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Young Talent Wins $20,000

14 December 2006

Young Talent Wins $20,000 to Create Their Own Big Day Out!

Four outstanding young Aucklanders have walked away with $20,000 thanks to the Auckland Festival, AK07 Westpac Young Producers competition.

A panel of judges, including well known music industry figure Mike Chunn, selected the four successful applicants from nearly one hundred 14-18 year olds who applied to the Westpac Young Producers competition.

The successful applicants; Sharon Bennenbroek,18 (Foxton), Sharina Parsottam, 18 (Central Auckland), Dave Parker, 18 (West Auckland) and Roxie Haines, 18 (West Auckland) will deliver a one day music event at Red Sqaure, Britomart as part of Auckland Festival, AK07 - like no other seen or heard in the Auckland region before.

Westpac Young Prodcuers is a new initiative offering young people the chance to kick-start their creative careers.

Applicants had to submit an event idea with a budget to the tune of $20,000. The group with the best idea and budget receive a $20,000 Westpac Student Pac Account, access to Auckland Festival offices and free hire of the Auckland Festival Hub, Red Square, and mentorship from industry experts in the fields of production, stage management, marketing, publicity, artist liaison and administration.

As well as supplying the $20,000 Westpac staff will be assisting the Westpac Young Producers with budgeting. Rose-Marie Schiavuzzi from Westpac says: “We want to empower young people to follow their dreams, while helping them learn how to handle their finances. The Westpac Young Producers is a great way to achieve that.”

Auckland Festival Education Coordinator, Clare Carmody said that The Westpac Young Producers will be a first for Auckland. “Nothing like this has ever happened in Auckland before…probably because it seems like such a risk to give so much money to people with relatively little experience. But we aren’t looking for experience. We just want young people with great ideas and heaps of energy.”

She says that the competition was created in order to support young New Zealand art and artists: “The best way to foster sustainable arts industry is to invest in young producers. They are the ones who make it all happen. If you have good young producers then young artists will get the chances they deserve.”

Blown away with winning Roxie Haines says "I am really excited that we're receiving such excellent support from both the Auckland Festival team and Westpac and I know that this whole experience is going to be really great and that I am going to learn so much along the way."

Parsottam says "I am very excited about the Festival overall and am really looking forward to running our event." The event is shaping up to be a showcase of some of Auckland's hottest bands, integrated with fashion, art, dance and other elements of youth culture.

The Auckland Festival will take place between March 9 – 25 and feature more than 60 events.

The Westpac Young Producers event will happen on March 17 at Britomart.

Westpac Young Producers- Bios and Positions

Roxie Haines (18) Marketing and Partnerships Manager

I have been heavily involved in the Music Industry over the last few years attending gigs, running my own gigs, playing in and managing local bands.

Recently, I completed my Diploma in Music Event Management at MAINZ. I have also been classically trained as a musician, both in brass and voice over the last seven years.

I have very good management skills, am creative when it comes to marketing and able to think outside the square.

I am really keen to work in the New Zealand Music Industry.

Dave Parker (18) Production Manager

Over the past two years I have been studying at MAINZ and have just graduated with a Diploma in Audio Engineering and Music Production. I've been involved in a number of independently run live concerts over the past few years, both around Auckland and in the UK.

I've been playing guitar in gigging bands since the age of 14, which has given me a good insight as to the ins and outs of running a successful event and a good perspective on the problems youth events often encounter. I have good technical skills, whether it’s coordinating others or running things myself.

I'm really excited about our event, the festival and the opportunity to work with great mentors and other young producers.

Sharina Parsottam (18) Artist Liaison

I recently graduated in Live Sound and Event Production at MAINZ. Next year I plan on completing a Diploma of Music Event Management.

Whilst at college I attended a Radio course, which included working as a DJ on a b.net radio station in New Plymouth. I have also coordinated shows with New Plymouth local bands.

My biggest passion is by far NZ music. I want to become a Tour Manager as I enjoy live shows and exposing the amazing talent within our diverse rock scene.

Being a Westpac Young Producer is a huge opportunity as it is an ultimate way to kick start my future in the music industry.

Sharon Bennenbroek (18) Technical Manager

I've recently graduated from the Live Sound and Event Production course at MAINZ. I have specialist training in lighting design and operation.

I also have skills as an artist and graphic designer.

I look forward to putting on an awesome free show for Auckland young people, since young people don’t tend to have money to pay for gigs and events. It would also give a lot of young people a chance to see bands they may not have been able to see before due to price and/ or age restrictions.

ENDS

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