The Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre was brimming with supporters as six schools took to the stage for the much anticipated J-Rock competition.

St Mary's, Western Heights Primary, Otonga Road Primary and John Paul College took part, as well as Taupo Intermediate and Gisborne's Makaraka School.

Tonight's major prize, the Spirit Award, went to John Paul College for their performance about conquering your fears.

Pupils Ronan Griffiths, 12, and Shavonne Rowe, 11, said they had felt confident before their performance.


"Neither of us have taken part in the competition before so we were nervous but also excited before going on stage," Ronan said.

"I really wanted to take part because I like dancing. The best part of the whole experience was being able to have fun with your friends," Shavonne said.

John Paul College's performance centered around a set of twins who had to face darkness, loneliness and monsters in a dreamland they shared. Once the pair had conquered their fears the dreamland changes to one of happiness and excitement.

"I think the best part of our performance was the bit at the end where everyone comes on stage and is dancing happily," Ronan said.

Both students said they had loved the experience and were keen to take part again.

St Mary's Catholic Primary School pupils were also thrilled with their performance. Former pupil Paige Wallace, 16, helped choreograph it.

"I am so extremely proud of the group, they did amazing. Everything went off without a hitch."

Anika Davies, 12, said she felt great after their performance.

"It went so well, I'm really happy with how it all came together."

The school's theme was about peer pressure when starting a new school and the importance of being true to yourself.