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Alton College Band Triumph at Solent Sound Competition

Benchy and the Gazers

A talented group of musicians recently impressed judges and celebrated commendable success at a local music competition.

Exceptional band Benchy and the Gazers, consisting of Alton College students Kat Jooste, Ben Piper, Finn Wood and Hugh McCusker, wowed the judging panel at Solent University’s annual Solent Sound competition, and were awarded the prestigious winner’s title.

Benchy and the Gazers competed against several local colleges including QMC and Peter Symonds, whilst getting the opportunity to perform in front of a busy crowd and other local musicians.

During the competition, judges praised the band for their diction and control over vocals which were “beautiful”. 

A Level student Kat Jooste said:

“We meet as a band every week, and leading up to Solent Sound we took a day to go over the three songs we wanted to perform. 

The stage at Solent Sound was nothing like anything we had performed on before! With all the cameras and the way we sounded while up there, it was all very exciting!

It was very surreal when it was announced that we had won; the feedback we had received from the judges was very positive and it was wonderful to have been chosen to be the winners.”

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production student Finn Wood added:

“I had an absolutely cracking time at Solent University, it was very interesting to see the variety of music across all the colleges and I very much enjoyed watching all their performances. 

One thing I particularly enjoyed was the visuals behind us on the screen as I think it made us look more professional and helped enhance our performance. it was a very fun experience!

Alongside taking home the winner’s title, the students also won a £250 voucher for a guitar shop in Southampton, enabling them to purchase equipment to continue pursuing their musical dreams.

Teacher of Music, John Moline added:

“The band write all their own material and are currently recording an EP as well as playing as many gigs as they can.

I was told afterwards by the judges that their decision to award Benchy and the Gazers first place was unanimous.”

A huge well done to Benchy and the Gazers, we can’t wait to see what you achieve next!

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