Schoolchildren have showcased their talents on stage as this year’s Rock Challenge kicked off.
Last night saw the first heats of the season take place at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Pupils in Aberdeenshire are competing against each other to be in with the chance of reaching the national final stages.
The event, which runs until Saturday, was previously in doubt after Aberdeenshire Council chiefs warned of the “fragility” of the finances of the organisers.
Maud School, Turriff Cluster Primary Schools – a team made up of nine schools – Crimond School, Mintlaw Primary School, Udny Green Primary, Longside Primary, New Deer Primary and Meiklemill Primary performed in one of the heats for J Rock, which is the junior version of the Rock Challenge.
Last night’s winners were Longside Primary, with Maud School runner-up, followed by Mintlaw in third and Crimond School in fourth place.
Longside looks to continue last year’s success when it was placed second in the 2018 heats, winning 12 Awards of Excellence including the coveted Spirit of J Rock Award.
Tonight will see Kellands Primary School, Stuartfield and Fetterangus Primary Schools, St Andrews Primary School, Port Erroll School, Strichen School, Fraserburgh South Park Primary School, Clerkhill School and Buchanhaven Primary School battle it out.
Event manager Charlotte Payne said: “I look forward to seeing the wide range of performances the schools bring to our events every year.
“It’s always fantastic to see the hard work put in by all the schools realised on stage.
“In 2019, we are putting on more shows than in any other year and I can’t wait to take on the challenge.”
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Heats are necessary to take place before qualifying for the final stages due to the popularity of the competition which sees hundreds of children of all ages showcase their talents each year.
Councillor Gillian Owen, chairwoman of Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services committee, said: “Good luck to all our pupils and colleagues supporting them in this week’s final of the Rock Challenge and J Rock.
“The preparation involved in taking part in this competition is extensive and I’d like to recognise the significant commitment made by its participants as well as recognising the extremely high standard of entries. Well done folks.”
Meanwhile, tomorrow night, a number of north-east academies will take part in the contest.
These are Peterhead Academy as the showcasing premier team, Mearns Academy, Mintlaw Academy, Fraserburgh Academy, Mackie Academy, Kemnay Academy and Perth High School, who are travelling up to Aberdeen to take part.
Peterhead Academy has automatically qualified for the northern premier final due to its success last year, which was its 10th year performing as a premier team at the event.
The pupils placed second at the northern premier final last year and qualified for the national final – something that only happens once every three years.
Peterhead Academy came fourth, winning a further eight awards of excellence to take home.
Other teams hoping to build on previous success are Clerkhill School, which last year won 10 awards of excellence at their heat, placing them first.