Three of the region’s hottest high school bands took to the stage to wow the crowds at Bond University Open Day on 14 July.
Competition was fierce in the inaugural High School Band Competition, but in the end, it was the soulful original tunes from 17 year-old Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School students, Kasey Thompson and guitarist Tim Goodburn, that stole the show and the $500 first place prize.
The judging panel - made up of Dr Patrick Keyzer (musician and Bond University Professor), Sam Rees (lead singer and guitarist of The Moderns), Adam Stewardson (Vice President of the Bond University Music Society) and Andy Mitchelson (Guitarist and guitar tutor) - had high praise indeed for the self-taught songstress and guitarist from Kingscliff who cites Kimbra, Katie Noonan, Nirvana and Stonefield as influences.
Dr Keyzer said the judges loved the fact that Kasey chose to sing her own original songs.
“Kasey’s songwriting, and her and Tim’s harmonies and audience engagement, really impressed us. The fact she sang originals, rather than covers, is what sealed the deal and made her our winner,” Dr Keyzer said.
“She’s a natural, very comfortable on stage and enjoyed a great relationship with the audience. It’s hard to believe Kasey’s only been performing for 18 months. She blew us away,” he said.
However it wasn’t a one-woman show. Hot on the heels of Kasey and Tim, in second place, was Jace Fleming of All Saints Anglican School at Merrimac.
The 16 year-old Gold Coast local, who has been performing most of his life, wowed the crowds with his choice of big, brave songs from artists like Oasis and Coldplay.
The judges loved the tone of Jace’s voice, his voice control and perfect pitch.
“Jace sounded great, looked great and chose a really solid set to make a big impact on us and the audience,” Dr Keyzer said.
“We loved the way he put his own spin on the songs he chose. He really impressed us with his guitar skills and his voice was as smooth as silk. He’s a very talented guy.”
Newly-formed Yeronga State High School band, Paper Jam, put on a brilliant performance to take out third place in the competition.
Paper Jam - who features Anne-Marie Lovell on lead vocals, Joshua Sargood on lead guitar, Liam Stricklen on bass, Tomas Corney on drums, and Michael Adams on Trombone - have only been performing a few short months, but quickly got the crowd rocking out with them to tunes from Daft Punk, No Doubt and Jet.
“We were really impressed with Paper Jam’s performance, especially considering they’ve only been together a short time,” Dr Keyzer said.
“They were really well rehearsed, and really tight on the bass and drums. Despite a few early nerves, they settled into their performance very nicely and their enthusiasm was contagious. We can’t wait to see how they develop.”
Both Jace Fleming and Paper Jam won $250 for their high school music departments for placing second and third in the competition.
“The judges were hugely impressed with the calibre and professionalism of all the student bands and artists that took to the stage on Sunday, especially given this is our first year the High School Band Competition,” Dr Keyzer said.
“We can’t wait to see the talent we attract on stage at Bond University Open Day 2014.”