About the bass: Place Valuez rhythm section, from left, Sefa Fomai, Onehunga Faivalu, Falaniko Fomai and
By RHIANNON McCONNELL
They came, they sang, they conquered - Brandon Intermediate has won Wellington Intermediate Battle of
the Bands for the first time.
Music mentor Jonathan Viliamu said that after the school came second last year, the band, Place Valuez, had
"We had an email from the organisers saying we had raised the bar."
"To hear that was awesome. It was just amazing for the kids," he said.
Place Values saxophone player and year 7 pupil Erana Tamaiva said she was speechless when they won - "It
was overwhelming," she said.
Erana has played saxophone for less than a year, but said she picked it up quickly.
The band beat 28 other schools with their performances of Amy Winehouse's Valerie and Love Never Felt So
Good by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
As winners, Brandon will host the event next year.
Musical ear: The band's horn section, from left, Faagi Tiata, Debbie Brown, Billie-Jean Teokotai, Erana
Tamaiva and Angel Williams.
Talented singers hope
to go places
Singing sensation: Le Art vocalists Anastasia Sirila, left, and Tiresa Fomai sung, and Annastasia Seiuli is in
Photos: RHIANNON McCONNELL
It's all about the music for two of Place Valuez lead singers who are also in rising vocal group Le Art.
The group - Anastasia Sirila and Tiresa Fomai and Porirua College students Roseta Lopa and Filipo Foma'i -
made a big impact at the recent Porirua Sports Awards and were asked to sing at the Wellington awards as
After a big 2013, including opening for Brandon Intermediate old girl Aaradhna and singing at the Youth
Awards in Parliament, the girls have started songwriting. This year they have performed at Positively Pasifika Festival, CreekFest, and The Cancer Society Relay for Life.
While they have a taste for pop, it's "old school" they really like, thanks to their music mentor Jonathan
He played the group musicians like Sam Cooke and Michael Jackson, which got them hooked.
Viliamu noticed their talent the first time he heard them together.
"When I hear them sing together, I thought, 'Man we have something special here'," he said.
"They just keep improving every time."
Year 8 pupil Anastasia, 13, said the big dream was to enter TV competitions like X Factor.
Le Art is managed by Tracy O'Hare.