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15-year-old’s song sent to Andrew Lloyd Webber

Press Release – Sandra Roberts



The producers of School of Rock, the Broadway and West End blockbuster musical, are thrilled to announce the winner of the School of Rock – The Musical: Songwriting Competition.

The winner is “girl.” (aka Sophie Brown), a 15-year-old Auckland student who penned the winning song Lifeline [1], that has been sent to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for review and will be performed live on stage by the international touring cast of School of Rock – The Musical.

girl.’s song beat hundreds of entries from school kids nationwide and was chosen by a judging panel made up of industry experts from the School of Rock production and Play It Strange – the foundation that fosters songwriting talent and has been the springboard for artists including Kimbra and Annah Mac.

Her prize includes the opportunity to perform Lifeline live on stage on 11 September as well as a day at Neil Finn’s recording studio, Roundhead, and representation by Play It Strange.

Celebrated songwriter and Play It Strange CEO, Mike Chunn CNZM of Split Enz and Citizen Band fame, says the School of Rock – The Musical: Songwriting Competition found a cool array of genres, genders and performance skills.

“The judging panel was truly impressed,” he says. “girl.’s song mirrors the power and unified attack that the School of Rock – The Musical is famous for. And with her track, Lifeline [2], she is poised to take the stage with the School of Rock band and put out a mesmerising, whirlwind performance.”

School of Rock’s producer Torben Brookman, of GWB Entertainment, says the development of young musicians and music in schools is close to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s heart.

“He will be thrilled to have a new generation of music stars part of School of Rock,” says Mr Brookman. The track has been sent to Mr Lloyd Webber’s office for the musical icon to review.

The Epsom Girls Grammar School student who discovered her calling for live performance at the Smokefreerockquest, says winning the competition means the world to her.

Having penned some 40 songs this year, she says the prize will lay the path for a future in the music industry. “I already know it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life!”

She says writing Lifeline [3] came naturally and helped organise her mind.

“I wasn’t being true to myself about how I was feeling, and I was in a constant argument with my thoughts,” she says. “I wrote it after staring at the ceiling for God knows how long. I acknowledged both sides of my mind and made sure I wasn’t lying to myself. Writing that song really helped me.”

Like the kids attending the fictional school Horace Green in School of Rock, girl. says there’s a lot of focus on math at her school.

“I don’t enjoy it at all but walking into the music department after math class is always a relief.”

School of Rock opens at The Civic, Auckland, in just four weeks. Groupies, rockers, school nerds – anyone with a pulse – are urged to get in quick to secure the best seats at this epic show. Tickets to School of Rock are available at Ticketmaster [4].

School of Rock follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star forced to earn some extra cash by posing as a teacher at a prestigious prep school. But Dewey isn’t going to teach his strait-laced students algebra or arithmetic. Oh no, these kids are going to learn what it takes to become the most awesome rock ‘n’ roll band of all time!

Now he just needs to get his students to the Battle of the Bands, dodging strict teachers and pushy parents, on the way to teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock.

With a new score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by three-time Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, and book by Downton Abbey‘s Academy Award-winning Julian Fellowes, School of Rock features an award-winning cast of 19 adults as well an incredible kids ensemble, rocking out live.

The cast is led by two of Australia’s finest theatre performers: Brent Hill (Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical) as the cheeky yet charismatic Dewey Finn; and Amy Lehpamer (Beautiful, The Sound of Music) playing opposite him as the strict, conservative high school principal Rosalie Mullins. Together with a rotating cast of 24 kids who play the 12 children in Dewey’s class, audiences will be completely blown away when they hear the kids play their musical instruments live in this high-voltage show.

Based on the hit movie, School of Rock made its world premiere in December 2015 at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, smashing box office records, garnering rave reviews and earning four Tony Award nominations. The West End production opened in November 2016 at the New London Theatre, winning both the 2017 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, and the 2017 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical. An extensive US national tour was launched in September 2017. It blew minds in Melbourne last summer and most recently in Shanghai.

Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 film was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance and went on to gross more than $130 million worldwide.

Click here [5]for more details | #SchoolofRockNZ
‘The most enjoyable few hours money can buy’
The Daily Telegraph

‘A triumph for Andrew Lloyd Webber as the king of hit musicals’
Daily Mirror

The show’s producers GWB Entertainment say: “GWB is thrilled to be working with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group to bring one of the greatest new feel-good musicals that has been taking the West End and Broadway by storm to New Zealand. Get ready to rock!”

‘You won’t leave without a smile on your face and your kids will love you forever’

This is a triumph and guaranteed to uplift in almost every way’

‘A big-hearted show. Loud and cheeky, a feel-good experience with a hint of
anarchic wildness’

School of Rock will ‘stick it to the man’ and blow the roof off
The Civic next month.

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