An ambitious group of high school students has come together around their passion for music in the Waiheke Youth Music Trust. These talented youth hope the trust will enable them to be taken seriously as young musicians.
I caught up with the group – including Emmanuel Orrange, Harry Hamlin, Thomas Sarsfield, Mia Tibby, Eli Cantwell, Jean Fraser-Hoult, Scott Macleod, Jemilah Ross-Hayes, Jaz Caitcheon, Devonte Stipich, Ben Hessell, Cameron Macleod and Naz Duilomaloma – in Waiheke High School’s music room with trustee and music teacher Gareth Moore.
“I’ve played a two hour gig on the island and was only paid $30,” Jemilah Ross-Hayes says. Faces are nodding and experiences are shared between them as they explain what the trust is about.
They agree there’s a strong music culture on the island but also that it is hard to get exposure as a teenager. If and when they get to play, it’s as background music at a restaurant – when they would rather be the main attraction.
“We hope to create a monthly music thing where young musicians can play,” Gareth Moore says and gives the student a look – “so you’ll be playing instead of drinking vodka on Onetangi Beach”. There are scattered chuckles.
Another ambition of the trust is to fund music lessons for those who cannot afford it themselves, and for older students to mentor music students from Te Huruhi and Waiheke Primary.
Instead of jumping head first into running a trust, four wise adults who know their metier have taken it upon themselves to be the training wheels for the youngsters. Gareth Moore, Jamie Stone, Jude Young and Nina Jean will lead the way. As one of the soon-to-be trustees Jaz Caitcheon says, “we’ll watch what they’re doing and learn through that.”
To launch the trust, they are throwing a MOSH concert on Saturday 10 June. All afternoon, young Waiheke and Auckland bands will share their musical talents with the community. In between big bands, singer/songwriters and DJs from Waiheke High and MAINZ will perform.
Waiheke bands and musicians on the poster are Sahara, Communist Mic, Causeway Drive, Jaz Caitcheon, Gabe Treacey-Bond, Jemilah, Sonic Boom, The Other Half are Robots, Whitenoise, Stereoface and more.
Among others, My Anatomy, Triple F.C., Jesus George, Skwid, Silvera, Polarize, Bare Knuckled, Baracuda Death Wish, Grace and Cody and Savvy will take the ferry from Auckland to Waiheke to play on 10 June.
MOSH takes place at Artworks Theatre from 12pm to 6pm. Headline act Openside will follow MOSH around 6.30pm. Tickets are $5 for teens and $15 for others, and can be bought from www.undertheradar.co.nz. • Emma Haas