SCU band wins 2014 national band comp

10 October 2014
(L-R) Gustavsson, Hooper and Finch were shocked to win the national comp. Photo: Facebook.
(L-R) Gustavsson, Hooper and Finch were shocked to win the national comp. Photo: Facebook.

Southern Cross University band, Parkside Orchestra came home with the win after performing at the National Campus Band Competition grand final in Sydney on October 1.

Following some tough competition members of the band, Scott Finch (bass), Freyja Hooper (drums) and Torsten Gustavsson (vocals and guitar) brought their musical talents to the fore and proved themselves as well accomplished musicians.

The National Campus Band Competition is an annual Australian national university band competition produced by the Australian Association of Campus Activities. The winner receives a $5000 cash prize. 

Describing Parkside Orchestra's music as more of an indie rock genre, Finch said the win was a shock considering the crowd was obviously on the side of Sydney band, Narla.

“The third and second place bands were unexpected, so we thought Narla had definitely won it,” he said.

Having previously performed in somewhat comical costumes including nurse uniforms, Parkside Orchestra emphasised their uniqueness further being the only band at the competition that had a female in the group.

"We had the only female band member in the whole finals competition out of the seven bands. So it was cool. Freyja [Hooper] took that in her stride and turned that into a positive,” said Gustavsson.

Hooper has already made an impact in the music industry by performing in the 2013 Hit Like a Girl international drumming competition and has been named as one of the top twenty female drummers in the world.

"It's been an absolute blast competing in all of the heats. Australia definitely has a lot of wicked musos," Hooper said.

Dr Barry Hill, course coordinator of SCU’s Bachelor of Contemporary Music had nothing but good things to say of the band and hopes they plan to capitalise on their success.

"They are fantastic musicians. It's great to see them gel, from just three students who were playing and jamming together and working in a couple of different ensembles in different parts of the music program,” he said.

"If they can get a good management and promotion team around them they can definitely be a success internationally. They are all great musicians now. They could perform in any festival stage in the world. It's good to see."

Parkside Orchestra is lined up to play at the Mullum Music Festival and the Bangalow Home Grown Music Festival, both in November.

SCU bands have now won the national final five times since the NCBC’s inception in 1990, including Grinspoon and the most recent being The Downstairs Mix Up in 2009. 

Parkside Orchestra is expected to play at the Mullum Music Festival and the Bangalow Home Grown Music Festival, both in November.

Thumbnail image: Nick Cummins.