Every Monday for the last year, high school band Bournda Rock has met up for band practice and this week, the talent and commitment of the five members paid off.
Jeremy Koenigkamp, Sarah Lingard-Sinclair, Jake Hansen, Malachi Mills-Hindle, all Eden Marine High students and Angus Ashcroft, a Bega High student, this week competed in YouthRock in Sydney and won a special regional award and a day of recording at Sydney’s Damien Gerard Recording Studio.
The name is worth saying to yourself slowly. Bega Valley locals will know of Bournda National Park between Tathra and Merimbula and perhaps miss the gag, but there is more to it than that – Born-da-rock! Boom-tish.
Sarah Lingard-Sinclair laughs “none of us live in Bournda! I think it was one of our dads who suggested the name and we all thought it was a bad joke but then we just went with it.”
Sarah is still in Sydney when I catch her and is obviously stoked with the outcome of the competition.
“Ours was the only regional award given out,” she explains “we competed last year and they didn’t have the regional award so we suspect they created the category just for us, since we travel the furthest!”
Drummer Jake is on the road when he takes my call, his devoted dad at the wheel.
“This is just really cool,” he says of the award “it’s a massive opportunity that we’ll get to record at a professional studio.”
Sarah acknowledges that the band has grown since they competed last.
“I think we have improved in our teamwork,” she says thoughtfully “and our audience and followers has grown a lot too.”
The band varies in age, making their success in finding time to work together and synchronize schedules even more impressive.
Jake and Malachi are in year nine, Jeremy and Angus in year ten and Sarah in year twelve and between them, the band has produced several original songs, including one written by Jake during last year’s Tathra bushfires.
“I wrote that song right after I heard that there were fires in Tathra, the song just came out and I was finished in about 30 minutes,” Jake says, adding that he doesn’t like taking credit for a song because the whole band works on them.
Both Sarah and Jake plan to study music and continue playing after school, with Sarah already meeting some of her music goals.
“When we first started, I was singing and playing the bass guitar at the same time, but it got too hard to do both so we got a bassist, Angus so that I could focus on singing. I’ve been taking bass lessons again though, and I think I’m ready to try combining them again.”
Jake would like to thank his “very tolerant” parents, who installed a drum kit in his bedroom and listened to him play even when he was “terrible,” and his drumming teacher, Ken Vatcher, who performs with local band The Figmentz.
Bournda Rock’s next big local show will be at Band2gether in Wolumla on November 30