first Battle of the Bands; this year it will be held at St Columba Anglican School. The event also aims at making a difference in the wider community, as all profits made on the night will be donated to a nominated charity of the winning school.

Tell us a bit about last year’s event of Battle of the Bands. 
This event was created in 2014 by last year’s Combined Hastings Student Leadership Council. It was held at St Joseph’s Regional College and had a terrific turnout with a number of great bands performing a variety of different styles of music. It was great to see the number of students from schools across the region coming together and being a part of such a wonderful event.

What schools, and roughly how many students, are involved this year?
Schools involved in the event are St Columba Anglican School, Heritage Christian School, St Joseph’s Regional College, MacKillop College, Hastings Secondary College and Camden Haven High School. Each of the schools has elected two representatives and have meetings regularly to organise the event. This year it is expected that approximately 420 students will be in the audience to watch, listen and dance together.

When and where will the Battle of the Bands be held this year?
This year Battle of the Bands will be held at St Columba Anglican School. It will take place on the 7th May, commencing at 6pm. A BBQ will also be available on the night for students wanting a bite to eat before the music begins.

Without giving too much away, tell us a bit about the acts people will hear on the night.
The numerous acts that will perform on the night each have a unique musical style, ranging from jazz to rock, satisfying almost everybody’s taste buds. Although, not much else can be said about the specific details of the acts, one very important aspect can be discussed – that is, that there is an absolute guarantee that all acts will be of high quality, with extremely amazing ability. It truly will be an excellent night, filled with all kinds of musical genius.

An event like this takes a lot of hard work to organise. Who are some people/schools etc. you’d like to acknowledge for their input? 
Like any other event, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work and organisation needed for it to happen. All of our meetings took place at St Columba Anglican School, so they should be the first to be thanked for hosting. Second of all, there are many teachers dedicated to helping students get the event organised – one teacher is Peta Watters of St Columba Anglican School. She must be thanked for her enthusiastic and dedicated efforts to the event – never ceasing to be supportive and positive. Similarly, we would like to thank each school’s Student Leadership Coordinator for their assistance and effective communication as they collaborated the logistics of many details of the event. Last but not least, this event would not happen without the involvement and enthusiasm of all the student leaders from the participating schools.

Why do you feel events like this Battle of the Bands competition are so important for the school community? 
Battle of the Bands does not only bring secondary schools of the Hastings area together, it also creates a sense of community and school spirit within each school as they come together to support their respective bands in a fun and musical environment. Battle of the Bands assists in developing a school spirit in each of the schools involved the same way swimming and athletic carnivals do.

Where can people purchase tickets to the event, and how much will they cost?
The tickets will be available for students to purchase through their school. Student Leadership Council members will be selling tickets in the upcoming weeks for $4 during lunch and recess. Unfortunately, tickets are not available for the general public, as this is a student based initiative run by students, for the students.

Please add anything else you feel may be relevant …
The schools have been able to organise security for the night in order to ensure a safe environment for everyone coming along to enjoy the music. There will also be lots of food available to purchase on the night, including a BBQ and soft drinks. Students are strongly encouraged to bring along some money on the night to buy some snacks and lollies to keep up their energy to dance away the night to awesome music, while also supporting charity.

Thanks guys. Interview by Jo Atkins.

This article was from issue 116 of Greater Port Macquarie Focus.

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