2 April 2014


The winner of the inaugural Rotorua Young Singer/Songwriter Competition has paid tribute to the business owner behind the event, John Hamilton of Musicworks.


The competition staged by Musicworks Rotorua has added a new dimension to the inner city’s weekly night market.


Winner Stella Maris thanked John Hamilton for organising the event to give young musicians the opportunity and bringing in the judges.


“Thanks you so much for putting on such an amazing event to show case all the awesome talent we have, because there is huge amounts of talent [in Rotorua].


For his part, John Hamilton is delighted by the outcome of the competition staged over three weeks at the market. The competition attracted good crowds each night.


“It’s been absolutely fabulous,” John says. “I think we found a wealth of talent that was probably already out there.


“These kids have now got a platform – we’ll do it again next year – and hopefully we will find other platforms for them to express themselves.


John says the songs reflect the young people are about Rotorua, and are from their experiences in Rotorua.


“So they are about all of us who live here, so they are a great testament to our society and are part of our culture. I think we should continue to encourage them, because often the young guys come out with the new ideas, so let’s get behind them and help them have plenty more performances.”


As well as John Hamilton’s organisational talents, Musicworks supplied sound and other equipment for the youngsters to ensure they are able to perform to a high standard.


On hand are three judges, who take notes during each performance and give immediate feedback to each musician.


The three top winners were: Stella Maris, Neville Ralston, Jun Lee. Stella, the first prize winner is a student at Waiariki Institute of Technology, as is Neville, while Jun goes to Rotorua Lakes High School.  John plans to stage a show at the Rotorua Arts Village to display the talented and creative songwriters’ talents and BMS Books is producing a songbook.

Musicworks for young songwriter winner

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