They came, they saw and they rocked.

Now the Australian stars of the musical School of Rock want young New Zealand songwriters to do the same - and there's every chance one of the biggest names in show biz will hear their song.

School of Rock producers - theatre legend Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber among them - are looking for the country's best young songwriter. The School of Rock Song Competition will open to students at NZ schools who fancy their chances of writing a new song – with lyrics that fit the musical – to be performed by the cast.

The winning songwriter will travel to Auckland to see the cast perform the song on the Civic stage after a school matinee show in September, and the song will be recorded. Judges are yet to be named but there's every chance that Lloyd Webber himself will hear the winning number.


Damien Hewitt, producer of the Australasian show, said Lloyd Webber was keen to support young musicians.

"He will be thrilled that a new generation of music stars have the chance to be part of School of Rock."

Thousands of Auckland students were last week treated to a preview of the show when two stars from School of Rock took to the stage at Showquest, the annual performing arts event for schools.

Zane Blumers, 12, cast as guitar-loving Zack Mooneyham and Joe Kosky, who plays the wannabe rocker turned teacher Dewey Finn, performed a few numbers from the musical, which arrives in Auckland in September.

School of Rock star Joe Kosky checks out the performances of Auckland school students at this week's Showquest. Photo/Christian Tjandrawinta.
School of Rock star Joe Kosky checks out the performances of Auckland school students at this week's Showquest. Photo/Christian Tjandrawinta.

And Auckland-born Kosky spoke about how when he was younger, a serious back injury put an end to his sporting aspirations and he turned to theatre instead.
"I was really into sport but I was always singing around the house and interested in theatre," he said.

"When I couldn't do as much sport anymore, my mum said, 'if you're going to keep singing, at least take some lessons so I don't have to listen to you sounding like that'.

"I knew what the other kids would think but in the end, I decided just to own it because if you own something, if you're really confident about it, then that stops people giving you a hard time about it."

The musical theatre graduate appeared in Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert before landing the lead role in the Australian production of School of Rock.


Based on the 2004 Hollywood movie starring Jack Black, it tells the story of Dewey Finn, a desperate musician who impersonates his roommate so he can take up a well-paid substitute teaching job at a stuffy private school. Once there, he enlists his students to help him achieve his goal of winning the Battle of the Bands competition.

The film was turned into a musical by Lloyd Webber, the UK producer responsible for some of the world's biggest stage shows like Cats and Phantom of the Opera, and television's Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

Lloyd Webber and his producer wife Madeline said they watched the movie as a family and loved the story about how music can change your life, whatever your age.

Details on how to enter the School of Rock songwriting competition will be announced soon. School of Rock plays at The Civic from September 3-22.