14 March 2014


The Young/Songwriter Competition proved a crowd-puller when the first round kicked off at the Rotorua Night Market.


The Mud talks to John Hamilton, from Musicworks, about why he launched the competition and how youngsters and the community have responded.


He says he created the competition to encourage youngsters to write songs and keeping writing them.


“Often the song writing side of things gets lost when kids get to 17 or 18 (years). They start playing in the pubs and they have to sing the songs that people want to hear to get anything out of it.”


“But I believe you can continue to write music, and original music, and people will enjoy it, because when there is new music coming out all the time. Why shouldn’t we keep it going?”


John says local school teachers and musicians have been very encouraging to the concept of the competition for young people.


“This is the first year and hopefully we can keep this going for some time and it can be a landmark part of our musical culture.


”As well his organising the competition, Musicworks is supplying 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 are Des Parsons, who is a prolific song writer; Chris Pascoe, the music teacher at Rotorua Lakes High School; and Karin Vincent, from the Rogue Stage, who promotes local musicians and is also one herself.


As well as Musicworks, the competition is being held in conjunction with the Unison Rotorua Night Market, the Rotorua Youth Centre and BMS Books.


The musicians must be 18 years old or younger and on the night must perform three songs, one of which must be an original composition.A further two heats will be run at the night markets on 20 and 27 March.

Young singer/songwriters drawn to contest

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