A college band with students from Bethlehem College and Tauranga Boys' College has made the top 30 in this year's Smokefreerockquest competition.

The band, AhJeez, were selected from 700 entries around the country after sending in their video footage for the chance to play off at the national final in Auckland on September 24.

Rockquest Charitable Trust chairman Matt Ealand said it was great to see the spread of finalists across every one of the regions where the event was held this year. And he noted the standard of musical performance keeps going up year by year, as young people are exposed to more music on social media and online.

"This makes it easier for them to emulate singers and bands who already making it on the musical scene - there are now role models not far removed from their own peer group," he said.


"Just looking at last year's Smokefreerockquest finalists Eljay Hall's song Lights On is being heavily played on commerical radio, Ben Mollison is recording an EP and Courtney Hate is making waves on the alternative scene."

For the 30 on the list, making it to the Smokefreerockquest finals is the next step on the success ladder. The top 30 is made up of 20 bands and 10 solo-duos, the region given is where they competed.

The top 20 bands are:

Alien Weaponry, Bream Bay College, Northland

O-Boy! Kaipara College, North Shore

Daffodils, Western Springs College & Kristin School, Auckland

Nui Trio, Manurewa High School, Manukau

Tree Juice, Cambridge High School, Waikato

Half Eaten Pie,Te Awamutu College, Waikato

Made Alive, Whakatane High School & Trident High School, Bay of Plenty

AhJeez, Bethlehem College & Tauranga Boys College, Bay of Plenty

Kurawaka, TKKM O Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti & Gisborne Girls High School, East Coast

Suburban Goons, New Plymouth Boys' High School, Taranaki

Headlock, Havelock North High School, Hawkes Bay

Why Vibrations, Wanganui High School, Whanganui

Hymns & Her, Dannevirke High School, Manawatu

Retrospect, Onslow College, Wellington

Meraki, Marlborough Boys' College, Marlborough

The Hoard, Golden Bay High School, Nelson

Tetra, Nelson College for Girls, Nelson

Fuzhun, Shirley Boys' High School, Christchurch

Pseudo Sane, Geraldine High School, Timaru

Ceiling, Mt Aspiring College, Central Otago

The top ten solo/duos are:

Izaia and Huia, Kamo High School & Te Kapehu Whetu-Teina, Northland

Aimee Way, Kaipara College, North Shore

Iris G, Avondale College, Auckland

Two Imbue, Alfriston College, Manukau

Sonatane Kaufusi, Manurewa High School, Manukau

Mia, Taradale High School, Hawkes Bay

Kieran O'Connor, Garin College, Nelson

Cam Dawson, Garin College, Nelson

Keith and Cait, Burnside High School, Christchurch

Levi Dick, James Hargest College, Otago

These 30 bands and solo-duos will be further narrowed down by a panel of judges from the music industry, and on August 1 there will be an announcement of the final five bands and three solo-duos to play off the Raye Freedman Centre at Epsom Girls Grammar on September 24. The 22 acts not in the final selection then become contenders for the People's Choice, with the winner of the voting campaign competing as the ninth act in national final.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners' prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, a $20,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package' a 'Decent Exposure' campaign on The Edge TV, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award and the Dominate Style Award.

For more information about the competition, visit the Smokefreerockquest website.