In elite company: Haven, comprising Harrison Maguire, left, and Ryan Connaghan, is in the top eight bands of this year's Smokefreerockquest


Wakatipu High’s musical talent rocks.

Two Year 13 students have achieved amazing success in the national Smokefreerock
quest competition for the second year running.

Last year, as Haven, Ryan Connaghan and Harrison Maguire, both 17, along with Jack Wilson — who’s since left school — finished runners-up in the band section out of 800-plus acts.

This year, as a two-piece, they’re the only South Island band to make the top eight.

Last week they were flown to Auckland for a video/recording session, then this Thursday the final will be livestreamed.

Ryan, who’s Haven’s singer-songwriter and bass player, calls their style indie-rock and

Drummer Harrison says making the finals two years running is ‘‘pretty incredible’’.

Ryan adds: ‘‘We play a lot of different styles of music at Wakatipu High, but I think what really helps us, above and beyond, is just the fact we’re really good friends and we’ve
got that kind of synergy going for us.’’

Another Wakatipu High band, No Man’s Land — comprising Hannah White, Paige Loggenberg, Lucy Glover and Kira Almquist — also made the top-20.

Fellow senior student Greta Balfour made the top-15 solo-duo acts and was highly commended.