This year’s attendees at the Burt Munro Challenge were entertained by an array of rising musical talent, treated to performances from bands made up of Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Music students. The annual event provided a perfect platform for students, who seized the opportunity to increase their live performing experience and to play to a different audience.
SIT School of Music Programme Manager, Dr Jeff Wragg said there were three bands involved, comprised of a dozen students who performed at the rally site, Oreti Park, Otatara, on the evening of Thursday 11th February, entertaining hundreds of rally participants.
He said two of the bands perform regularly at clubs, weddings and other events, while the third band was made up of third-year students and Dr Wragg, and was put together solely for the Burt Munro event. The students played a variety of classic hits, from the 60’s to present day.
Music student Corrina James, is a band member and SIT School of Music Student Rep, she said the students all really enjoyed their participation in the event. "It was a great opportunity for us to get out there and gain some more experience, and also just to put our names out there".
Dr Wragg said the bands performing at Burt Munro was purely for students to get more live playing experience outside of SIT, as well as providing the School of Music another opportunity to engage with the local community.
“This is the first time the SIT School of Music has been involved with the event, and also the first time live music was provided on the first night of the rally”.
“The audience was extremely receptive and the students created a real party atmosphere. One of the patrons even spoke to one of the bands about performing for another event in the North Island later in the year”.
“We hope it will become an annual event for us” said Dr Wragg.
Karen Witham, Conference and Events Manager at Great South also had positive remarks about the students’ inaugural involvement.
“What a night! I was really impressed with the students’ performances, engagement and energy! Our rally-goers got into the swing by filling the dance floor. Bring on Burt 2022, I can’t wait to see a repeat of the entertainment; it’s an awesome opportunity to showcase the developing talent we have in the South, with our visitors to the region”.